The Kitimat branch of the Royal Canadian Legion (250) is gearing up for it’s 65th anniversary in October.
In Kitimat the legion was chartered on Feb. 10, 1955 and the building opened up in Dec. 1958. Since then, the Legion carried on with its main mission of maintaining Remembrance Day, said president Marg Bogaert.
Over the years, the Legion raised funds for several organizations. Bogaert, who has served as its president for 16 years, said they put back most funds back into the community, to various organizations like sports clubs, marine and land search and rescue among others.
We donate money regularly out of our gaming account into the community,” she said,”The Legion also continues to network with the rangers and the cadets organizations.”
The building at 665 Legion Ave. has a hall upstairs that is often rented out for weddings and parties and lounges downstairs, which contribute to fundraising, said Bogaert.
While back in the days, the Legion boasted 300 to 350 members the numbers have considerably reduced over the years with more members opting out after the COVID-19 pandemic. These days, they have around 77 members. But Bogaert is glad that the Legion has managed to keep its door open and be relevant in Kitimat.
“We’re still open for business and we’re still conducting business as a legion because many Legions have closed in the past three years,” she said.
“A lot of them [closed], some of it was due to COVID but a lot of it was just due to lack of membership and or lack of being able to keep the doors open for business.”