The Royal Canadian Legion Greenwood and District British Columbia No. 155 Branch turned 75 years old last month and the occasion would have been totally missed if not for one member who stopped to read the charter that hangs on the wall.
There it was—dated April 19, 1936. Dominion Command of the Canadian Legion of the British Empire Service League granted the charter.
Current President Bob Walker said the branch covers territory from Beaverdell to Bridesville to Eholt.
Another yellowing document hangs in a frame on the same wall. It states that a number of First World War veterans were responsible getting the local Legion started.
Over two-dozen names were on the original charter.
“With no Legion hall, they used to meet at the Travellors Café,” reads the document as it outlines the history of the local branch.
“In the late 1950s they bought the old Gem Theatre. A lot of work was put into the old building before it could be used. A new roof had to be put on the building and in time the meetings were held in one of the small rooms upstairs.
“Bingo and dances were held to try and make money. Comrade W. Uphill was President at the time and Stan Hall was Secretary. As the membership was small, sometimes meetings were cancelled. In 1970 they sold and the meetings were held in the fire hall.
The meetings were not well attended so Commander Stokes and Steve Dundson from Pacific Command attended a meeting to see what could be done to perk up the Legion. A committee was formed and a room in the Community Association was rented with … Comrade Riddle as president.
A lot of work was done to bring it up to liveable standards. All renovations were paid for by the Legion. Dances were held just about every week, also socials and the membership increased and through the years is still growing.”
Past Presidents of Legion Branch 155 as follows: W. Uphill, A Heywood, W. LaBounty, A.W. Scott, J. B. Riddle, W. Rogers, P. Mellor, G. Anschetz, J. Osborne, W. Holmes, B. Tiffin, Paul Lautard, C. Madden, M. Rivers, D. O’Conner and Malcholm Logan.
The Legion received a lounge license when Comrade Rogers was President.
Over the years the Legion has donated to the following: cadets, scouts, Girl Guides, Brownies, Search and Rescue, Santa’s Helpers, Hardy View Lodge, Greenwood Swimming Pool, Founder’s Day, Pre School, Medical Clinics, Diabetes Society, BC Lung Association, Food Bank, Bereavement Assistance, Veterans, Widows, Christmas Hampers, Lions, Terry Fox Run, Beaverdell First Response, Local Student Achievement Awards, Minor Hockey and Demolition Derby.
They have also given Bursaries to a number of students and donated to Pacific Command Bursary Fund and a number of other projects. They hold a meat draw on Saturday afternoons and Birthday Supper each month.