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Welcome to Veterans
In the fall of 1944, Legion Branch # 5 in Summerside established a reception committee for returned men. Sgt. Patrick Ryan, a veteran of the previous war, was appointed chairman. In October 1944 he was assisted by Roland Phillipson, secretary of the local branch, as well as Miss Annie Phillipson, and Miss Elaine Bowness in hosting a small reception at the Railway Station. It was the first of many such welcomes for returned men coming to town via train from Borden.

On 4 January 1945, the committee arranged a social evening at the Legion Home for the new veterans. Communities surrounding the town such as St. Eleanors also held special receptions for their own returned men.

Early in July, a sizeable gathering at the Legion was held in honour of twenty "returned war heroes." Later that month about eighteen were treated to a reception at the Railway Station attended by Mayor J. Arnett and other prominent citizens.

In addition to the numerous public gatherings that were being held, the Journal began to carry two military photos at a time under the title "Among the Returned Soldiers." The first time this feature appeared was on 5 July 1945. In the same issue a special section called "Honour the Man Who Wears This Button" also appeared. Sponsored by Holman's, it ran every week until 9 September 1946 with a list of up to eight names of Summerside and Prince County men who had come back from the war.

The province decided to honour its veterans by declaring 6-11 August as "Brighten Up Week." The purpose was to encourage everyone in Prince Edward Island to improve the appearance of their homes and to fly flags as a tribute to the members of the armed forces.

Late in August the town arranged a large civic reception. It was held on the grounds of the Legion with the band of the 17th Armoured (R) Regiment on hand to entertain. As a follow-up, the town mailed a recognition card to each returned man and woman in Summerside.

Veterans continued to arrive home and the welcoming committee carried on its work. In September 1945, a large contingent from overseas was met at Borden by a bus decorated with flags. In October, two buses were required to transport about 50 Prince County men after a delegation met them at the ferry terminal in New Brunswick.

More receptions were held during the fall and into 1946. The Kinsmen Club held a "Veterans Recognition Night" at its December 1945 meeting. Member Harold Gaudet wrote a special song titled "Back Home on P.E. Island."