Once you reach 85, the hope is you can still do the things you want to for some time to come.
That’s kind of the same sentiment that was expressed by the members of the Ponoka Royal Canadian Legion’s Ladies’ Auxiliary at a luncheon ceremony on Sunday, May 15 to celebrate the group’s 85th anniversary.
Around 25 members, former members and regular Ponoka branch members were on hand to not only look back at what the ladies’ auxiliary has accomplished and swap stories, but to hopefully work on attracting more youth to the organization.
One of the oldest members, 93 year-old Viola Ogilvie, was also there to help cut the celebratory cake and also provided a few words of wisdom to those assembled.
“I really enjoyed the years I was able to spend with the auxiliary,” she said to the attentive crowd.
“I just wish I was able to do more, but it’s good to be here today.”
Ponoka Legion’s president Sybil Evans joined others that spoke, stating the ladies’ auxiliary has been a large part of why the branch continues to survive.
“Quite simply, if it had not been for many of the activities performed by the ladies’ auxiliary over the many years, it’s likely this branch would not be here today,” said Evans.
“They raised a lot of money, put in huge amounts of time and effort and I wish them continued success for the future.”
Marlene Ferguson, Ponoka Legion Ladies’ Auxiliary president, thanked everyone for coming and for the thoughts expressed then added a few more of her own.
“Eighty-five years is quite an accomplishment for a ladies’ auxiliary to still be around,” she said.
“As well, the fact that we have had growth up the ranks, with now three Ponoka ladies’ auxiliary members sitting as command president, has kept us an important piece of not only this group, but of the Legion as a whole. It’s also been stated that this branch may not be here if not for the efforts of this group, especially when we operated the banquets and did lots of fundraising here.
“Our hope is to be able to find more youth and new members so that we can continue to be a proud part of keeping this Legion going through even more hard times ahead.”
While Ferguson said many current members grew up and had being part of the Legion ingrained in them by their parents, the requirement that someone must have an attachment to either the military or police service is no longer there, meaning membership is open to member of the public that want to join.
For more information about becoming a member or about the legion and the ladies’ auxiliary, contact the Ponoka branch at 403-783-4076.