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Whither the Royal Canadian Legion? Or RCL Withers?

J

jollyjacktar

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Rifleman62 said:
jolleyjacktar: The RCL was in an old Safeway building wasn't it???

No.  I was raised in Fort MacLeod, Alta.  As far as I know the RCL was purpose built in the age of the Dinosaurs.
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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26th year as a member and have never felt as though I wasn't welcome at any Legion in Canada.........
 

the 48th regulator

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Bruce Monkhouse said:
26th year as a member and have never felt as though I wasn't welcome at any Legion in Canada.........

That is because, besides your charming nature, you look like you would be able to crush anyone's head like a grape if they mouthed off!


Even when you wear the Miami Vice Jacket!

dileas

tess

 

mariomike

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Tess, do you remember when the 48th Club was on Church St.?
Although not officially RCL, it was a CF Old Comrades Association.
 

the 48th regulator

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mariomike said:
Tess, do you remember when the 48th Club was on Church St.?

No,

They sold it Just when I joined and moved it over to Leslie Street.  A shame.  We owned the property, and then ended up leasing the new place.  We had to eventually close the new one, as it drained way to much money from our trust.

Now we "Host" the club in the Sgt.'s and W.O's mess, but it is just not the same......The place is never open in the day for the people to use.

dileas

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mariomike

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Whenever I think of Old Comrades Associations, the 48th Club on Church comes to mind. It was a swell place.
Likewise, there was the Navy Club. I remember going there with my father when it was on Hayden. But, it looks like they moved too. They were there for 70 years. They are building a condo on the site. Going to be over 80 stories.:
http://www.1bloor.com/
Moving the club to Woodbine and Gerrard! Gimme a friggin break.
 

the 48th regulator

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mariomike said:
Whenever I think of Old Comrades Associations, the 48th Club on Church comes to mind. It was a swell place.
Likewise, there was the Navy Club. I remember going there with my father when it was on Hayden. But, it looks like they moved too. They were there for 70 years.
To Woodbine and Gerrard! Gimme a friggin break.

Now the Naval Club was the best.  We used to make that our last stop on Levee, and we had a hoot!

dileas

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Eye In The Sky

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sheikyerbouti said:
With over two hundred thousand members, this horse can still kick and will continue to do so regardless of CF involvement or not. It would be nice if you folks decide to get involved but if not, it's no matter, as this civilian and countless others will continue to honour your service (whether or not the Candian Forces and its' members choose to recognize us and our valuable contribution to the fabric of Canadian society).

Perhaps it is the "never-have's" in Legion attire that need to choose to recognize the CF, its members and THEIR contribution to the fabric of Canadian society? 

:2c:
 

Eye In The Sky

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As the post is about a Legion in PEI, and that being my old stompin' grounds...from growing up there...IMO most Legions in PEI have very little to do with what they were original brought into being for.  There just aren't former serving members in the little places like O'leary, Tignish, Souris, etc in any amount of numbers.

When I was with the PEIR in Summerside, we *always* had, and as I understand, continue to have, a strong relationship between The Regiment and the Legion.  And not only on Nov 11th.

Nov 11th was of course, the day most Legions would see folks in CF uniforms, atleast in Prince County, and we were always welcome there.  Typically, we would provide troops for 3 parades in the S'side area (S'side, Travellers Rest and finally St Eleanors).  The troops standing vigil those days, typically cold wet and grey would rarely go long without a refreshment bought for them at the Miscouche or Summerside Legions, the RCAF Wing in town, or the Lions Club in old St Eleanors. 

Aside from that, B Sqn was ( and likely still is ) hosting an annual "breakfast under canvas" event each summer, where the Sqn mbrs who aren't away on Cl Bs would set up some mod tents, and cook up a 'field breakfast' for the vets/Legion members.  I'd always be tasked out somewhere and missed them but the guys who did them loved doing them. 

The Regimental Association has hosted Mess Dinners, and I believe the Summerside Legion was the venue for atleast one of them.  The one Association Mess Dinner I had the privilege of being V-PMC for, we had invited mbrs of the Summerside Branch, several of which attended. 

B Sqn also used to have its own Sqn Christmas Dinner/Party each year following the Men's Dinner, again Legion members were invited and attended this as well.

Summerside also had an airbase a stones throw away for many years (RCAF Station, then CFB Summerside), and I believe many of the zoomies that retired in Summerside went on to become Ordinary members (like my dad did). 

Perhaps back home, we are just lucky to have a good relationship between whats left of a CF presence in the area (now basically a Troop of D Sqn, PEIR at the old Supply building on the base), based on a decades of a good Legion/CF relationship and a few key people who were members of both B Sqn and the Legion in Summerside.

But if it can work there...it can work elsewhere too.

~Parva Sub Ingenti~
 

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sheikyerbouti said:
With all due respect to the Milnet community, I do not wish to spark some variation on this age old pissing match but when it comes to ther RCL, I stand fast as a staunch proponent of their activities (be they nation-wide or community based).

Thanks for offering your perspective.

In the interest of spreading the goodwill of the RCL, I would invite the CF (active and retired) to examine their relationships with their local branches. From my perspective, the main reason why you guys (and gals) trash the RCl is because you no longer participate in the activities that we conduct on a regular basis.

And which activities would those be? Going to the Legion bar to listen to stories from WW2 and Korea vets that aren't there any more? I did some of that ten years ago. I don't see a point in going to the Legion as a place to chill out when there's a perfectly good Junior Ranks Club with people I relate a hell of a lot more to, much closer.

I took a look at the Edmonton-Kingsway branch website, and the events calendar reads off nothing of interest to me.

In the Vancouver region, the participation of the CF is non-existent apart from some individuals and cadet organizations. I find this particularily offensive when we are commemorating your services, yet your chain of command sees no reason to take part. There is always more to Remembrance than November 11th, yet you will be hard pressed to see anyone in CF dress take part in Vancouver unless they are collecting a paycheque.

And what exactly do you expect from them?

For current service personnel, iirc, all that's in Vancouver is a handful of personnel at the CFRC and a couple reserve units. You're surprised that they draw a paycheque? The only way it works is for the unit to coordinate their deployment to a given parade, and that's only legal if they're on the clock. Somebody drops on parade, they can get hurt. It's a liability issue.

For veteran personnel, such as my father, I don't see a need for you to question why they don't put on DEU's or Legion regalia and step in front of the crowd.  My father never fit in with the crowd of WW2 or Korea vets and feels no need to be in front of the parade.

If the Legion wants to put non-vets out front, fine. I see a bunch of Knights of Columbus at West Ed, ok.  I've never said anything disrespectful about either group's attendance.

As with any long term organization, the RCL is undergoing a rationalization of their functions and in the Lower Mainland and I would hazard the opinion that we are on the right track.

We are:
building new branches (PoCo, Burnaby, Port Moody, Steveston,etc.)
Housing more veterans (at affordable rates) in well kept properties (New Chelsea society)
offering rehab facilities to those in need of longer term care (Winch House, Vancouver)
supporting youth Track and Field and Cadet corps.
continuing scholarships and bursaries
Maintaining Remembrance duties and Memorials (new Vancouver Cenotaph, updates to New Westminster)
sponsoring community events (parades, Canada day, etc.)

I wouldn't know.

While the membership picture is not rosy across the country, it is up to the individual branches to make themselves relevant to todays modern Veterans and I would argue that the major obstacle to this modernization would be the almost complete lack of interest from todays Vets. Numbering somewhere near 40, 000+ individuals, the complement of Afg. veterans is sufficient to make a dramatic impact on the RCL and its' governance but yet you choose not to participate. (new blood brings new ideas)

I'd agree with other  posters here.

Why should I be interested in trying to actively reform a RCL Branch to suit me, instead of an organization ostensibly dedicated to serving veterans seeking out how to suit my needs. I don't fit. My friends and family who are ex-CF don't fit. Ergo, we do something else.

With over two hundred thousand members, this horse can still kick and will continue to do so regardless of CF involvement or not. It would be nice if you folks decide to get involved but if not, it's no matter, as this civilian and countless others will continue to honour your service (whether or not the Candian Forces and its' members choose to recognize us and our valuable contribution to the fabric of Canadian society).

That last sentence grates the hell out of me. The Legion isn't without purpose, but it's got a dwindling purpose in my opinion. The care of aging vets is going by the wayside as they die off. The social venue provided for the same is important in staving off senility. But the dismissal of the fact that it's irrelevant to more recent vets, placing responsibility for that solely upon their shoulders, and expounding upon your "contribution to the fabric of Canadian society" despite our apparent lack of recognition is insulting.

It's not that the Legion hasn't done some good things, but when you're saying that we're just too dense to be a part of it (or to not be awed by its glory), it just maybe, maybe possible that you're off-base. A little bit.
 

pbi

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I was wondering when this thread would get to this debate...
After over three decades of service, I'm of two minds about the Legion. On the one hand, I gave up my membership over a decade ago, for two reasons. First, I got sick and tired of the endless attitude from WWII and Korea vets towards those of us serving in those days. It was quite clear that we were second class citizens in their minds, even though most of them had little accurate information about what the Army was actually doing, what ROEs actually were vice BS impressions, etc. No wonder so few people of my (or later) generation of soldiers bothered joining.

Second, I just didn't find anything socially attractive about the place. I understand the Legion fills a social need for some people, but nothing that they were doing really appealed to me (or my wife) very much. Not to mention that, very unfortunately, the Legions at that time seemed to be the refuge for a bunch of very pissed off, racist, anti-everything folks. Hopefully that has changed, but I wouldn't know because I don't go there anymore.


On the other hand, you can't deny that since it was created, the Legion has served a very good purpose, and has done many excellent things in hundreds of communities. In many small places, the Legion was just about the only true social centre. From what I can see, the Legion continues to do these good works. Hopefully it will be able to help with the latest generation of young soldiers who have come home from war damaged in body and mind: there is lots to be done, and the Govt isn't going to do it all.

The problem I have noticed with the Legion is that it rested on its laurels. It survived on two big "pulses" of Canadian veterans, following the two World Wars. Very few of these people were pre-war soldiers, and most did not remain in the Army after the war. They needed the kind of support structures that we take for granted in a professional Regular Army, but which were generallly not available to civilians: the Legion did a great job of filling these needs.

The Legion got a third, much smaller "pulse" after Korea, but following that there was only a constant trickle of people leaving te peacetime Regular Force (assuming that they wanted to join the Legion) The gap gradually widened between the aging Legion members and the serving soldiers (and to a certain extent perhaps even between the Legion and society at large). The interst in joining just faded away. My impression is that the Legion has realized this trend much too late: demographics are now against it, unless it continues to pursue the practice of enrolling people who never served a day in uniform in their lives, but just want to belong to something. I have a hard time imagining a mass movement by today's soldiers to join the Legion.

Cheers
 

SeanNewman

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pbi said:
I have a hard time imagining a mass movement by today's soldiers to join the Legion.

Not unless they start hosting sportbike stunt competitions and Rockband / Modern Warfare 2 LAN tournaments on Playstation3.

That is sort of tongue-in-cheek, but not really.  It's to prove your point even more that there is now such a massive culture gap between the Legion and 20-year-old soldiers that making that shift to get a "pulse" of Afghan vets in there would be next to impossible.
 

Humphrey Bogart

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Petamocto said:
Not unless they start hosting sportbike stunt competitions and Raockband / Modern Warfare 2 LAN tournaments on PS3.

That is sort of tongue-in-cheek, but not really.  It's to prove your point even more that there is now such a massive culture gap between the Legion and 20-year-old soldiers that making that shift to get a "pulse" of Afghan vets in there would be next to impossible.

This alone is why I don't believe the legion will ever come to represent current serving soldiers, the culture gap is just too big.  I could never imagine going to a legion nowadays, to play what Darts... get real

The real issue that I have with the legion, I had been in my local legion back home before (Bathurst NB) and all I saw in there night after night were the local drunks and skids.  There were never any veterans or people who I wouldn't mind actually talking to, just the local drunk coming to get his fix of Golden Wedding for the night.

I am sure this isn't what all legions are like but in my hometown that was the experience I got.
 

kratz

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I have followed the site guidelines and resisted posting for four days in reply to sheikyerbouti's inflammatory post.

I have been a regular member of the RCL for 9 years now, paid my dues and that is about it. I echo most of what has been previously posted. Why I am going to a place that is out of touch with the current generation? One of the few reasons that I continue to pay my dues to the legion IS out of respect for our past veterans, and a small hope there may be a place for our current ones if they find they need a place to gather in later years.

It more polite to say that I must end my post here.  :nod:
 

mariomike

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Stymiest said:
I could never imagine going to a legion nowadays, to play what Darts... get real

My wife is a member of the inter-city dart league. It's not affiliated with the RCL.
For them, it's not about going to a legion ( RCL, ANAF, Canadian Corps ). They rent the legion banquet halls, and run their own snack bars ( which are separate from the club-rooms ) for their tournaments.
For championships, they set up their boards in hotel banquet halls. 
Like bowling leagues, you have to go where the facilities are. 

There is talk of making darts an Olympic sport in 2012:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2006/jan/04/sport.gdnsport3
 

dangerboy

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Mariomike, no offense but you are a bit older than most of the current generation of soldiers.  The majority of 20-30 year old troops back from Afghanistan do not go to a legion to play darts, cribbage etc.  It just does not interest them.
 

the 48th regulator

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dangerboy said:
Mariomike, no offense but you are a bit older than most of the current generation of soldiers.  The majority of 20-30 year old troops back from Afghanistan do not go to a legion to play darts, cribbage etc.  It just does not interest them.

If they were smart, specifically ones closer to a base, they could offer a live band night.  Canvasing to see, if any of the local troops have put together their own bands, and let them play there.  If not, get local bands in.

Turn the Legion, into a more pubby, modern joint, will definitely boost their attendance.

Modernizing the look, in that they get away from the '70's linoleum floor, wood paneling look.  Updated pictures and themes on the walls.  A fancier bar...etc etc

You can still keep the darts and cribbage, as a lot of pubs in Toronto are seeing a resurgence of these things, but they offer a lot more in a way of entertainment.

dileas

tess
 

mariomike

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dangerboy said:
Mariomike, no offense but you are a bit older than most of the current generation of soldiers.  The majority of 20-30 year old troops back from Afghanistan do not go to a legion to play darts, cribbage etc.  It just does not interest them.

No offence taken, Dangerboy. The birthday candles are now starting to cost more than the cake!  ;D

The league is not affiliated with the legion. Likewise, the legion is not affiliated with the league.
The league plays in the banquet room, with their own snack bar. Separate from the club room.

I'm not a member of the league, but their average age - from what I have seen over the years - is in their thirties. 
 

SeanNewman

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48th,

I agree with your intent but not your SoM; even live bands might miss the mark for < 30.

Any Legion decision makers out there, I'm telling you: Playstation 3 tournaments of Rockband, Gran Turismo 5 (due out soon), and COD Modern Warfare...I'm givin' ya pearls, here!
 

mariomike

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the 48th regulator said:
Modernizing the look, in that they get away from the '70's linoleum floor, wood paneling look.  Updated pictures and themes on the walls.  A fancier bar...etc etc

I love my RCL branch exactly the way it is. It was built in 1927.
Everything is changing so fast these days. 
 
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