Presidents Message

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

KEITH ANDERSON

As the new President I am glad I had the summer months to get my feet wet and learn more about the Legion and what we stand for before heading into the busiest time of year at the Legion.

In September we celebrated Legion Week with activities that included the Veterans Luncheon which was well attended by Veterans and their guest whether they were Legion members or not.

Immediately after Legion Week we started working on our annual Poppy Campaign which involves most of our members. This year was an eye opener for me as I wanted to know what was involved during this very important time at our branch. I was busy with our Poppy Chairperson, Jean Lasenba ensuring we had our supplies on hand, targeted dates for contacting stores and individuals that purchase wreaths and crosses, delivery and pick up times for both wreaths and the small poppy boxes and most important getting ready for November 11th. I would like to thank all those that supported this campaign including non- members, companies and the community at large. Your support enables us to support our Veterans and youth within our community.

Remembrance Day was a huge success this year and the attendance seemed to be the largest turn out ever at our Cenotaph for the service. While there are numerous people to thank we could never list all those that participated or helped to make it such a success. I am sure as people attended our service it brought back memories of the senseless incidents in Ottawa and Quebec , reminding us of what our serving Armed Forces members and Veterans have done to ensure we are kept safe.

Our Veterans dinner in the evening was very well attended and our guest speaker Patricia Royale, the Legion Provincial Service Officer gave a great speech on how the Legion started helping Veterans after the end of WW1 and how they have been there supporting Veterans and current service members ever since. Did you know that our local Legion was established in 1926 and has been providing service to Veterans and the community ever since.

Next we jumped right into our Santa Parade. Many thanks to the Kinsmen Club, the Town of Smiths Falls, Smiths Falls Police, the Rescue Club as well as members of our Santa committee , headed up by Peter Macpherson, who make this a huge success. To keep in the Christmas Spirit the Legion held a “Breakfast with Santa” the next morning that was very well attended and each child in attendance was able to greet the jolly old man himself and receive a treat. While there are far too many individuals to thank we would like to mention the monetary support from many of the Downtown Businesses that have provided financial assistance each year which is used for band costs, prizes, food and other incidentals.

Our General Meetings continue on the first Tuesday of each month at 7pm in the main Lancaster Hall, however there will be no meeting in January. Please join us if you are a member to see what the Legion is doing and keep up with our business and events. Just a reminder to members to pay your membership dues before the end of January to ensure you continue to have member privileges and receive your Legion Magazine. We didn’t send out notices this year due to the high cost of postage and the fact that the Legion Command office sends out notices to all those that haven’t paid their dues by the end of January which is duplicate costs for the Legion We encourage all members to contact our office if you have an email address and information will be sent to you monthly. Send an email to office95@cogeco.net.

Our Fish and Chip nights are a great success and in the New Year we are changing the dates to every second Friday with the first one being January 9, 2015. Due to the increase of the cost of the fish by our supplier we have no choice but to increase the cost to $10.00 for 1 piece and $15.00 for 2 pieces. We appreciate your patronage and hope you continue to support this great event. We start at 4pm and take the last order at 7pm and in some cases have sold out. Put the dates on your calendar for a great meal.

Our Veterans Services Department continue to have the Coffee Club for Veterans and the next one will be January 29th . They welcome all Veterans in town to join them whether they are a Legion Member or not. They encourage all Veterans to come in and join them for Coffee and just visit with each other. They also encourage all Veterans or Widows of Veterans to contact them if they need assistance in getting a pension or VIP services from Veterans Affairs. You do not have to be a Legion Member to meet with them. Make an appointment with them to see if you are eligible 613-284-1805.

We have just finished our Poems Posters and Essay contest and will announce the winners in the new year. We are also in the process of getting the final information out to the schools for our Public Speaking contest that takes place in February. We will also be sending information to the high schools with information on our bursary program. Check out the Legion Web Sites for information on all our Youth programs. Youth are the foundation of every community and the Legion takes pride in supporting youth programs.

Our Colour Party led by Jack Curran is always looking for new members and he was very pleased with the turn out for both Remembrance Day, our Church Service and the Santa Parade.

Our Ladies Auxiliary are very busy with banquets for the Christmas Season. They are also putting together Christmas gifts that will be distributed to Veterans and Ladies Auxiliary members that are in Nursing Homes. They are always looking for new members and have their meeting the first Wednesday of each month.

The Monday night bid euchre, which is held in the Canadian room and duplicate bridge, which is held in the Lancaster room continue year round and both events are open to the public and start at 7PM.

On Tuesday afternoon there is duplicate bridge lessons with games played in the afternoon starting at 1PM.

On Wednesday morning there is Senior Exercise. Contact the Legion for more information.

Bingo is held each Thursday evening in the main Lancaster hall at 7PM with a canteen available from 4:30 PM until 7PM.

Our Jamboree’s which are held the 3rd and 5th Sunday of each month starting at 1PM until 6PM are continuing to grow. Full course dinner is served at 5PM. This event features volunteer musicians that provide excellent country music to dance the afternoon away and is open to the public.

The Legion New Years Levee which is a very old tradition that gives the Legion the opportunity to thank the public for its support for the last year will be held January 1st. Doors open at 12 noon with opening ceremonies and presentations. We will have live entertainment by the Doherty Brothers Band and provide a light lunch at 5pm. Festivities will end by 6pm. Please join us for this event that recognizes those that given so generously throughout the year to our organization. This event is open to the public with no admittance charge.

George Bourguignon our sports officer has started a dart league on Friday evenings for both Legion Members and non- members. He is also hoping to start a youth dart league in the near future. He is open to any ideas of bringing special sporting events into the Legion. Drop in and check our bulletin board in the lower lounge to see what he has planned. He will be starting card games, darts etc. on the weekends as well as posting for some Legion events.

Our air conditioned, licensed, Wi-Fi halls are available for bookings for many private events such as Weddings, Stag and Doe’s, Birthday Parties, Meetings and Funeral Luncheons as required. If you require a hall please contact our office @ 613-283-2690 for availability. Our Ladies Auxiliary are the available for catering these events.

We are still fundraising to install an elevator lift that would assist our aging Veterans to visit all three floors of their building. We welcome corporate donations or encourage corporations to run an event at our Legion to assist with this cause.

We continually try to provide assistance to Service Clubs and Charities within our community during the year. Did you know we gave over $10,000 in charity donations last year as well as providing our hall to non-profit organization for events. If your non-profit group is having an event let us know if we can assist or display your advertising on our information boards.

For information on any of the programs we offer please do not hesitate to contact the main office between 9am – 2pm @ 613-283-2690.

NEW MEMBERS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME!! YOU DO NOT HAVE TO HAVE A MILITARY BACKGROUND TO JOIN THE LEGION.

THE LEGION EXECUTIVE AND MEMBERS WOULD LIKE TO WISH EVERYONE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR.

THEY SERVED TILL DEATH! WHY NOT WE?”