Le­gion marks 90 years

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Patrick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

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.

mailphoto by Patrick Ko­lafa

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.

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