May President’s Report
May once again has proven to be a very busy month for the Branch and for Schooner’s Pub. A big thank you to the staff and to the Executive and members who have been so helpful and involved in making our Legion better.
May 6-8, Ken and Stephanie Farrer and Wayne and I attended the AB/NWT Convention in Red Deer. This was the smallest convention I have attended in that there were only 199 in attendance. It still proved to be very informative and certainly worthwhile. I attended three workshops- Alberta Gaming Rules, Frauds and Scams and Mental Wellness. The information was relevant and the changes to gaming were passed on to our Office Staff. As for Scams and Frauds, we held our first seminar in our New Horizons room on this topic, presented by Sgt Lee Sanders, a military police from CFB Suffield and President of Red Cliff Legion. The information he shared was valuable for all in attendance. If anyone is interested in the presentation being given again because you were unable to attend, please let the Office Staff know asap.
The Mental Wellness information will be shared at a future date as part of our New Horizons project. The presenter was very powerful and she stressed the following:
· In relationships forgiving yourself is important so that you can forgive others in order for the relationship to thrive.
· We may often need others to help us find the “glitches” that we can no longer see
· Resilience takes resistance to grow and break free especially with PTSD
· Focus on a holistic based recovery- mind, body and spirit
· Where and what are our vulnerabilities so that we don’t slide down further
· Supports are often needed to recover but it must be a choice to recover
· What is a moral injury and what can you do to move on
We are currently trying to recruit a presenter. These are just a few of the topics presented by Dr Suzanne Suzette Bremault-Phillips who is presently the director of HIMARC at the University of Alberta. HiMARC aims to improve the health and quality of life of Canadian military, veterans, and public safety personnel and their families through research, education, and service. Robertson Memorial has donated $10,000 in the past to this very worthwhile project. Check out the website at About Us Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine (ualberta.ca) This project works directly with veterans and military individuals who have PTSD.
Elections were held for Command Council and the following were elected:
· President – Rosalind La Rose
· 1st Vice- President – Dave Velichko
· Vice-President – Gord Morrison
· Vice President- Kelly Lindbeck
· Treasurer – Chris Strong
· Chairman- Scott Saddler
· Past President- John Mahon
The Command Service Officers from Calgary and Edmonton presented information on assisting Veterans. It was amazing when they announced that their success rate with Veterans Affairs when applying for assistance for Veterans was 98%. Over the last 3 years, awards for Veterans in Alberta have been the highest in Canada totaling approximately 67 million in financial awards. There is some reluctance on veterans to apply for help. If you know someone who is a veteran and needs assistance, please refer them to our Branch Service Officer, Wayne Donner, who can then start the process with Veterans Affairs. The speakers pointed out that every Legion member is a service officer and should be on the look out for veterans who need help but are reluctant to ask.
There have been a number of fundamental shifts from the Department of Veterans Affairs in a variety of Programs and Policies. Substantive changes have taken place in two major areas- these being modifications to the hearing Loss Guidelines and implemented changes to Mental Health Services and Support. The Service Officers stressed that interaction and engagement with our military members continues to be a priority for them. Connecting with today’s soldiers allows them to communicate the message of who the service officers are and what they do and affords the Legion a platform through the service officer to identify our Legion traditions, values and goals and therefore offer assistance to the serving veterans.
Another outstanding presentation was made by Suzette-Bremault-Phillips. The Rehabilitation Program they are working on uses treadmills and virtual reality for treating PTSD. It is amazing the progress this program is making with those who been diagnosed with PTSD or others who have experienced life traumas. Check out the website About Us Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine (ualberta.ca)
As you can see the Royal Canadian Legion’s focus has been on Veterans and always will be on Veterans. That was the theme throughout the Convention. In Red Deer.
Membership is down throughout the Legions but there seems to be a steady stream of those renewing or new members joining on line. If you join the Legion for 5 years, the Legion is offering a prize from Dominion Command. As Legion members we are encouraged to welcome new members into our Legion. This has not always happened in the past. There is also a new Vet Family program planned to welcome Veterans and their extended family. Last year 25000 new members joined the Legion throughout Canada.
Robertson Memorial held the Veterans’ Annual Dinner on May 14th. It was very well attended and a fabulous meal of Prime Rib was served by our Chef Diane. A big thank you to Diane, Amanda, Jasmin and Tina for their great service. Wes Krause not only put together a display representing the 95th Anniversary of our Legion Robertson Memorial, but he was also the guest speaker. He did a very impressive job describing the importance of perpetuating the remembrance and artifacts connected to our Veterans and their many efforts to keep us safe. Thank you Wes from the Legion members and all the Veterans for being our archivist and also being so knowledgeable on Veterans and being willing to share your knowledge.
June 4th members are invited to join the work crew at Hillside Cemetery in the Field of Honour to clean the headstones. June 5th is the actual Decoration Service of Remembrance. Please let Scott Schall know if you are interested in being in the colour party.
June 3rd the Line Dancers are planning a dance in the canteen from 7-10PM. This will be a fun night of dancing and learning to line dance if you feel inclined or just doing the good old two-step, or rock and roll moves from yester years. Come join us after the meat raffle for a fun time. Admission will be $10.00 with all proceeds going to the Legion. This is a new kind of fund raiser proposed by the Line Dancers. Plan to come out and support them, your Legion and have a fun time.
We now have a Maintenance Committee thanks to Roger Beebe. They are doing 2 walk throughs a week and have compiled a list for Executive and Office Staff with projected goal dates and completion dates as well. Thanks to Malcolm, Rod Simmons, Don Hamilton, Jordan Aberle, Wes Krause and Bob Cable who are on the Committee. Thank you Rod and Don for looking after the front lawn.
Thanks to everyone who has been volunteering to help during the meat raffle on Fridays. We need your help and we need your support, so thank you to all who are stepping up in some way. We encourage everyone to drop into the Schooners Pub for Lunch during the week or for supper on Fridays.
Robertson Memorial remains the meeting place for the following community groups:
· Golden K Kiwanis
· Historical Society
· Line Dancers
· Aviation Club
· Western Federation Wrestling
· Cadet Training
· Youth Darts
· Real Canadian Wrestling
The next Wrestling Events will be June 10th and 11th. June 14th will be the next New Horizon Seminar on Living Well with Health Issues. Stay tuned for further information.
A few reminders and possible benefits for members:
· Member Benefit Package Partners- Medipac Travel Insurance, Simply Connect Mobile Wireless Service, Carlson Wagonlit Travel Vacation Club, Hearing Life Advantage, Iris Eyewear, Revera Retirement Living, Alliances Arbor Memorial, Safe Step Walk in Tubs, Chip Reverse Mortgage · Member Perk Program- Sign Up at www.legion.ca/memberperks
· Automatic membership renewal online through Dominion Membership Department · Online Renewal at www.legion.ca
Thanks again to all who have helped in any way to keep our Legion moving forward. Together we are able to help our Veterans and their families and fulfil our mandate to keep Remembrance alive.