Lifetime of stories
Women’s auxiliary recalls special stories during likely final meeting at legion
Adapting to difficult situations and overcoming challenges has never been a problem for members of the Charlottetown Legion's Ladies' Auxiliary.
Mary Kickham, a nine-year member who has served as secretary and treasurer for the group, recalled one memorable story that happened while serving a wedding banquet several years ago.
While serving more than 150 people at the Charlottetown Legion was not unusual for the group, but it soon became a little more complicated when the power went off in the middle of the meal being cooked.
"We had no lights, we had a propane stove so we could cook but we didn't have any light," said Kickham.
However, the blackout wasn't enough to stop the ladies.
"We used the street lights and we put out candles all around for people to see. What was hilarious was that we had no water so we couldn't wash the dishes after," said Kickham.
"That was probably the most horrific of all the experiences I've been a part of… but we pulled it together and the show went on. The people at the wedding enjoyed it so it was just magnificent."
The story is one of many that auxiliary members recalled fondly during their annual tea at the legion and characterized the group's determination to continue their work supporting veterans and the community.
The building has been home to the auxiliary for years, with the pictures of former members and past presidents decorating the halls.
President Annie Barratt said she believes the determination of the auxiliary members means the group will go on even after the building is sold.
"It's sad because we aren't sure of what comes next but we're not disbanding by any means," said Barratt.
"I'm anticipating change is good. There is sadness mixed with happy anticipation too. You've got to adapt."
Gail Feehan, a member of 41 years, remembered working during another especially busy wedding banquet.
While working "behind the scenes" preparing and dishing out food, Feehan ran into a problem.
While the power remained on this time, the group noticed that they were getting very low on potatoes. In fact, so low that they wouldn't be able to serve the entire crowd.
Unable to make more, the group scrambled together before making a phone call to The Golden Wok.
"Sure enough they did have mashed potatoes. So we collected money amongst ourselves and I ran up," said Feehan.
"It was in the middle of winter and I ran up the street as fast I could . . . We didn't want to let anyone in the dining room know what was happening and in the end we pulled it off."
Feehan said there has been no shortage of special memories and stories for the group.
In fact, it's those memories and friendships that have kept members coming back.
"Everyone was very friendly to work with," said Feehan. "We had a lot of laughs and a lot of good times."
Lt.-Gov. Frank Lewis, from left, Charlottetown Legion Ladies' Auxiliary president Annie Barrett, members Gail Feehan and Shirley MacMillan, and MLA Richard Brown stand outside the legion building after the group's annual tea recently. The annual meeting was likely the group's last time meeting in the legion building, which is for sale.