Lo­cal Anavets cel­e­brate cen­ten­nial of op­er­a­tion in Moose Jaw

Moose Jaw Express.com - - News -

The Moose Jaw unit of the old­est vet­eran’s or­ga­ni­za­tion in Canada ob­served the 100th an­niver­sary of its for­ma­tion with a re­cep­tion and cake. A pre­vi­ous ban­quet cel­e­brated re­ceiv­ing the char­ter.

The Moose Jaw unit of the Anavets was formed on Dec.16, 1918, just six weeks af­ter the First World War ceased.

In­for­ma­tion re­searched by Gail Hof­fos of the Anavets shows the first unit had 25 mem­bers with club rooms first in the Bruns­wick Ho­tel, then in the base­ment of the fire hall on Fair­ford Street West.

Af­ter sev­eral more moves the Anavets lo­cated in the 1940s to the old Hitch­cock home at First and River Street North­east. There, an ad­di­tion was added and the club pros­pered for about 70 years.

Faced with a dwin­dling mem­ber­ship of 200 and a $3,000 monthly util­ity bill, the club sold the prop­erty to the spa and built a new club at 279 High Street West. With about 100 mem­bers, many of them aged, the Moose Jaw unit helps the Le­gion sell pop­pies ev­ery year, works with the colour party in pa­rades, and sup­ports vet­er­ans and cadets The Anavets has a his­tory go­ing back to 1820 when vet­er­ans of Wellington’s Army and Nel­son’s fleet came to Canada un­der the sol­diers’ land grants to Hal­i­fax.

In 1840, Queen Vic­to­ria granted a Royal char­ter to the or­ga­ni­za­tion – then called the Army and Navy Vet­er­ans’As­so­ci­a­tion. The char­ter rec­og­nized the as­so­ci­a­tion’s work in pen­sions and ex-ser­vice­men’s wel­fare and loy­alty to the Crown.

The Anavets is the only or­ga­ni­za­tion in the world granted the right to wear the Royal pur­ple colours.

Ron Wal­ter can be reached at ron­[email protected] sask­tel.net

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