September President Report
It is hard to believe that another month has gone by. The Legion in early September had started holding the Friday evening meat raffles and it seemed like we were getting back to “normal”. But unfortunately, on September 16th the Premier brought in new rules under Alberta Health in an effort to stem the rise in COVID-19 cases. As you are aware, Alberta has declared a state of public health emergency as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise, largely in unvaccinated Albertans.
New measures to protect the health care system, stop the spread and increase vaccination rates were introduced. Your Executives’ reaction to this was to close the Legion Canteen and to keep Schooner’s Pub open at 50% capacity and following the new AHS guidelines. This meant that starting September 20th we asked everyone who entered the Building, be it the Office or Schooner’s Pub, to show proof of vaccination. The office staff even printed off Proof of Vaccination cards for those who had the sheets showing that they received their vaccinations.
It was necessary to go this route and request proof of vaccination, so that we could continue to sell food and so the pool and darts could continue to be played. The other option was to not ask for Proof of vaccination, but serve no food and no sports could be played. This decision was necessary so that we could continue to generate revenue to pay the bills and keep the Legion viable for the future. Your Executive voted keep the Legion side closed until the end of October at least and then consider the number of cases and whether there is still a state of emergency.
The Legion Office remains open and the Service Officer is still available to assist veterans or their families during this time. Thank you to Wayne Donner for continuing to work with our veterans. Please call the office if you need assistance or you know someone.
The impact of the Alberta State of Emergency has meant that we have received a directive from AB/NWT Command. “Effective immediately, all District Rallies are postponed until further notice.” The Provincial Executive Committee in-house meeting scheduled for 22-23 October 2021 is postponed indefinitely.
In order to prevent COVID-19 transmissions, in-person Branch General Meetings and Elections are to be postponed until the state of emergency is lifted. This does not prevent Branches from holding Executive and General Meetings via video-conferencing. Branches that require in-person meetings and/or Elections, due to operational necessity, are to apply for an exemption through the District Commander for furtherance to me for approval.
District Sports is still being planned but it may be cancelled. So far I have been told that anyone who does participate must have an Alberta Health card proving double vaccination. Branch #17 has a District #6 Legion Darts scheduled for October 16 but we will be informed by October 8th if it is to be played.
Although things are different, we are trying to meet the needs of many of our members. Pool is available during the day in Schooners and we offer our members a discounted price to play all day. We also have pool teams playing on Monday and Wednesday evenings. On Mondays and Thursdays there is Senior Darts in the afternoon. On Thursday evenings there is drop-darts. You need to be signed in by 7:15 to play. Come on down if you have you vaccination card and have some fun. Friday nights on the following dates you may like to join the many having fun playing Trivial Pursuit. If you want to just play cards in the Legion come on down and enter through Schooners and show your vaccination card. There is no bar service.
The Poppy Campaign will most likely look very much like last year. Limited places, wearing masks and reduced daily schedules. We will soldier on so please call the Legion if you are interested in volunteering any way. November 11th will be based on information on direction we have received from AB/NWT Command be held outside like last year but we can have 200 spectators. More news to follow as we get closer to the date. If things don’t change with AHS regulations we may be able to have after the Remembrance Service a celebration in the legion for Veterans and members who are double vaccinated and have their exemption cards.
Padre Ron MacDonald and the Poppy Services have been a very positive addition to the Celebration of life for veterans. Thank you to Joyce MacDonald and Ron for their service and to all those who attend the Poppy Services to honour our veterans. The families are very appreciative.
Our Branch is holding District 6 Legion Darts on October 16th. We will know for sure on October 8th whether this tournament is a go. Please see the attached sports schedule if you are interested in playing in any of the District Sports.
I would like to once again thank Lucille Bailey for all that she does with organizing the workers for the Legion Bingos. Thank you to all our members and the others who so faithfully work these bingos for the Legion.
We welcome you all to come down and enjoy and a wonderful lunch. We have specials every day and great soups and sandwiches. We would love to see you drop in just for coffee. All our staff have been double vaccinated. If you need your vaccination card printed please bring your, hospital card #, your birth date and the dates you were vaccinated.
You will be receiving your membership reminder, poppy information letter and your annual poppies in the next few weeks. We are trying to keep things as “normal” as possible so that our Legion survives. Without the Government grants from both Federal and Provincial Governments, our Raffles, your support for these fund raisers and donations from members we would be in dire straits.
I need you to know that as your President I would like to recognize on your behalf all our staff who have been working very hard keeping our Legion and Pub (which we own) open. Holly,
Judy and Tina in the Office as well as Toni, Lisa, Diane and Amanda continue to go above and beyond. Thank you to each one of you. These are difficult times and you are all stepping up to meet the needs of our Legion.
I would like to thank all those who have been helping with the lawn, painting the yellow dividers and cleaning up the garage and just doing all those odd jobs that need to be done but there is so little time to do them. Thank you Don Hamilton, Roy Gale, Rod Simmons, and Eldon Wells. A big thank you to Eldon and Roy for paying for the paint.
Please do what you think is right to help ease the spread of COVID-19. Our Province has declared the state of emergency because of the pressure on our hospitals. Thank you to all the front line workers, to those who go to work each day to keep us fed.
Please remember that we will continue to expect each person who enters our building to be double vaccinated. If you need help printing a vaccination card call the Office 403-527-7184 Ext 1, and we will print one for you. No charge.