Legion marks 85th year

It’s always great to have friends over for a birthday party but even organizers of the Royal Canadian Legion Trail Branch #11 85th anniversary were surprised at the turnout.

It’s always great to have friends over for a birthday party but even organizers of the Royal Canadian Legion Trail Branch #11 85th anniversary were surprised at the turnout.

The open house saw more than 100 people filter through the building throughout Tuesday afternoon, perusing through photos, newspaper articles and other pieces of the branch’s history.

Cake, food and refreshments were also on-hand, along with endless stories.

“I think everybody is very proud of it obviously, to have been in this town as one of the longest serving service clubs,” said former president Rob Reilly.

The branch was given its charter on July 12, 1926, making it one of the first in B.C. and in Canada. The original building was downtown and acted as the social centre for World War I veterans, equipped with a swimming pool, bowling lanes, meeting rooms and gymnasium.

In the 1970’s the building became too expensive to maintain, so it was sold to an antique dealer and in a few years the Legion’s current location became their new home.

The Legion has been very active in the community since day one, holding events like cabaret shows and dances at the hall. Serving veterans still remains a key initiative of the Legion today but community involvement in other areas is just as important.

The branch offers scholarships to students pursuing post-secondary and supports sports teams and other local events. On a provincial level, the organization supports a UBC doctor’s program and supplies all the medals for the BC Seniors Games, among others.

Trail is just as dedicated to supporting its Legion too it seems — the money from poppy and wreath campaigns goes up every year, said Reilly, and turnouts for Remembrance Day ceremonies steadily increase too.

He pointed to their celebrations on Tuesday — even they weren’t expecting that many people to come through and see what the Legion was up to.

“And we’re always asked to participate in special events,” said Glenda Reilly, Legion secretary for the past 15 years, saying they’re frequently approached to provide a colour party.

Another reason Trail’s branch has remained opened despite others in the region closing their doors is due to their membership number — around 500, said new president Vern Schneider, but the number of active members has dwindled. He hopes to see that number grow in the future, but admitted getting the younger crowd involved is tough.

Military service is no longer a requirement to join, which has opened the doors to what was stereotyped as an old men’s club.

“It’s a way for people to get involved and give back to the community and it’s a social gathering,” Rob explained.

The move from the original building is one of the biggest moments in the branch’s history, but another was the B.C/Yukon Royal Canadian Legion Convention they hosted in 2009, where 350 delegates flooded the city for the event.

“That was a big undertaking for a branch as small as we are so to take that on and do it quite successfully, we’re very proud of it.”

The annual veteran banquets also make up proud moments in the branch’s history, as they’ve moved from having politicians as guests of honour to veterans of past and present military campaigns.

The toughest aspect of being around for 85 years is losing long-time members to age and health problems, said Glenda. But such is life, and the Legion looks to the future.

“Eighty-five years is a long time and hopefully we’ll be around for a lot longer,” Rob stated. “If the support is there and people are willing to throw in a helping hand once in a while … We’ll be around for a long time.”


Just Posted

Keith Smyth, Kootenay Savings director at-large joins children from the Kids’ Care Centre at St. Michael’s Catholic School. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay Savings continues credit union’s tradition of giving

Funding totalling $48,250, is going to a wide array of Kootenay initiatives

From left: Karl Luedtke (West Arm Outdoors Club), Dale Williams (BCWF), Molly Teather (FLNORD), Gord Grunerud (West Arm Outdoors Club), Eugene Volokhov (Grand Prize Winner), Casey McKinnon and Lex Jones (Jones Boys Boats). Photo: Tammy White, Whitelight Photography
Balfour man lands big prize from angler incentive program

Eugene Volokhov of Balfour is now the proud owner of a sleek 18-foot Kingfisher boat

“I want to see the difference in the world, embrace it, celebrate it … ” Photo: David Cantelli/Unsplash
A new way to say ‘Hello’

“Inclusion, you see, is NOT about making us all the same.”

Waneta Manor is located on Laburnum Drive in Trail. Photo: Sheri Regnier
Senior dies as Trail tenants continue wait for broken elevator to be fixed

The elevator in Waneta Manor has been out of commission since February

For Your Consideration
Brokeback Facebook: I wish I knew how to quit you!

Thom is inspired by the proliferation of viral inane questions to reevaluate his social media use

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Most Read