January President’s Report

January 2022 President’s Report

It is hard to believe we are entering our third year of Covid restrictions. The last one implemented just before Christmas is having a dire consequence on our bottom line. Senior Darts, Thursday night darts and pool in any form has been prohibited by AHS. If we are to operate as a bar and serve food we cannot have the pool tables in operation. I called our MLA about this situation and have not heard back from MLA Barnes.

It does seem rather ironic that you can still play pool and darts in your establishment or senior center as long as you don’t serve food and alcohol or have an exemption permit. To quote AHS “An eligible participant operating a food serving business, or entity or event is prohibited from allowing patrons or attendees to participate in interactive activities on the premises”. This includes billiards, pool and darts. Hopefully this changes soon. We have had 2 visits already from Alberta Health as someone called them and told AHS we were playing pool. We were not playing pool and were following all the protocols outlined by AHS so we passed with flying colours.

Robertson Memorial could not have a General Meeting as planned on Wednesday January 29th because we did not have at least half the Executive present and we only had 3 members in attendance. The February meeting is scheduled for the last Wednesday of the month which is February 23rd. Your Branch cannot make any financial decisions without General membership approval.

We have a phoning committee that will calling members who have not yet renewed their membership. Please feel free to ask questions or make comments on other Legion related issues when they call. We are in need of volunteers for the Meat Raffle and Chase the President. Please call the office 403-527-7184 if you are willing to help.

It was decided unanimously that Meat Raffles and Chase the President would start up again on Jan 14th. Thank you to all the volunteers who helped with the Casino held on January 21/22. Thank you to all the volunteers who work the bingos so faithfully. A great big thank you is extended to Lucille Bailey for being the bingo organizer.

Because the pool tables and dart boards cannot be used if we have the kitchen and bar open, it was decided, based on the sales on Sunday in Schooners Pub, that we would close the Pub until further notice. We were losing money in order to keep it open.

The Poppy Fund received a request from St Barnabas Hot meal Program for $2500.00. The letter indicated that there were veterans who regularly use this program to supplement their meals. It was passed unanimously at the Executive meeting to recommend to the General Membership to support his worthwhile meal program that includes Veterans. I had the pleasure of presenting a cheque for $9375 to Covenant Health from the Poppy Fund to purchase 3 chairs that convert into beds. We have enclosed a picture and a copy of the newspaper article at the end of this report.

The National Association of Federal Retirees donated $300 to our 2021 Poppy Campaign. It was decided to add their information sheet to the minutes for January. The Medicine Hat Branch can be contacted at either medicinehatbranch@federalretirees.ca or fsna.ab20@gmail.com or phoning 403-952-7110. Please find an information sheet at the end of the report.

We were informed by Dominion that we will receive approximately $2400.00 from the tap boxes that were used during the Poppy Campaign. This brings our total for 2022 Poppy Campaign to approximately $65000. Thank you to all the volunteers who even with a shorter campaign day (12-5) and fewer locations raised approximately $65000. A big thank you is also extended to the citizens of Medicine Hat for their continued support for our Veterans and the Royal Canadian Legion.

It was decided that we start another raffle box to help pay for the rising costs of insurance and taxes. It began on Jan 18 and will run for 6 weeks. We also decided as your executive to ask each member of the Legion, if they can afford it, to donate a small amount to the Legion General Account to help with the monthly expenses. As you are aware we have been unable to use our pool tables or darts boards since Dec 24th. These activities not only provided recreation for our members they were one of our main money makers.

The decision has been made to increase the prize money for the winners in the Legion Literary Poster contest. The new amounts will be 1st place- $100.00, 2nd place- $75.00 Honourable mention- $50.00. The Poppy Committee is hoping this increase will entice more students and teachers to involve their classes in this project of Remembrance that is held every year.

AB/NWT Command just sent us an email informing the Branch that Dominion Sports and AB/NWT Provincial sports are cancelled for 2022. The decision as to when Branch and District Sports may reconvene will made by the AB-NWT Senior Executive Council once the CMOH restrictions are eased.

2022 is the 95th Anniversary of Robertson memorial Br #17. Because of the restrictions, we are considering having the 95th celebration in conjunction with the Veterans Dinner usually held in May. Let us know what you think and please volunteer to be on the 95th Anniversary organizing committee. Many thanks to all the staff for their hard work and dedication.

Your Legion needs volunteers for the Meat Raffle and Chase the President and day to day maintenance and activities. If you feel comfortable coming out for a fun evening, please consider taking your turn volunteering to work it. Please help your Legion stay viable by doing some of the things that need to be done around the Legion to keep it open and safe. If you want the Legion to survive, then please step up and help, now is the time.

Respectfully Submitted,

Sheila Donner, President