July President’s Report
August President’s Report
Comrades and friends of the Legion, we have good news finally. Since March 12 and we closed our doors we have dealt with a Pandemic, a flood in the fitness center due to a sewer backup, someone throwing clothes in the eternal flame outside the front of the Legion, discovery of asbestos in a basement storage room and dealing with someone stuffing their clothes in our brand new toilet in the new accessible restroom in Schooner’s Pub. We have been dealing with demolition and renovations upstairs and down. We have torn out the ancient and dangerous carpet in Schooners and replaced it with the much more sanitary laminate flooring. We have posted, thanks to Holly and her crew, signs that follow AHS guidelines throughout the building. Tables have been removed to allow for social-distancing, hand sanitizer is available every where in our building and we have gloves and masks available upon request. We also have purchased a digital thermometer.
Now for the announcement you have all been patiently waiting for: Robertson Memorial will open its doors two days a week, for now, starting August 28th. Those days are Friday and Saturday. Hours will be Friday 3:30-8:00 and Saturday 3:30-7:00.
We cannot have the Legion Canteen open if we are not making any money. It costs the Branch almost $10,000.00 a month just to keep the lights on and pay insurance, taxes, internet, security, telephone and much more. We were able to pay all the bills for March to the present by applying for the government loans which must be paid back by Dec 2021. We had over 3 months with no revenue coming in, but the bills did not stop.
It will take awhile for Robertson Memorial to get back to where we were financially before the Pandemic. But as we have all been saying, as Legion members “we are all in this together for the Veterans and their families”.
More good news. Lorraine Lozo and I applied for a COVID-19 New Horizons Senior grant to replace our antiquated dishwashers in the Legion Canteen and Schooner’s Pub. Thankfully we were successful and will receive the grant for $25,000 on August 25th. We have already ordered the new dishwashers and hopefully this fully funded renovation, which will keep all our seniors and patrons safer during this difficult time, will be complete by the end of September.
We have applied for and received permission from Alberta Gaming to hold our raffles up to $10,000 which include the meat raffle. Chase the President has not been approved for any Branch in Alberta yet. This could change by August 28th. The Legion Meat Raffle will be held on Fridays starting at 5:00pm beginning August 28th. The Saturday LA meat Raffles will start at 4:30. If for some reason the LA cannot do them, the Legion will take over the Saturday Meat Raffle. During this Pandemic when we have had reconfigure the tables in the Canteen and Pub to allow for 6ft social distancing, we need all the income we can get. We also need all members of the Legion and LA to work with and to understand that this time has not been easy for the Office Staff, the Bar Staff, or your Executive.
Strict Alberta Health Services Guidelines must be followed on both Friday and Saturday Meat Raffles. Tables have been removed in the Canteen to allow for Social Distancing. Some have been placed on the stage. The AHS rule is that you do not come into the building if you have a sore throat, a cough, or a fever. You are to stay home if you are feeling sick.
Hand sanitizer is found throughout the canteen and Schooner’s Pub. You may choose to wear a mask. You must sit with a group you know or who are family members. There will only be a maximum 6 people to a table. No exceptions. The big rule change is that there will be no lining up for tickets but you will remain seated and the ticket seller will come to each table and the money will be given by one person to the ticket seller who will place the tickets on the table and those at the table will distribute them. The ticket seller may choose to wear a mask.
There will be no table visiting or going to the bar. Table service only. Everyone must strictly follow these rules, or you will be asked to leave. AHS is closely monitoring all Legions, restaurants, and pubs/bars. If we are to have a successful re-opening, then we need your help. Food will be available from the Kitchen but there will be a limited menu.
Thank you to all the Legion Members and the public who have supported Schooners since we opened on June 12th. We opened Schooners in June because Alberta Gaming told us we had to because of the Machines. Schooners Pub has helped us enormously to pay our bills and keep our heads above water. It is not easy when there is a significant drop in revenue for Schooners and the Branch. We need everyone’s support and we can get through this.
The Office continues to be open for Veterans. If you need assistance, please call, or email the office. Stay tuned for an update on the Poppy Campaign as we have not yet heard from Dominion. Your Executive has been busy thinking of what could be the possible alternatives for November 11. There will be a wreath laying ceremony at the Cenotaph for sure but who will be there and what will it look like is still undecided. It depends on the COVID-19 and how we manage the spread in Medicine Hat. We are trying to think outside the box while keeping everyone safe as we discuss the possibilities.
Since the fitness center will become a new meeting room, we do have some old fitness equipment that some of you might be interested in. If you are, come on down, have a look and make us an offer.
I look forward to seeing those of you who feel safe coming to the Legion. Keeping safe should be the most important priority for us all. Your Legion Staff and Executive have made every effort to make this reopening according to AHS guidelines. Do not hesitate to call or email if you have any questions or concerns.
President, Robertson Memorial Br #17