Vet­eran barred af­ter Royal British Le­gion Scot­land row

Campbeltown Courier - - FRONT PAGE - EX­CLU­SIVE Mark Davey ed­i­tor@camp­bel­town­courier.co.uk

A vet­eran of the Women’s Royal Army Corps has been banned from Camp­bel­town Royal British Le­gion Scot­land (RBLS) branch. On the eve of the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s big­gest fundraiser of the year, ap­proach­ing Re­mem­brance Sun­day, pen­sioner Agnes Strang, 87, claims she was thrown out of a branch meet­ing on Septem­ber 14 and hu­mil­i­ated in front of mem­bers she counted as friends. Mrs Strang, of Ral­ston Road, who is also the daugh­ter of a Sec­ond World War vet­eran, said: ‘The chair­man shouted at me, “Get out, get out, you are not wanted here”. ‘I was hu­mil­i­ated in front of ev­ery­body.’ Mrs Strang added that be­fore the Septem­ber 14 meet­ing, she had been in­vited to at­tend by a friend, Jimmy Robert­son, who drove her to the meet­ing at the Ar­gyll Bowl­ing Club. Ear­lier this year, at Lochgilp­head Armed Forces Day, Mrs Strang ap­proached the branch chair­man, Ge­orge Rah­man, ask­ing if she could re­join the branch. In a let­ter dated July 18, Mrs Strang was told that the mat­ter had formed part of the agenda at the monthly meet­ing on Fri­day July 13. The let­ter stated: ‘At the monthly meet­ing mem­bers were asked to make a de­ci­sion and af­ter some dis­cus­sion it was agreed that you should not be al­lowed to re­join the branch. ‘Although you will not be able to join the branch, you can still be a mem­ber of Le­gion Scot­land by pay­ing your yearly cap­i­ta­tion to Edinburgh. ‘How­ever, this does not al­low you to at­tend Camp­bel­town branch monthly meet­ings or other or­gan­ised events.’ Af­ter the events on Septem­ber 14, Mrs Strang was in­formed in a fur­ther let­ter, dated Septem­ber 25, that RBLS Camp­bel­town had held an ex­tra­or­di­nary gen­eral meet­ing on Septem­ber 20 at which a vote was taken. The let­ter, signed by the branch chair­man, stated: ‘The branch cur­rently has 29 mem­bers and 16 mem­bers were present. Fif­teen voted that you should not be al­lowed to re­join the branch and one mem­ber ab­stained. ‘The com­mit­tee has been di­rected by the branch mem­bers, un­der sec­tion 14.5 of the RBLS SCIO con­sti­tu­tion, that you will not be al­lowed to re­join the branch. It is hoped this puts an end to the mat­ter.’ Andy Alexan­der, the area sec­re­tary of the Camp­bel­town RBLS branch, told the Courier: ‘Fol­low­ing feed­back from our mem­ber­ship, we in­formed the for­mer mem­ber that her ap­pli­ca­tion to re­join the branch had been de­clined. ‘The de­ci­sion, while re­gret­table, was taken in the in­ter­ests of main­tain­ing the har­mo­nious cul­ture within the branch.’ A RBLS spokesper­son, from the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s na­tional Edinburgh head­quar­ters, said that Mrs Strang was listed on the Le­gion Scot­land data­base as a can­celled mem­ber as of the end of the 2016-17 mem­ber­ship year. He added: ‘She did not re­new for the cur­rent mem­ber­ship year; there­fore, her mem­ber­ship had lapsed.’

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