May has been another busy month for the Branch. April 27 the Spring Rally was held in Bellevue. This was an informative and well-planned day attended by both the Branch and the Ladies Auxiliary. After a joint opening ceremony by President Yvonne Willoughby and a delicious lunch, the ladies adjourned to their meeting and the Branches conducted the business as outlined in the agenda. Please find a synopsis attached. The big take away is that every executive in District 6 is expected to review together the role of each member of the executive and secondly Medicine Branch #17 will be hosting the Spring Rally in 2020.
The Legion Literary Poster 2019 entries were returned at the Rally. The cheques and certificates were delivered to the schools in Medicine Hat. A total of $750.00 was presented to our students. Participation was down in Medicine Hat as it was across the Province. Teachers have a wonderful opportunity to visit the Veteran Affairs Website and use the many teaching resources made available to them and their students. Hopefully, more students will be entering next year as this is a wonderful opportunity for teachers and students to understand and learn more about the sacrifices made by our members of the Canadian Armed Forces.
May 4th was a busy day as in the morning I was invited to attend for 11AM a wreath laying ceremony at Robertson Memorial Veterans’ Park. This ceremony was followed that evening by the Veterans’ Dinner which was held in the Ortona Room. The guest speaker was Albert Enns accompanied by John Hart. Albert shared his personal experiences as a member of the United States Military during three tours of duty in Viet Nam. Albert painted a graphic and heart wrenching picture of life in Viet Nam as a member of the military. Many thanks on behalf of all present for Albert sharing this interesting and tumultuous time in our history. An estimated 12,000 Canadians served in combat roles in Vietnam and reportedly at least 134 died. Albert Enns was presented with the golden lapel pin by the United States Government for his service in Viet Nam.
May 10th, I left for the 51st Biennial Convention AB/NWT Convention held in Drumheller. I attended workshops on Alberta Gaming, Honors, Awards and By-Laws, Poppy and Internet Banking. The good news is we are following all the rules so far for gaming and Poppy. The Honors and Awards Workshop was very informative and will be very helpful. We need to all become more familiar with the manuals and the numerous awards that a Branch can award to recognize members and non-members for their worthwhile contributions to the Branch.
The resolution to allow Peace Officers, Fire Fighters and Paramedics to be considered as Ordinary members was defeated. The resolution by Command to appoint a treasurer was defeated and there an election was held to fill the position. The resolution to approach Dominion Command to amend Article 130(b) to read “The financial year for all poppy accounts be the calendar year.” And to amend Article 612(a) read “Provincial Commands are required to submit
annual audited statement of the Command Poppy Trust Fund Account for the previous fiscal year by 31st March of each year. The resolution to allow for the use of Poppy Funds for repairing and enhancing Legions was defeated. Donating money from the Poppy Fund to the Food Banks, or Meals on Wheels is not permitted. Support for necessities for Veterans can be taken from the Poppy Fund.
The Branch Kitchen has been kept very busy not only at lunch time and for meals on Friday and Saturday evenings but also for special events such as birthday parties. Our customers continue to praise the quality of Diane’s cooking and the variety. The Pizzas continue to be a popular item as are her fish and chips and homemade soups.
Decoration Day and cleaning of the headstones is fast approaching. June 1 at 9:00 we will start the cleaning in Hillside Cemetery and the actual ceremony is June 2 commencing at 11:00AM. If you are part of the ceremony, we recommend being there around 10:30.
Medicine Hat Stampede is just around the corner. The Branch is presently selling tickets on the $10,000 Legion cash draw. If you would like to volunteer for the pre-sale or to work in the booth during the Stampede, please contact the Office for further information.
Parade Day at the Legion will be special this year as not only are we offering a special lunch of BBQ Beef on a bun, baked beans and coleslaw for only $7.00. We will have music and for those who have always wanted to line dance we are offering instructions from Medicine Hat’s finest Medicine Hat Veiner Line Dancers. Save this date and come on down and join in the fun.
The new AB/NWT Command Executive is as follows:
President: John Mahon
1st Vice President: Roz LaRose
Vice Presidents (3): Dave Velichko, Keith Lockett, Gordon Morrison
Treasurer: Maureen Vink
Chairman: Scott Sadler
Immediate Past President: Chris Strong