Facelift for a Le­gion

Re­servists spruce up Bay Roberts branch

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION - BY BUR­TON K. JANES

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.

Wel­comes re­quests

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).

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