Hello Members and Guests
A Letter and Report from the President
Good Morning, it’s about time I introduced myself and inform you at the same time what the Legion is all about.
My name is Arthur McLain, I have lived in this area for almost 50 years and this year I am the President of the Diamond Head Legion Branch #277.
Who are we and what is our mission? We are a Branch of an organization that has many more Branches Country wide.
Our mission is to serve Veterans, including serving Military and RCMP Members and their Families, and to serve our communities and our Country. Show your support – become a member. Honoring Veterans is our duty, pretty heady opening eh, straight to the point and telling it like it is, but these are not my words I’m not that smart, the object of the above words are intended to take you to a Website – www.legion.ca this is a very well laid out site and explains everything about what the Legion stands for and what it does. I am going to explain a little about what we do but there is so much more it would take me a week to write this letter but the Website explains it very explicitly, but firstly I will explain a little about it.
The Legion was founded in 1926 to help the Veterans of the First World War which was supposed to be the war to end all wars but as we all know it wasn’t and there are still campaigns being fought by our Military today albeit not on the same scale but still our troops are still laying their lives on the line so that we may live the life we have become accustomed to and that is why they deserve our gratitude for what they are doing, we would all like to live in a war free world, I am a betting man but I wouldn’t put any money on that happening, there will always be something going off somewhere.
As you know we are a non-profit organization who donates all monies we bring in back out to various organizations and charities, Veterans Transition Foundation, The Compassion Dogs Program for assisting Veterans. We also donate to many local Organizations and Charities within the community of Squamish including Hill Top House, The Junior Rock Curling Club, Junior Sailing Club, Griffin Air Cadet Squadron, Logger’s Sports and many more plus we hold functions including Dinner and Dances throughout the year also we hold a meat draw every Saturday and special ones on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas where members donate turkey and hams, money generated through this goes back out to the Community. Also coming up is our biggest fund raisers of all, that being the sale of poppies, we are going to be out poppy tagging on November 3, 4, 5, 2017 at various locations, please donate what you can, it will be very much appreciated as funds from this go out as bursaries to selected students throughout the Squamish school system.
We desperately need new members and I will try to explain the reason why. My mind takes me back to a song called, “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda” which arose because of The Battle of Gallipoli and it’s about a soldier who lost both his legs and he use to sit on his porch and watch the parade pass bye and every year the parade got smaller and smaller and soon there was no one marching at all. Unfortunately that is what is happening to us now, we have fewer and fewer members because as we age our strength and desire to participate wane and the older we get the less the desire, and sooner or later death is inevitable, it happens to us all. Consider that WW2 ended in 1945 which is over 72 years ago so that would mean that any WW2 Veterans are going to be over 90 years old today.
In World War 1, 650,000 men and women from Canada and Newfoundland served in this War, when it was over 66000 Canadian Forces Members had given their all and also the were 172000 wounded. In World War 2 a total of 1,159000 served 44,090 gave their all and a further 55000 were wounded, the reason I am pointing this out to you is although there were tremendous losses there were still a lot that came home and as the Legion was founded. It grew and grew because it still had a lot of Veterans that returned from these Wars and joined the Legions across Canada until they were almost bursting at the seams. I am not trying to take anything away from the Forces that served in Korea, Bosnia, Sarajevo, Iraq, Afghanistan and other conflicts in the world but they were not of the same magnitude as WW1 and WW2 and although the Forces that have participated in other military conflicts deserve just as much recognition and assistance as everyone else, there are just not as many of them.
Because of this fact this is why membership of Veterans is not as strong as it was up until the turn of this century, simply because there aren’t as many Vets around anymore, this is why I am asking you the public that although we say that everyone is welcome at the Legion, you only need to be signed in by a Member, we are hoping that many of you will take out a Membership and enjoy what goes with it. Should you choose not to take a membership out for yourself maybe you will consider taking one out in memory of any relatives who served their Country be it in peacetime or wartime and look at it as a donation of $50.00 a year to their memory which is all it costs because if we are unable to increase our Membership then there will eventually come a time when just like in the song. “NO ONE WILL MARCH NO MORE”. To me this would be a travesty, don’t let it happen.
Please try and attend the Remembrance Day Service at the Cenotaph, downtown Squamish and afterwards pay us a visit at the Legion Hall where the Lions Club will be serving beef on a bun by donation only and the Black Tusk Caledonia Pipes & Drums will be playing some tunes that are certain to get your feet tapping. See you there!
Yours in Comradeship
Arthur McLain – President Diamond Head Legion Branch #277