Duncan Legion future still unclear

Plans for the annual Poppy Campaign and Remembrance Day parade and ceremony are well underway but the future of Duncan’s Legion branch are still up in the air. A meeting room packed full of members vociferously told trustee Richard Vandekamp that they want to see Royal Canadian Legion Branch 53 continue. Vandekamp challenged the crowd, saying that he wanted to hear suggestions for ways to save the branch, after its meeting hall on Kenneth Street closed down in July.

"Please be prepared to devote some time to bringing your suggestions to fruition," he warned, saying that the group that is carrying the load at the moment is working at full stretch.

Several ideas were put forward for a new meeting hall, including the Duncan United Church, the 744 Air Cadets Squadron building, the Valley Seniors building, even the meeting room at the apartment building that houses a Legion member.

They all need investigating to ensure that costs, insurance and other issues can be dealt with.

Part of the difficulty was brought up in the presentation of a prospective budget where members learned it was hard to plan when no one knows how many of the 344 Br. 53 members will stay with Duncan and

how many may transfer to Chemainus or Malahat.

What was clear to everyone was that the annual flag raising for the Poppy Campaign will be held Nov. 2 and that Remembrance Day ceremonies at the Duncan cenotaph will take place as usual.

Another aspect that was clarified was that money raised by poppy sales cannot be used for operating the Legion branch.

There was quite a bit of discussion about whether or not to keep the $60 per year dues but in the end the group decided to maintain that figure.

Questions also arose about the need for a kitchen like the one at the now-closed branch on Kenneth Street but member Jack Bateman said, "most of the things we’ve been operating have not been cost effective. The money wasn’t balancing. If it’s going to go on the way it was, it’s not going to work."

Vandekamp agreed, saying that any "bad business management" that occurred over time was in the past.

The thing right now was to decide if members wanted to see their Legion branch continue and what they were willing to step up to do about that, he said.

Further meetings will be held in October and November, with a venue yet to be secured, but beyond that, the future is still unknown.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Guest Column: COVID-19 greatest challenge of a generation

We’ve rapidly moved from business as usual, to a series of measures that are anything but normal.

Short-term plan is place for Cowichan Valley’s homeless during COVID-19 crisis

Plan calls for use of emergency shelters, motels, hotels and tent sites

Lake Flashback: New editor, new design, and recurring vandalism

Changes at Lake Cowichan papers and damage to business and services a theme in late March

Drivesmart column: Are we perpetuating mediocrity with how we teach young drivers?

If the teacher is ill equipped to teach, the new driver will not learn what is necessary

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

List of cancelled Cowichan Valley community events

An ongoing list of events that have been cancelled in the Cowichan Valley due to COVID-19

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Most Read