Within Salmon Arm’s popular Park Hill trail system is a trail named for the work Brian Browning and fellow volunteers do each Nov. 11 out of respect for those who served and paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Brian Browning, outdoor enthusiast and owner of CentrePoint Automotive in Salmon Arm, has plans for Remembrance Day that don’t involve being at the city’s cenotaph. (Due to COVID-19, the Salmon Arm Royal Canadian Legion is holding a small, private ceremony on Nov. 11, and has requested the public not attend). As in past years, Browning will be out on the Park Hill trail system near Canoe Beach with a work party, building a new trail.
“When they built the new subdivision, they kind of destroyed the access to one end of it, because nobody knew exactly where the trail was – that happens a lot,” explained Browning who is a Shuswap Trail Alliance member, and also sits on the City of Salmon Arm’s Greenways Liaison Committee. “So we have to move and clear out a new trail – I’ve got it all marked out and everything. It’s going to be a good project. Should be big enough, everybody can space themselves accordingly, follow some sort of COVID protocol.”
Browning’s annual Remembrance Day trail work began years ago when he and his dog went for a hike.
“I started working on the trails and have sort of carried on the tradition ever since,” said Browning.
“Now I do a work party with the city and the Trail Alliance. We organize a bunch of the locals and some of the people that use the trails out there, and we always go out and do something on Remembrance Day or close to it.”
Out of appreciation for the work done over the years, Browning said the city named one of the trails Remembrance Day.
“It’s just my kind of way of thanking the veterans so that I’m able to go out and enjoy our wonderful country,” said Browning. “I lost an uncle in the Second World War, long before I was born of course, and I always had close ties to that sort of idea. My dad was in the Air Force for a bit. The war ended before he actually got shipped overseas so he was lucky.”
Another influence is Browning’s neighbour and veteran Joe Green.
“He was in the Merchant Marine forever, he’s a staunch Legion member and has got lots of stories to tell about the fun they had, and about the other stuff they had, shipping stuff over to Murmansk,” said Browning.
Browning said volunteers play an important role in supporting the Shuswap’s growing trail networks.
This year’s Remembrance Day work bees will be divided over two days, Nov. 8 and 11. To participate, or for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.