Wallaceburg Legion Celebrates 90 Years

The Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 18, in Wallaceburg. October 19, 2016. (Photo by Natalia Vega)

The Royal Canadian Legion in Wallaceburg has recently celebrated a milestone but is still experiencing difficulties in attracting youth members.

The legion (branch 18) celebrated their 90th anniversary last week, with three days of festivities.

Past President Mike Hindmarsh says the events consisted of music and food, with the biggest turn out being on Saturday.

“Throughout the day I’d say we probably had in the neighbourhood of about 100 people that went through the place,” says Hindmarsh.

He says 90 years is quite an accomplishment for the legion, adding that branch 18 had been one of the first legions to receive their Charter in 1926.

“It’s recognition of all the hard work that the legion has done to try and promote helping out veterans and their families,” he says. “Also, we help out the community with different programs for kids.”

Despite having┬áprograms available for the younger age groups, Hindmarsh says they’re not so popular.

“Overall things have just changed in the last 20 years when it comes to being able to attract younger people in the different clubs,” says Hindmarsh.

When it comes to volunteers, he says they’ve seen a few more young people step up to help but not nearly enough.

“In the past we always said 20% of the people did 80% of the work, now it’s more like 5% of the people are doing 95% of the work,” he says.

Hindmarsh says the shortage of volunteers is an issue many other legions face. He adds, there are benefits young people can get when they volunteer, and it all comes down to the pride people take in their community.