“Things have gone really well” for Royal Canadian Legion Branch 76, Qualicum Beach, says the branch’s manager of 17 years, Richard Paugh.
Getting to contribute to that is an achievement he’s proud of, he said.
Nonetheless, Paugh said he was surprised when the Qualicum Beach branch granted him the Legion’s “highest honour,” the Legion’s Meritorious Service Medal.
“It just blew me away. I absolutely did not expect it,” said Paugh.
“I was happy enough to get the life membership a few years ago, but this was just awesome.”
The award is in recognition of “outstanding service to the Legion over a lengthy period of time,” said a Qualicum Beach legion branch news release.
Paugh has been a Royal Canadian Legion member for 32 years, and a member of Branch 76 since 1996.
He’s been on the branch’s executive, as well as being manager, and has helped other legion branches when they are struggling, he said.
Community volunteering other than work with the legion is considered as a criteria for the award, said Paugh, adding that he’s been involved in various other clubs, like the Kinsmen and Rotary clubs.
About three years ago he established a new legion pipe band, the Qualicum Beach Pipe Band, he said.
“We started off with two members, and we’re now about 26 members,” said Paugh.
Asked what he’s most proud of, Paugh said he wasn’t sure, but said the Qualicum Beach Legion branch is successful because of its “extremely strong executive, and a bunch of very active volunteers.”