Cowichan’s Royal Canadian Legion Branch 53 has been honoured for its work and service since it was formed almost a century ago.
The branch was recently awarded a certificate of appreciation from the Royal Canadian Legion/BC Yukon Command, which represents 149 legion branches, in recognition of 90 years since it received its charter, which is one of the longest standing charters among Canada’s legion branches.
Jim McCormick, the legion’s sergeant at arms, said thousands of people from the Cowichan Valley fought in both world wars and other conflicts Canada has been involved with around the world.
They include Charles Hoey, the only soldier from the Valley to receive the Victoria Cross, and his brother Trevor.
Both died in the Second World War and are among hundreds of the Valley’s war dead listed on Duncan’s Cenotaph in Charles Hoey Park.
McCormick said, despite some financial troubles in recent years, the local legion and its approximately 120 members still run their annual poppy campaign and annual events at the cenotaph.
He said that, among the legion’s many projects and achievements in the area, one of the most prominent is the construction of the 10-metre memorial cairn on the top of Mt. Prevost that was erected in 1929 in memory of those who had fallen in the First World War.
Later, a second plaque was installed at the site for those fallen in the Second World War.
“The Legion also played a big role in the construction of the Burma Star Memorial Cairn in Cowichan River Provincial Park,” McCormick said.
“Soldiers from the Valley have a long history of going overseas to fight for their country, and one of our jobs is to ensure that they are remembered.”