Local Anavets celebrate centennial of operation in Moose Jaw
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