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Legion celebrates its 80th anniversary

The Royal Canadian Branch of the Ponoka Legion will be having many festivities to help celebrate their 80th anniversary this year.
The first Legion building was a United States Army shed

The Royal Canadian Branch of the Ponoka Legion will be having many festivities to help celebrate their 80th anniversary this year.

Walter Burchnall Legion service officer believes that the anniversary is a meaningful achievement and something that deserves to be recognized.

“This is a great milestone for the Branch and should be commemorated,” he said. “It’s a well recognized organization that does a lot for the veterans as well as the community.”

The Legion has been a continuing support in the community and is a vital part of sustaining the veterans and members well-being in the community.

“The Legion helps the community and provides financially,” said Marlene Ferguson district commander installing officer. “We help out by providing bursaries, hospital equipment and more. The Legion helps the community remember November 11 and we’re here for our veterans, our dependents, the community and families.”

Ferguson enjoys being involved in the Legion and is pleased to participate in this substantial anniversary.

“It’s awesome,” she said. “It’s great to be an assistant for that long and help the community, it’s just incredible to be a part of this.”

Ferguson believes that the Legion has a significant place within the community and has a strong and motivating presence.

“Everyone recognizes people from the Legion,” she said. “It’s nice to walk into a place with the uniform on and everyone knows who you are right away, it’s unreal.”

Mayor Larry Henkelman congratulated the Legion on its anniversary and recognized its importance within Ponoka.

“It’s really good that the Legion is in our community,” he said. “The legion is important for members and recognizes people who have served in the past wars as well as our soldiers who are serving now. It gives them a base and something they can associate with.”

The Branch continues to encourage new membership so that the work in the community can continue for many more generations.

“We’re always looking for new members,” said Burchnall. “A lot of us are getting on in years and we need to keep it going. We need new blood to join the executive and take on learning how the Legion works so that it can continue.”

The Legion will be celebrating the anniversary with three days of events. On April 9 the Legion will be enjoying wine, cheese and a presentation at Vimy Night. A social and games evening is set for April 10 and a banquet will be held for the veterans and their guests on April 11.