Facelift for a Legion
Reservists spruce up Bay Roberts branch
The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 32 in Bay Roberts is sporting a face-lift to the exterior of its building, thanks to the efforts of a group of military reservists working with 91 Construction Engineering Flight (CEF) at 5 Wing Gander.
A 10-man team from throughout the province was in the Conception Bay town last month. In 10 days, they replaced the siding and windows.
“If we’re not on deployment, we go out and try and give back a little to the community,” Sgt. Howard Andrews toldThe Compasslast week.
“Our whole purpose is community projects,” said Lt. Rod Normore, a construction engineer officer who visited the site towards the end of the project.
Building on skills
CEF, which falls under 14 Construction Engineering Squadron out of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, makes itself available to not-for-profit organizations that need their services but are short on money.
Such projects are intended to allow the reservists to “ build on their skills,” Normore said.
Once a project is approved, CEF moves into town and stays for as long as is necessary, usually 10 days or less.
The team in Bay Roberts was made up of carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and heavy equipment operators, among other tradesmen.
“ When they’re not doing specific jobs, everybody is trades’ helpers,” Andrews explained.
“ The military pays the labour for us to be here. The Legion pays for all the materials,” Normore said.
Branch president John Samms said the project cost the Legion about $ 15,000, with estimated savings of $20,000 by having the reservists do the work. Two years ago, they assisted the branch by constructing floating docks at the Veterans’ Quay Marina.
“ The improvements (to the Legion) were necessary because the building is not young,” he said. The building became a Legion in 1954 after having served as a Seventh-day Adventist church.
CEF usually restricts its projects to a 50-mile radius, in an attempt to reduce costs, Andrews said.
However, an exception is made when needy Legions contact the organization. When the reservists work outside their designated area, they stay in local hotels.
The work the reservists do give them a sense of personal satisfaction.
“ The vets certainly did their part. Now they need our help; we’re there to help them,” Normore said.
“I like to see the finished product and someone enjoying it,” Andrews added.
Andrews retired from the military, but then switched from the regular force to the reserve force.
CEF welcomes requests from not-for-profit organizations.
“Every year, as the word gets out, we get all kinds of projects across our desk,” Andrews said.
However, Normore pointed out they presently have five projects in the wings. So any new ones will have to wait in line for their turn.
“Definitely, every project will be looked at, to make sure either we can do it or probably this is not necessarily the best project for us,” Normore said.
Military reservisits with 91 Construction Engineering Flight at 5 Wing Gander spent 10 days in Bay Roberts last month giving a facelift to the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 32. Shown here are, from left, Pte. Rodney Penney (Fogo Island), Cpl. Peter MacEwen (Harbour Grace), Cpl. Paul Reid (Gander), Master Cpl. Randy Fudge (Gander), Pte. Douglas Granter (Gambo), Pte. Wilbert Watkins (Twillingate), Cpl. Ewen Earle (Summerford), Cpl. Josh Penney (Fogo Island), Cpl. Jay Powell (Grand Falls-Windsor), Lt. Rod Normore (Bell Island), and Sgt. Howard Andrews ( Westport).