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Epworth to hold its first Remembrance Day service

Epworth’s war memorial will be the site of the community’s first Memorial Day ceremony on Nov. 11.
Epworth’s war memorial will be the site of the community’s first Memorial Day ceremony on Nov. 11. - Martine Blue

EPWORTH, N.L.

An idea that has been brewing for decades will become a reality on Sunday, Nov. 11. The Local Service District of Epworth (population 120) will hold its first Remembrance Day service. 

George and Arthur Brewer were the only two brothers killed on the same day, on the same boat during the Second World War. - Contributed
George and Arthur Brewer were the only two brothers killed on the same day, on the same boat during the Second World War. - Contributed

It’s an event co-organizer Frank Brinston says is long overdue. Brinston was approached to help arrange the service by fellow organizer Georgina Mitchell.

“I was tickled pink when Georgina came and said they were going to have a meeting,” Brinston said. “I looked at her and said, ‘It is about time.’”

Brinston credits Junior Brewer with initiating Sunday’s inaugural service and Florence Brewer for rounding out the organization team.

United Church minister Rev. Simon Muwowo will officiate the ceremony and Brinston.

War memorial

The ceremony will be held on the grounds of the Epworth church —now privately owned — because that’s where the community war memorial is located.

There had been a plan, when the building was sold, to move the monument to the United Church cemetery, but community leaders sought expert opinions and decided against it.

“The monument is almost 100 years old; it is marble and there are cracks in it, so the board was advised not to move it, leave it where it is,” Brinston explained. “I think there was a clause in the selling of the church that we would have access to and keep the monument there as part of the deal.”

The war memorial was purchased and mounted in Epworth a few years after the end of the First World War.

The funds for it were collected from the people of Epworth and the neighbouring communities of Wandsworth and L’anse au L’eau, both now resettled communities.

A plaque that was formerly on display inside Epworth’s church is now affixed to the front of the monument.

That plaque is dedicated to George and Arthur Brewer, who were only 21 and 22 when their battlecruiser HMS Hood was struck by several German shells and sunk on May 24, 1941.

“They were the only two brothers that were killed on the same day, on the same boat in World War 2,” Brinston explained.

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