Legion turns to community for more support and ideas

The Legion is looking for ideas and support from Sooke residents to help bring the branch into a more attractive to meet and play.

The Royal Canadian Legion is looking for ideas and support from Sooke residents to help bring the branch into a more attractive, enticing place to meet and play.

One of the first things on the list is a fresh coat of paint on the outside of the building on Eustace Road, which will be followed by murals by local artists.

Making the legion a more attractive place to come to isn’t going to be easy, which is why it now turns to the local community for support.

“If you support the [Sooke] community, why would you want to fly a tattered Canadian flag?” asked Bruce Corlett, a longtime member and Sooke resident.

Corlett noted that cost to paint the building is more than $15,000, with murals separately at $10,000, unless artists are willing to provide their skills solely as volunteers.

Regardless, a unified community support is needed to bring the building into a more modern time.

“We have to make it look decent to the community, and have some pride, so the community can have pride, not just the legion,” Corlett said, adding that in order to raise the funds for the paint, the Legion will hold a beer and burger night fundraiser on Sunday (Aug. 28).

It would certainly be an opportunity for Sookies to give back a little bit, added Paul McTavish, Sooke Legion branch manager.

“We’ve been giving to the community since 1926,” he said. “We would like the community to give back to us by helping us with this fundraiser.”

For perspective, in 2015, the legion raised $17,993.50 for various local, regional and national organizations, from hospitals, to sports leagues, to community choirs, to medical research foundations.

Recently, work was completed on the building’s upstairs floor, which was made possible by a $25,000 grant.

McTavish said they’ve applied for another grant to enlarge and improve the kitchen, but that’s all still in the planning stages.

Without any support however, these are just dreams.

“We can’t just rely on grants, we also need to rely on the community,” McTavish said, adding that one of the renovations planned is laying out a cement pad on the patio in the rear. “We’re always trying to improve the place, but we need help now.”

Times have certainly changed.

Legions across Canada are struggling to stay in business as they think of ways to attract a younger clientele, and the stigma of what the legion offers still hangs in the public’s minds.

“We’re not a good ol’ boys drinking club anymore … everybody’s got that perception that it’s dark, dingy, smoky place, and it’s just not the case,” McTavish said.

Legion membership is not limited only to military, civilians can join as well.

McTavish hopes for the upcoming fundraiser that Sooke comes out and shows its love for what the legion meant and still means to this country.

“We have to say to people, can you think of Canada without a legion in it. If the legion closes, the community loses,” he said.

 

Just Posted

Deep Cove Elementary School principal Shelley Hardcastle (right) and vice-principal Mary Kaercher help to restock Reay Creek with fish – in this case, coho fry – after a recent bleach spill killed hundreds of fish. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich’s Deep Cove Elementary School helps to restock Sidney’s Reay Creek

Restocking followed bleach spill that killed hundreds of fish in creek

A new report pegs the annual cost of hiring a third party to monitor use of pickleball courts in North Saanich at $12,000. (Black Press Media file photo).
North Saanich could end up hiring third party to monitor pickleball courts

Other options up for consideration include use of cameras and timed locks

Co-creatorsAdrianna Hatton and Malcolm McKenzie stand next to the little free library revealed Sunday at 9710 First St. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Literary crowd helps opens little free library in Sidney

Located at 9710 First St., the book sharing box features original art and reclaimed wood

The barred owl is the most likely to be spotted in the south Island. (Ann Nightingale photo)
Barred owls dominate Greater Victoria owl-scape

Western screech owl population decimated, partly due to barred owls

Between June 1 and 7, 168 net unconditional sales were made for properties in the VREB region. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria home sales slightly behind last June’s pace

Benchmark value of single-family home in Greater Victoria tops $1 million

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read