Legion marks 90 years
This Saturday, Branch 22 Drumheller of the Royal Canadian Legion is celebrating 90 years of serving veterans and the wider community.
This is the 90th year of the Alberta Northwest Territories Command, and is also 90 years of the Drumheller Legion.
On November 15, 1926, the Drumheller Legion received its charter under the official banner of “The Canadian Legion of the British Empire Services League.” However, according to the Hills of Home, its roots go back to 1918, after World War I when it began operations as the Great War Veterans Association.
From 1926 to 1956, it continued its affiliation with the British Empire Service League, and then was known as a branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.
In 1928, it built its hall on Centre Street, where it remains today. After World War II, it was extended. In 1967, the basement with a kitchen and main floor on the west side was added.
One of the Legion’s greatest legacy projects was built in 1937. A.J. Briggs approached The City of Drumheller for a donation to construct a Cenotaph. A plaque bearing the names of those who fell was taken from Council Chambers and turned over to the Legion, and CNR allowed the Cenotaph to be erected on Centre Street next to the former railway station. Then in 1971, the Cenotaph was moved to Centennial Park along the Red Deer River, and now is on Veterans Way in front of the Badlands Community Facility.
All the while, the Legion continued to serve veterans and the community.
“I think the community thinks the Legion is an old boys club, they don’t realize there is youth involvement,” said past president Deb Bolduc. “We support sports and
there is an important youth Track and Field program. The Legion supports the Cubs, the Scouts and Cadets, and those kinds of programs.”
“The Legion is here to help the community as much as we can. Most importantly our veterans,” she said, adding, “People think that just because they are not a member they can’t come into the Legion, and that is wrong.”
She explains that the Alberta Northwest Territories Command has also turned 90, and to mark the occasion the local branch is inviting the community in.
“We are hosting for District 9,” said Bolduc. “We are hosting a Community Open House to get the community to come in and seen what the Legion is about and what we have done in the past.”
The Open House is Saturday, September 10 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and includes kids activities, beef on a bun and displays on membership, and the Poppy Fund, to name a few.
This Saturday, the Legion is hosting an Open House to mark 90 years of the Alberta Northwest Territories Command and 90 years of the local branch.