Lest we forget our legions

Looking around at store displays, our neighbours’ homes and even the pages of this paper, it may appear that much of the Parksville Qualicum Beach region used Remembrance Day as a set of starting blocks to launch into the 2017 Christmas season.

But, lest we forget, the area’s Royal Canadian Legion branches do not simply close down operations on Nov. 12. Short of calling for a false start on the sprint toward Dec. 25, perhaps we could at least spare a bit of remembrance for the work that legion and auxiliary members do for the local communities throughout the year.

Members of the Canadian Legion branch 49 in Parksville, branch 76 in Qualicum Beach and branch 211 in Bowser take charge, of course, of our various commemorations of Canada’s military and historical achievements, including Remembrance Day, Canada Day, the Battle of the Atlantic, Robbie Burns Day and more.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Through largely volunteer efforts, legion members raise money that provides scholarships and bursaries to local students. Legion fundraising generates thousands of dollars for an extensive roster of non-profit and volunteer societies, who, in turn, benefit a wide swath of residents.

In 2010 alone, for example, the tiny legion branch in Bowser distributed cheques totaling $52,965 to 39 different organizations. They covered nearly every age group and segment of society, from cadets and Special Olympians, to fire departments and search and rescue teams, to hospital foundations and stroke recovery support, to seniors housing and senior athletes.

What legions are not collecting to the same degree they once did is members. Every year the volunteers seem to get a bit older, and a bit fewer in number.

If you’re unable or unwilling to sign up, consider at least dropping by a local legion hall for a pint, a pool game, or an entertainment event.

During certain times of the year you can enjoy a pancake breakfast by morning, and try your chances in a meat draw by evening.

By all means, get back into the race toward Christmas and the “season of giving.” Your local legion members will continue to observe that season as a year-round event.

— Parksville Qualicum Beach News

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Three graduating SD69 students earn prestigious foundation awards

Recipents plan to continue their impactful work in the service of others

PQBeat Podcast: Ed Mayne talks COVID-19, potential pool for Parksville

Mayor returns to ‘PQB News’ studios to detail summer plans

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses claim against Island Corridor Foundation

Snaw-Naw-As (Nanoose) First Nation was seeking return of reserve land as railway sits unused

QUIZ: A celebration of dogs

These are the dog days of summer. How much do you know about dogs?

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Nanaimo RCMP ask for help finding missing 19-year-old

Haley Murphy has not been seen since Tuesday, June 30, say police

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

Annual music event in Comox Valley celebrates online instead

Vancouver Island MusicFest holds virtual celebration set for July 10

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

Most Read