Local Legions Are Busy Places
By Kirk Winter
Regardless of where you live, there is a Royal Canadian Legion branch not far from you. These branches are bastions of their communities, and offer a full gamut of programming for their members and the community as a whole.
In the City of Kawartha Lakes, Legion branches can be found in Lindsay, Woodville, Fenelon Falls, Bobcaygeon, Kinmount, Omemee and Coboconk.
Many people have never set foot into their local Legion, and that is a shame. They are beehives of activity, and as the Legion makes the transition from organizations made up almost exclusively of military and RCMP veterans, they are looking for new members and most anyone can join. Many of their non-service members are the family and children of veterans who have grown up seeing the sense of community and comradeship that Legions have provided their service veteran relatives over the decades.
All one has to do is look at the Legion branch listing published in almost every issue of The Kawartha Promoter to see that your local Legion has a lot going on. If you are hungry, your local Legion offers some of the best food in town. As someone who has been a guest at the Lindsay Legion for their full dinners served Friday over the lunch hour, it is a meal you don’t want to miss. Fenelon Falls, Bobcaygeon and Kinmount also encourage you to drop by for breakfast or lunch at various posted times throughout the month.
If you are looking for sports leagues or cards, the Legion branches right across the City have opportunities for involvement. If you are looking for a game of euchre, Lindsay, Bobcaygeon, Kinmount and Coboconk have what you need. The Lindsay Legion offers opportunities for activity and camaraderie with darts, pool, shuffleboard, washer toss and golf. Fenelon Falls, Bobcaygeon, Kinmount and Coboconk also offer sporting opportunities, with Kinmount adding Bingo on Friday nights, and Fenelon expanding the list to include horseshoes, weather permitting!
In the community, the Legion branches are the “go to” places when looking for veterans to come and speak to public gatherings. I regularly used the Legion to connect me with veterans willing to share their stories with the next generation in a classroom setting. It is a win-win, as the veterans enjoy sharing many of their experiences with the younger generation, and for many students whose families have no history of military service it may be the first time they have ever met a veteran.
Finally, all my children have had the opportunity to improve their public speaking events at competitions sponsored by the local Legion. It is a huge task to put events like these on, but the pay off in public profile and excited students has been well worth it for Legion branches across Canada.
Give your local Legion branch a visit. They would love to meet you, and like you to consider a membership in this truly important organization.