April President’s Report
April was another busy month. On April 3, Darwin, Wayne, Stephanie and Ken Farrer and I attended the District Rally in Lethbridge. It was nice to see everyone and to hear how all the branches have worked extremely hard during the Pandemic to keep their Legions viable. Gail Pontarolo was elected the new District Commander and Lloyd Hasper was elected the Deputy District Commander.
1st Vice President Rosalind LaRose brought greetings from AB/NWT Command. She reminded Branches that unless it is an emergency funds cannot be used from the Poppy Fund and only then after the proper paperwork has been completed. Dominion Legion has put together a Brand Manual available on the Legion.ca website. During Covid membership in the Royal Canadian Legion has been down across Canada. Members are reminded that they can renew online for up to 5 years. Members are encouraged to go to legion.ca/members to check for member perks and savings.
Members are to be reminded of the hard work that our Service Officers do to help our Veterans who may be struggling with physical or psychological issues. The Staff Service Officers in Calgary and Edmonton do a wonderful job of helping veterans across Alberta. They have a success rate of 98% with Veterans Applications. Newly released military are given one free year in the Legion. Some Branches have started a Veterans’ Coffee time. Branch #17 would like to start this if there is some interest let us know.
Branch 17 has been busy purchasing the electronics needed for our New Horizon Room to help with the presentations that are planned. The first Conversation and Coffee, Learning and Sharing in a safe environment will be held Tuesday May 3rd from 1-3. We will be looking at all the possible sessions we could have and making decisions based on the wishes of those present. Possibilities include, Finding Happiness and Joy as we Age, Frauds and Scams, Nutrition and recipes for Seniors by Seniors, Living on a Fixed Income, Learning to Live Alone and possible Vacation ideas. Please plan to attend and share your expertise and wisdom through discussions and sharing.
Branch 17 had a visit from Occupational and Healthy Safety. The Representative talked with Holly and myself as president, because he had received an anonymous complaint. After he spent time giving us valuable information, he did a walkthrough and found the complaint was unfounded. In fact the person who called in the complaint did Br 17 a favour. All our staff will now be trained on WHMIS so they can deal with the chemicals used to keep our dishwashers clean. Also the staff were all required to read the relevant pages of the OHS Act, and to sign that they had read and understood them. Malcolm Glass has volunteered to be BR 17 OHS Rep. Many thanks to Malcolm and all the staff.
There is a new harassment policy in place in both the Legion and in Schooners to protect the employees. This pertains to staff, Legion Members, patrons and Executive. We now have an Internal Response System. Any unsafe conditions, including harassment must be reported in
writing and an in-house investigation will follow. If it cannot be resolved then OHS will be involved. Please be respectful and courteous to our staff and others while in the Legion or Schooners. Remember actions have consequences.
All the activities continue to flourish. Line Dancing, pool Darts and all the various clubs are really pleased with our facility. As of May 1st Sunday Pool will no longer be free but will be $5.00 for everyone. April 28th is the last scheduled Senior Darts play but feel free to drop in and play whenever you like. A big thank you to Diane for organizing a Dart Shoot this weekend. A big thank you to Steve and Doris for their so successful trivia Night and for organizing Darts. These are our unsung heroes. Thank you all for volunteering your time and effort.
Branch 17 is in the process of organizing Decoration Day for June 5th. Cleaning the headstones will take place on June 4th. More information to follow.
I attended a Public Service Commission meeting when the Cenotaph, and whether it should be preserved as a Heritage Site, was discussed. I mentioned at the meeting that I was very disappointed that Veterans Groups and especially the Legion were not involved in the discussions concerning the importance of the cenotaph and its historical importance to the Veterans and the citizens of Medicine Hat. I would like to thank Ian Parkinson for attending the PSC Meetings to protect the history and legacy of the Cenotaph and the land around it.
Coming events include the Veterans/95th Anniversary of the Legion on May 14th. Please come to the office or call the office for tickets. Veterans and their spouse or caregiver, no charge, all others $40.00. Cocktails at 5:30 and meal will start at 6:30. Guest speaker will be Ian Parkinson speaking on the 100th Anniversary of our Cenotaph. May 22nd is the actual 100th Anniversary.
Stephanie and Ken Farrer, Wayne and I will be attending the AB/NWT Convention in Red Deer May 6-8. We will present report at the May General Meeting.
Thank you to all who continue to support our Legion and thank you to those who have taken tickets to sell for our Wine and Spirits Draw. We need your help. Please come in to buy a ticket or take a book of tickets to sell to family and friends. Prizes are:
1st $800 Basket
2nd $600 Basket
3rd $400 Basket
4th and 5th $100 Basket