Miramichi Tweaks Tradition

When the Portraits of Honour National Tour visited the Miramichi, it would both bolster and break tradition.

Arriving to a street lined with flags and a town square packed with people, it soon became clear that remembrance was not a new concept in this small city.  Fallen hero Master Corporal Allan Stewart’s daughter spoke in a short ceremony in which the Portraits of Honour mural was unveiled, and then hundreds took to the stage to view the portraits up close.

Inside the nearby Kin Center, Susan Butler and her team were hard at work preparing for the evening’s events, an annual Remembrance Day concert that she hosts each year on the Sunday before Remembrance Day to raise funds for various organizations. This year, the proceeds were directed to the Portraits of Honour, and the profile of the tour over the past six months, as it travelled the country, helped to almost double ticket sales for the event.

The evening’s meal and entertainment were outstanding, and Portraits of Honour was proud to be part of this decades-long Miramichi tradition.

In stark contrast to our inclusion in a long - standing tradition, another of the day’s events turned tradition on its ear. Chief George, leader of a local first nation’s band, presented Dave Sopha with an eagle feather, delicately beaded and blessed.  This act, one of the highest honours one can receive in this band, is rarely shared with one outside of their culture, and even more rarely with someone they have never before met.  However, the chief, having seen the project in the media, felt that the creator of the mural deserved this unique honour.

Whether taking part in a remembrance tradition that showcases the heart of this community or being honoured by a group who were the first to call the Miramichi home, the Portraits of Honour National Tour was humbled and grateful to share in the traditions of the Miramichi.