Brent Bidston giving the first poppy for 2021 to Fernie Mayor Ange Qualizza. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Brent Bidston giving the first poppy for 2021 to Fernie Mayor Ange Qualizza. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Fernie Mayor receives first poppy of 2021

Brent Bidston of Angel Flight did the honours of handing over the first poppy

The first poppy of 2021 was presented to Canada’s Governor General on October 25, and now the first poppy locally has been presented to Fernie Mayor Ange Qualizza.

Angel Flight’s president, Brent Bidston did the honours in at the Fernie Legion this week, handing Qualizza a poppy in a call-back to when he did the same thing 50 years ago in Sale, England.

In an image from the local Sale newspaper from 1971, a young and dapper Bidston affixed a poppy to the lapel of Sale mayor, Richard Mees (pictured).

“The story 50 years notes that myself and another cadet were about to go do a fundraising canoe trip raising funds for the Legion,” said Bidston.

“So there I was 50 years ago, and here I am doing it all again,” he said. Bidston makes regular appearances in Kootenay media raising funds and awareness for Angel Flight East Kootenay, and also works together with other groups such as the Legion.

Poppies for 2021 will go on sale in coming days, with hopes that locals will be able to get them more easily compared to last year when the pandemic limited sale options for the Legion and cadets.

“Because some of the restrictions have been lifted it should be easier,” said Fernie Legion president Jeannie Watson.

READ MORE: Fernie Legion does it tough through health orders

Remembrance Day