Preeceville branch of Royal Canadian Legion at risk of dissolving

The Royal Canadian Legion, branch 188 of Preeceville, will be forced to dissolve if it cannot recruit more members, stated a release from the organization.

In accordance with Legion bylaws, a rural branch should have a minimum of 10 voting members. Preeceville’s branch is down to three members, continued the release.

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In addition to holding a minimum number of members, there must also be Legion members who are willing to hold executive positions of president, secretary and treasurer in order to carry out administrative duties that are required throughout the year.

The Royal Canadian Legion was formed in 1925 to help veterans and their families.  Over the years it has evolved and adapted to helping more than just veterans and their families. Legions work to serve their communities, youth and help to perpetuate the memory and deeds of the fallen.

Anyone may become a member of the Royal Canadian Legion, as long as they are of federal voting age.

There are many benefits available to members of the Royal Canadian Legion. One of the those is receiving the Legion Magazine. The magazine unfolds true stories and events of past conflicts. The magazine will also keep readers up-to-date on benefits available to Legion members.

Some of the member benefit partners that offer discounts and/or reduced rates for Legion include: HearingLife, no fee Royal Canadian Legion MBNA credit card, Arbour Memorial, MEDIPAC travel insurance, Revera (retirement living), CHIP reverse mortgage; IRIS vision care, Carlson Wagonlit Travel vacations, Simply Connect wireless and Canadian Safe Step walk-in tub Company.

"Today’s Legion has changed but it still requires you to carry the torch and ensure the devastating effect of wars are never forgotten," said Bill Lesko, Legion member.

“We are a self-centered society, expecting everything for free, focusing on what is good only for ourselves. Some of us work too much and some of us don’t work at all.  We devote little or no time to helping others. As we blindly run into the future, we have little time to remember what happened in the past.

“You did not build your great future or fortune by yourself.  Let us not forget why we can be successful and why we have what we do have. People sacrificed their lives so you could have a better future. Now it is time for you to step up to the plate and keep the sacred memories alive for generations to come.

“Having a Legion card in your wallet can be likened to an insurance policy, you have benefit realization and protection for the future.

“Preeceville Legion needs you to become a member or it will have to dissolve on March 31.”

For information on membership, call Bill Lesko at 306-814-7117 or Troy Rogowski at 306-547-7476.

The following information was made available from the Preeceville history book, Lines of the Past.

“The Royal Canadian Legion No. 188 Preeceville branch was established by war veterans following the first World War. In the beginning it was known as the Great War Veterans Association. Membership fees were set at $1 for first time members and an annual due of $2 was imposed as a yearly rate. In the beginning the branch had no hall and meetings were held in the homes of various members.

“The Legion continued its practice of the War Veteran's Association Armistice Service held annually to the present which is known as the Remembrance Day Service. During its first years the Legion was busy helping needy comrades and planning ways to raise money to keep the organization operating.

“The Legion saw a need for a hall or meeting place and in April 1935, they purchased the Stitz store and lot. The building was situated on the parking lot next to the Reliance Garage.

“In 1939, when war broke out the Legion activities took a turn promoting the war effort and providing comforts for those who were leaving for war.

“In 1942, a kitchen was added to the hall and in 1945 when the Second World War ended, soldier rehabilitation became a priority.

“In 1946, a memorial fund was started by the community to build a memorial rink in Preeceville to honour comrades of the district who lost their lives in the Second World War. The rink was completed in 1949 and served until 1976 when the new one was built. The Legion purchased a large recreation centre from the Yorkton Air Force and had it moved in to Preeceville to be used by the Legion for its own purposes.”