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November President’s Report
Another Poppy Campaign and Remembrance Day Celebration are now in the history book. So many people came together to make both a real success. The Army, Air and Sea Cadets looked after the Poppy tables at three locations for both weekends. It was wonderful to have them back helping us again with our Campaign, at the Esplanade and at the Cenotaph for November 11th Remembrance Service.
A big thank you to all our Poppy Volunteers who volunteered at the tables at one of our four locations, Walmart, Canadian Tire, the Medicine Hat Mall and 13th Avenue Co-op. The Golden K Kiwanis helped by sitting at the Canadian Tire table for both Wednesdays and Thursdays. Brian Hand looked after the volunteers at Canadian Tire and Sandy Morrice looked after volunteers at 13th Avenue Co-op. Thank you to Mike Davis for picking up the money from each location each day and then taking it down to the Legion where Les Shepard and Janice Allan counted it and took it to the bank for deposit.
We also had volunteers who delivered poppies and poppy boxes to businesses on a particular route. This requires commitment and is very time consuming. Hats off to these volunteers who continue to do it year after year. Because of everyone’s hard work we raised approximately $61000. Money is still being collected as I write this report.
The Remembrance Service at the Esplanade was once again a wonderful ceremony that honoured our veterans who have served or are presently serving in the Armed Forces. The opening was highlighted with the Colour Party under the direction of Scott Scholl, our Sgt-at-Arms, being piped up to the stage and the singing of our National Anthem. The Pipes and Drums and the Medicine Hat Concert Band played, once again, “Amazing Grace”, and the music thrilled us all, especially when we gazed up and saw the poppies being dropped by the cadets. The three Cadet Corps shared in the program by the reading of three poems. The Medicine Hat Girls’ Choir were absolutely amazing with their two musical selections. A big thank you to the City of Medicine Hat for the use of the Esplanade, to Cook Southland for video, and the programs and to Phil Stark for his skills in making it all happen and to David Gee from Shaw Cable for live streaming. Thank you on behalf of our Veterans, Robertson Memorial and the community to all who participated in making this service possible.
The Remembrance Service at the Cenotaph also came together because of the efforts and talents of another group of committed individuals. Thank you to Bill Cox for being the MC and to Padre Ron Macdonald for his meaningful message at the Esplanade and his prayers at the Cenotaph. To our Bugler Mark Ward, the Medicine Hat Concert Band, the Piper Eric Kean, the Colour Party, to the SALH for delivering the wreaths to the Cenotaph and retrieving them after the Ceremony. Thank you to the Pipes and Drums for once again leading the Parade to the Cenotaph. Thank you to Robert Mackenzie for being our Parade Commander and thank you to all who formed up and marched past the reviewing stand to the Ceremony. We are so lucky in Medicine Hat to live where the citizens continue to honour and respect our Veterans and serving Members. Thank you to Cook Southland for once again providing Al’s Audio to take care of the sound and for providing the programs for the Cenotaph.
Hats off to the City Departments who helped make the above possible: Police Service, Fire Service, Parks and Recreation, Traffic Accommodations, Special Event and Festival Permit and the Mayor’s Office and Mayor Clark for declaring Nov 5-11 as Veterans’ Week and flying the Legion Poppy flag at City Hall. Also, since we required more insurance, Lisa Desroches at Broker Link secured it for The Legion and donated
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$100.00 towards the $300.00 cost. Thank you to all who helped November 11th come together in such a positive celebration of honour and remembrance for our Veterans, past and present.
As you can see we are truly blessed to live in Medicine Hat. Things happen because we work together. The Legion was invited to provide a colour party for the opening of the November 11th Tigers Game. Once again our Sgt-at-Arms stepped up and provided a colour party. We received high compliments for their participation in the Opening Ceremony from the Tiger organization. Many thanks to them.
After the Service of Remembrance those Veterans and others assembled marched back to the Legion for the Annual November 11th Celebration. The following individuals and businesses donated kegs of beer for the Celebration back at the Legion. These included: 1. The Old B’s 2.Drivers’ Edge 3. Casino Security 4. The CAV’s, 5.Malcolm Glass, Jack Stone House and Doug Howes 6. Allyn Williams, Mark Riley, Andy Alford, and Sam Thornhill 7. Edward Jakubowsky. Hot Dog Buns and juice for the cadets, brownies and Girl Guides was donated by 1. Vexxon Electric Ltd and 2. Frasers’ Plumbing. Security on our doors was once again provided by the CAV’s. Many thanks to all of the above.
Everyone enjoyed coming together to celebrate and remember. A meal of Beef on a bun was provided for $10 per person. A big thank you to Tina and Holly for doing the 50/50 and a big thank you to the kitchen staff and the Bar staff for once again providing excellent service. And thank you to those who attended the celebration back at the Legion. It was so wonderful to see the comradery and the enjoyment being shared. Well done everyone.
We are planning to once again have a Children’s Christmas party, where the children make ornaments, play games, have lunch and get a bag of candy from Santa. The Branch is looking at December 18th from 12:00-2:00. We will need volunteers so please call the Office and leave your name and phone number. It is a lot of fun and in the past the kids, young and old, had a great time. If you would like to volunteer to help or are planning to attend, please call the office, 403-527-7184 Ext 1.
Meat Raffle and Chase the President is still in need of volunteers so if you are interested please sign up on the sheet at the back on the bulletin board or call the office.
As you recall in the early days of Covid-19 there were lock-downs involving our Branch. We could not operate or make money for many months. The Federal Government made it possible to stay open by offering $40,000 to businesses and not for profits to help pay the bills. This included insurance, utility, wages for the office staff and other costs involved in keeping Robertson Memorial viable into the future. This meant we borrowed $40,000 for the Pub and $40,000 for the Legion. We will owe, as I have mentioned from time to time, $60,000 on Dec31/2023. We have discussed various ways to pay the money back and believe it is very doable. It will mean we will all have to make a small donation or help with possible fundraisers in 2023.
I know Robertson Memorial Br#17 has become very important to our Veterans, to our members and to the Community of Medicine Hat. Together we can make our Legion a beacon well into the future. Success is always possible when we have the same dream.
As the elections are upon us and you will have a new executive, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff for their hard work during these difficult Covid-times. Thank you to the Executive for all they have done to make our building safe and even more importantly, open and viable. And a big thank you to all the Legion members who have helped by supporting the Legion in whatever way they
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could during Covid m-19. Your support has meant so much over the past 5 years. It has been my privilege and honour to have served you as President of Robertson Memorial Br #17. I have met so many great members of the Legion, Veterans, members of BATUS, members of CAF and Cadet Leaders and their fine, well trained and enthusiastic Cadets. The future is in good hands.
I wish the new Executive all the best for the future.