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Legion inducts new executive members

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Dominion vice-president Peter Piper was the guest speaker at the Past President's Dinner.

The Estevan Royal Canadian Legion installed new members of its executive and looked back on the past year during the annual Past President's Dinner on February 15.

Among the executive members who were installed was new sergeant-at-arms Cort Barker. Also, Eileen Rosner was re-installed as the local Legion's immediate past-president.

Several other past-presidents were in attendance, and were recognized during the evening.

President Troy LeBlanc said that the past year was an "active" one for the Legion branch. They continued to support local army and air cadets, the United Way Estevan, the Estevan Salvation Army's Christmas kettle campaign and other causes.

"We are going to be making a donation of 10 overhead tables and a special chair for Alzheimer's patients that will be going to the regional nursing home here in Estevan," said LeBlanc.

Local Legion members went to last year's national 8-ball tournament, and took first place in scotch doubles.

"We presented all of our branch past-presidents with branch service medals for their contributions to our branch, as well as one to Comrade Sandy McGillicky for all her contributions," said LeBlanc.

They also made progress in their efforts to build a veterans' park in Estevan that would feature a memorial wall, he said. A request has been sent to the City of Estevan.

LeBlanc also applauded the past members of the executive for their hard work during the past year, and he hopes they will remain involved with the organization.

Dominion vice-president Peter Piper of Stoughton was the guest speaker at the dinner, and addressed the need to attract young people to the Legion. He said it is good that Estevan has been able to bring in some new members. It is also very important that Estevan has a president in LeBlanc who is only 27 years old.

Piper is a former national membership committee chair, and he has been dismayed when he has heard that branches don't want to change.

"Change is inevitable," said Piper. "If we don't change, we are no longer going to be the largest and strongest veterans' organization like we are today."

A Legion branch that doesn't embrace change is like a farmer who stubbornly decides to retain the same practices of 1926, he said.

If Legion member in Canada attracts a new member, Piper said they would double their membership roster from 300,000 to 600,000.

"How long can we carry on with members who are my age and older?" said Piper. "Give us another 15 to 20 years. But without youth, we're not going to exist. So let's get out, invite them in with our arms wide open and our hearts wide open, and make them feel welcome. They've got ideas that they want to share? Let's accept them."

The Legion is a great organization, he said, and Legion members should always be willing to talk about what the organization does in the community, and to promote the organization to friends and family members.


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