From left: Qualicum Beach Legion Branch #76 president Don Taylor

Qualicum Beach Legion celebrates 90th anniversary

The Qualicum Beach branch has the same birth year as the national Legion organization

It’s a time to celebrate the Qualicum Beach Legion.

Branch 76 is celebrating its 90th anniversary this Sunday with a members-only dinner and dance.

Public relations officer Lynn

MacLean said about 90 people will be in attendance.

“This is a very formal celebration. All members who have uniforms, will be here in uniform,” MacLean said. “This is much more formal than our usual dinner dance.”

Legion president Don Taylor said this anniversary is a milestone for the branch.

“It’s really something that our branch is celebrating our 90th at the same time as the legion in Canada is celebrating its 90th anniversary,” said Taylor who has been with the branch for nine years. “This branch here, in the very first year, they got on board and have been very active ever since.”

Taylor said preparation for the anniversary dinner started about four months ago when the legion formed a committee.

Taylor said organizing a function like this is easy.

“It’s easy, it really is. The volunteer base is so good here that we have so many very active members and volunteers,” Taylor said. “In fact, for some events we have too many volunteers. We’re so fortunate because other branches don’t have that.”

MacLean, who has been with the branch for seven years, said the members take pride in their history. She said their membership is over 700 people with very little fluctuation.

“Our membership is very strong — they’re loyal. Without a membership like that, we don’t raise the funds that we need to support our veterans and that, of course, is why we’re here,” MacLean said.

Wilma Stevens, a life member and membership chairperson of the branch, said the legion and the Ladies Auxiliary, which was established in 1929, do a lot to help the veterans and the community.

“People don’t realize just how much legions do put into the communities throughout B.C. and all of Canada,” Stevens said. “Our branch alone, over the last 10 years, has probably donated close to half a million dollars.”

In a press release, it states that the legion has supported students from Kwlaikum Secondary School, the 893 Beaufort Squadron Air Cadets, Eagle Park Health Care Facility and local sports teams.

To help celebrate, Stevens and first vice-president Walter Sweet have put together an up-to-date history on the branch.

“We took all the minutes from the meetings and took out the highlights of it, and the things that made a difference, whether it be buying new equipment to make our bar more efficient or the kitchen more efficient and anything special any members may have had done,” Stevens said.

Stevens, who has been with the branch since 1986, said while this is a major year for the branch, there’s still more to come.

“Another 10 years, and that would be 100. I plan on being here. I don’t plan on organizing it, but I’ll be here.”

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