The First World War ended more than 100 years ago, but volunteers with both Royal Canadian Legions in Chilliwack are still serving veterans, their families and the community to this day.
This past week, Royal Canadian Legion members and supporters are celebrating Legion Week 2018, which runs June 22-28.
Elaine Dahl, president of Royal Canadian Legion, Branch No. 4, was in attendance in council chambers last week, along with fellow executive member Carol Law and Doug Harrison, president of Vedder Golden Legion Branch No. 280 to report on their activities.
“The City has been very helpful with our Remembrance Day ceremonies held on Nov. 11 each year, however we choose to remember our veterans every day,” said Dahl.
The local RCLs with a long history in Chilliwack include Vedder Golden Branch No. 280, and the Main Street Branch No. 4.
Veterans from past and current conflicts are supported in several different ways by the local legions, and local first responders are also welcomed and supported at the RCLs.
More than $300,000 was raised by volunteers through poppy sales, and the Legion Poppy Fund is used to support veterans in need. Another $200,000 was collected mainly through meat draws and 50/50 ticket sales, and donated primarily to Chilliwack charities, along with $68,000 in bursaries for high school graduates to pursue post-secondary education.
“The legion could not exist without its incredible volunteers,” said Dahl. “We volunteer to remember and honour the brave. Because of the brave, we live in a land that is free – lest we forget.”
Carol Law gave a rundown of the history of the local legions’ illustrious history, explaining that they have been “dedicated” and active in the community for a combined total of 133 years.
“Volunteerism is the core activity of our organization,” she said.
She covered the work of the Ladies’ Auxiliary, as well as the various cadet groups, and youth contests supported by the local RCL branches.
“We want to continue so we can remember what we started – lest we forget.”
Doug Harrison, president of Branch No. 280, reminded everyone they are not only military oriented but they welcome the entire community as members.
They kicked off Legion Week with a dinner for all the first responders, from RCMP, Fire, Search and Rescue and BC Ambulance personnel.
Mayor Sharon Gaetz offered the Legion reps a “hearty thank-you” on behalf of council, for the important work they do in Chilliwack and for building community.