History and Purpose of RCL Diamond Head Branch 277
RCL Diamond Head Branch 277 is located in the spectacular natural setting of a fast-developing Squamish, recreational capital of Canada. The branch was named after Diamondhead Mountain in Garibaldi National Park.
RCL Diamond Head Branch 277 has a unique beginning! Branch 181 Woodfibre, chartered on June 20, 1945, was located across the water at Woodfibre, a BC coastal mill town that was about to be dismantled. At the same time, Squamish Branch 115, chartered January 27, 1931, was operating in downtown Squamish. The Woodfibre branch needed a new home, but the town was not large enough to support two Legions. On May 15, 1974, the two branches amalgamated to form Diamond Head Branch 277.
In 1975, a new building opened, with the Lieutenant Governor cutting the ribbon. Symbolizing the amalgamation, a bronze plaque of two hands shaking in friendship was donated and still hangs in yet another new building.
An irreparable roof forced the membership of RCL Diamond Head Branch 277 to concede to the construction of a new Legion facility! The new building was officially opened in September 2003. After two years in operation, it was obvious that something creative had to be done if the branch was to survive. After a year of exploring many options, on April 1, 2005, Branch 277 was the first Canadian Legion to successfully stratify its building and welcomed Tantalus Bike Shop downstairs.
The name Squamish means ‘strong wind’ and it is the strength and support of the people of Squamish; the various partners (in 2011 – Golden Crust, LORDCO, Molson, L&A Contracting, Dale Horth, Grateful Bread, M&M, Loving Memories, Tantalus Bike Shop, West Coast Railway Heritage Park, Par-T-Perfect, All Keys & Locks, Triton, Lions, Nesters Market, 835 Griffin Squadron Air Cadets, Caledonia Pipe Band, 4th Sea Scouts, Yellow Cab); the Legion’s Membership; and primarily the core of hard working volunteer Legion Members that has enabled RCL Diamond Head Branch 277, to serve its Squamish Veterans; its currently serving military; and its community.
Several Squamish Veterans and their Spouses have been referred to the correct agency of Veteran Affairs Canada to have their personal concern dealt with. Some have qualified for the use of the Poppy Fund where their emergency need such as shelter, food, fuel, clothing, prescription medicine and necessary transportation has been justified. Some enjoy the comradeship here at the Legion. Others have been able to tell their military story for inclusion in the BC/YUKON Command Military Service Recognition Book. Each year on Remembrance Day, RCL Diamond Head Branch 277, remains the bulwark to conduct this service and “Remember”. The 23 names on the Squamish “Roll Call of Honour” are read out each year. Their stories and those of several local veterans can be read at the Legion Diamond Lounge.
On a yearly basis, RCL Diamond Head Branch 277 donates about $15,000 to the community. This money is raised through the Gaming Fund, the Meat Draw Fund and the Poppy Fund, all of which have specific criteria for distribution. Recipients of such funds in 2011 and 2012 have been: Squamish Helping Hands; Mamquam, Garibaldi, Brackendale, Stawamus, Squamish Elementary Schools; Squamish Days Loggers Sports; Hilltop House; HSSS Film Program; Squamish Fastball Club; 4th Sea Scouts; Dominion Command Ball Team, Black Tusk Caledonia Pipe Band; 835 Griffin Squadron Air Cadets; Squamish Community Care; Squamish Food Bank; DARE BC; CNIB, and Four Student Bursaries of $1000 each.
All non minors are invited as guests to RCL Diamond Head Branch 277. Note: You do not need to be a member to enjoy our fun, friendly atmosphere! All eligible Canadian Citizens or Commonwealth subjects are invited to become members. There are several advantages in being a member. This is your local Legion! Being a participating and active member will enhance RCL Diamond Head Branch 277 in serving its veterans; it’s currently serving military; and increases the Legion’s donations to the Squamish Community for many years to come.
Charitable and Not for Profit groups are invited to utilize your Legion’s Mini Meat Draw Fund Raising. Strata, business, and private groups are invited to rent the Legion facilities for their special functions (Parties, Birthdays, Weddings, Celebration of Life, Etc.). Of course everyone is invited to visit the Legion Diamond Lounge.
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