By Jasmine Franklin
A new president has been elected to lead Ponoka’s Royal Canadian Legion branch and he hopes to increase active memberships to the legion.
“I’m going to ensure the aims and objectives are met to support veterans and their dependence,” said Stan Orlesky, president. “We also would like to encourage new members and active membership.”
Orlesky, 55, was installed as president Jan. 5, taking over for two-time legion president Dorothy Houghton. He has been on the executive team with the Ponoka legion for 10 years.
“He has been involved with the (Ponoka) legion for 11 years on executive and chairs,” Houghton said. “He’s knowledgable about the legion protocol.”
Orlesky has been an active legion member since 1975. Inspired by his father’s involvement in the Second World War, he decided joining and participating in the legion would be a good way to honor his father’s sacrifices.
“I want to make the legion a more popular place,” he said. “Entertainment, dinner theatre; I want to enhance it so it becomes a place others want to come too.”
A young president with a full-time job at FortisAlberta, Orlesky hopes this proves anyone can join and be active in the legion while having a full-time job.
“We want to keep the legion balanced with both our veterans and our new members,” he said. “We will work as one big team.”
His experience with the service is diverse — his father is a Second World War veteran, he is an ex-Royal Canadian Sea Cadet, and his younger son is currently in the armed forces in New Brunswick.