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Royal Canadian Legion

Kathryne Holm

crest of the Royal Canadian Legion

Meeting salutes Legion’s history In honour of Remembrance Day, the history of the island's Royal Canadian Legion and Ladies' Auxiliary will be the focus of the November 8 Salt Spring Historical Society meeting. Kathryne Holm will lead the presentation on Branch 92, which is in its 75th year of serving veterans and the island. “In 1947, the Ladies' Auxiliary of Branch 92 was established to help World War II veterans get started again in their home communities,” explains a press release. “The hardships of veterans were significant, and the Legion and its auxiliary were there to help.” The Royal Canadian Legion's mission is to serve veterans, ex-service persons and their dependents, as well as supporting numerous community activities. Everyone is welcome to the meeting, which begins at 2 p.m. at Central Hall. Tea, coffee, cookies and informal discussion follow

Driftwood November 1, 2006

Accession Number 2006034001 Interviewer Historical Society meeting
Date Nov 8, 2006 Location
Media digital recording mp3




Unknown Speaker 0:00
Mr. Robert McWhirter president of the Saltspring Island, historical society, to the executive members, to regular members, and to guests. Thank you for giving me this opportunity of speaking to you and sharing with you about the Royal Canadian Legion just before Remembrance Day on November the 11th Saturday. My information will be presented to you in the following order, and we'll fill a 45 minute timeframe. Part one will be the makeup of the Royal Canadian Legion organization followed by the purposes and the objects of the Legion. Part two will be the initiation of the history book during the year of the vet last year, and my own challenges to research and write the history of branch 92 and the Ladies Auxiliary, in a short timeframe. Going back to 1932. Part three, I will read to you from the history book. We ended up with one page 500 words, but we're there. And I will do an off cuff off the cuff rendition of what I went through to try to collect the history which had never been done before. Part four will be a presentation I'm going to make the history book. Part Five is questions and answers and part six thank goodness is T so I'm going to begin with part one the makeup of the organization for those of you that are not familiar with it. The Royal Canadian Legion is Canada's largest Veterans Association. There are many veterans organizations in Canada, but the largest by far is the Royal Canadian Legion with 400,000 members and affiliates. The members belong to the following membership categories. Ordinary This is the serving and retired militia, the RCMP personnel, provincial and municipal police forces associate membership direct relative an ordinary member Cadet instructors, cadets, Navy League officers, firefighters and affiliates, voting and non voting Friends of the Legion who may or may not have relatives who could have mentored them into the Legion. So this is one area which is no a change a big change from the ordinary way of having members. In addition, there are approximately 40,000 registered members of the Ladies Auxiliary who provide invaluable support to the branches of the Legion and their fundraising activities. serving members of the Canadian Forces may also join the military member at large branch or a regular active branch. The Legion is a nonprofit, do supported fraternal organization, with approximately 1600 branches in Canada, the United States, Germany and the Netherlands. The Legion receives no financial assistance from any outside agency. And membership is open to all Canadian citizens and Commonwealth subjects who subscribe to the purposes in the objects of the organization, which I will read to you in a few minutes. From the time of its formation in 1926. The Legion has focused its efforts on the fight to secure adequate pensions and other well earned benefits for veterans and their dependents. Acting as an advocate advocacy agency on veterans behalf. The Legion deals with the federal government to ensure ex military personnel and their dependents are treated fairly and dealing with the federal government is really something the Royal Canadian Legion has also assumed a major responsibility for perpetuating the tradition of remembrance in Canada. Each year, the Legion organizes and runs the national Poppy and remain rince campaign to remind Canadians of the tremendous debt we owe to the 117,000 men and women who gave their lives in the Defense of Canada during two world wars, the Korean War and other military missions around the world. contributions made during the campaign are used to assist the needy veterans, ex service members and their families. And I will stress at this point that people may not realize the poppy money does not go to the Legion. It's money donated by the community for the veterans. And the money is looked after. And it is properly accounted for, and none of it goes to the Legion. It goes to the veterans and their dependents, and other needs. The Legion also supports programs for seniors particularly through direct community level activities, the Legion Long Term Care survive surveyor program and the housing program. The legions Youth Program provides scholarships and bursaries, sports programs and support to activities such as cadets, scouts, and guide. The legions branches are organized into commands. There are 10 Autonomous provincial commands with their own president and executives. However, national policy is developed by Dominion command in Ottawa through the Dominion Executive Council, which is composed of representatives from each of the commands. The Dominion Executive Council meets once a year in Ottawa, and must therefore be represented on a more frequent basis by an elected sub Executive Committee, which is composed of the Dominion president, the Dominion first vice president for Dominion vice presidents, a Dominion chairman, also a Dominion treasurer and immediate past Dominion precedent. This committee meets approximately four times a year at Legion house in Ottawa to resolve larger issues as presented. All members of the council and the sub executive committee are volunteers and together form the executive of Dominion command. The 48 staff members of Dominion command, including the Legion magazine, are headed by the Dominion Secretary functioning as the chief administrative officer who runs the organization on a day to day basis, and who is responsible for the inflamation implementation of policy directives. The Dominion command operates similarly to a private corporation, you may have already started to find that out. And there is a sub executive committee made up of boards of directors, Dominion secretaries and others, all led by a director, and they handle administration, finance membership supply, communications service bureau and the Legion magazine. The yearly operating budget of the organization is approximately $10 million. This includes personnel staffing costs, and the operations of Dominion command committees. However, it does not include the funds associated with the annual remembrance and poppy campaign. As I've already mentioned, the monies raised locally by the branches and donated locally for community projects, or the staffing costs of the branch and command level. It does however, include the funds earned each year from the dominion command supply department, because they do sell items that are open for purchase. Legion houses allegiance headquarters and the home of Dominion command in Ottawa and it has recently been renewed to a different location but Phil in Ottawa, the Legion magazine is the fourth largest in the country, with a paid circulation approximately 400,000 and the production cycle of six issues per year. It is based in the Legion house and is composed of nine staff members.

Unknown Speaker 9:35
The service bureau is a unique department of for officers and staff support system committed to providing service support supply and support to veterans to still serving military and to RCMP personnel and dependents in obtaining disability pensions and benefits. This support includes the complete documentation of a case and submission to government. That would be federal, and the Veterans review and Appeal Board as necessary. And it is important this last sentence, this confidential service is provided without charge to the client. Legion membership is not a requirement. So if you know of any one in the status of which I've described, there is help for them. They don't have to pay for it. And each branch has a service officer, as we do in branch 92. So that's information a lot of people don't know. They'll go all the way and fight the battles for the vets and their dependents. without charge. I'm going to speak speak to you next about the purposes and the objects in the Legion handbook. And you'll see what we strive to try to adhere to purposes at objects. The purpose purposes and objects of the Legion shall be to constitute an association of those who have served or are serving in her majesty's armed forces or any auxiliary force and of others, who support the purposes and objects of the Legion, which Association shall be democratic, non sectarian, and shall not be affiliated to or connected directly or indirectly with any political party or organization. It is to bring about the unity of all who have served. It is to further among them the spirit of comradeship, and mutual help and the close and kindly ties of act of service. It is to pass on to their families and descendants, the traditions for which they stand. It is to perpetuate the memory and deeds of the fallen, and of these who die in the future, to promote and care for memories to their value and sacrifice to provide suitable burial if required to keep an annual memorial day to preserve the records and memories of their service. And to see that such service is not forgotten by the nation is to ensure that proper attention shall be paid to the welfare of those who have served and the welfare of their descendants, and to see in the maintenance and comfort of those who require special treatment, particularly the disabled, the sick, the age, the needy, and to promote the welfare of their dependents. To educate public opinion regarding national duties to the dead, the disabled and others who have served and their dependents to foster loyalty among the population and education in the principles of patriotism, duty, and unstinted public service to strive for peace, goodwill and friendship among all nations. At the same time, though, advocating the maintenance of Canada, of adequate and sufficient forces, on land on seeing in the air in the defense of our country, and for the discharge of those obligations, which rests upon us, by virtue of our partner partnership in the Commonwealth. To support suitable undertakings for the training, employment and settlement of ex service personnel and the education of their children to preserve their statutory acquired and legitimate rights, and those of their dependents and in so doing to offer the Legions cooperation to those officially charged with the responsibility of administering such rights by federal and other governments to assist comrades now serving especially in connection with their return to civil life, and to safeguard the interests of their dependents while they are in service to assist ex service personnel to secure not less than the recognize Standard Rates of wages. You may not know that to secure adequate pension allowances, grants and work with tutees for ex service personnel, their dependents and the widows children and dependents of those who are dead and to labor for honorable provision made by those in declining years who are unable to support themselves to cooperate with the Commonwealth and allied associations have similar aims and objects bodies and to establish, organize and regulate provincial district and local bodies of commands and branches in convenient centers throughout Canada and elsewhere to establish, organize and regulate provincial district and local bodies of women. They're going to recognize here, a woman for the purpose of assisting the Legion in seeing to the maintenance and comfort of the disabled the sick the age to the needy ex service personnel and their dependents, and to cooperate with the Legion in the promotion and carrying out of all aims and objects of the Legion. Such a group to be known as the ladies of the Royal Canadian Legion to acquire hold and lease real and immovable personal and movable property to graze and coordinate funds for assisting those mentioned in the preceding pages and paragraphs to provide for the administration of the Legion, and its authorized provincial and district commands. The branches and the ladies exert reason to see that these and other funds raised for such purposes, are applied to those purposes, and to none other. There are very strict accounting records kept in the branches and Exhilarate. To act generally, on behalf of all those who have served in her majesty's services and forces, to encourage, promote, and in support of all forms of national provincial municipal or community service, or any charitable or philanthropic purpose and finally to engage only in activities, which will be to the credit and benefit of the Canadian community, and which will encourage and promote the positive reputation of the Legion. We attest to this when we become a member of the branch and of the salary, so we undertake a large commitment. There are many other pieces of information in this Legion handbook that describes the testament, the articles of faith and many others. But today, you'll be hearing enough. The next section I'm going to talk about is the initiation of a history book, which was to be undertaken by every branch of every Legion and every Ladies Auxiliary in British Columbia, and the Yukon during last year, in the year of the veteran. This was initiated by the President of the BC Yukon command. And in his texts in the front of this history book, he says I take great pleasure in extending the best wishes and sincere thanks to the officers to the ladies exhilarates the staff and membership of BC you can command of the Royal Canadian Legion to those who have generously helped the cause of this great organization by contributing financially and otherwise, to this book, and in turn to the many great service programs that the Royal Canadian Legion has to offer. From its beginnings, this organization was built on volunteerism. And this spirit continues today through communities, both large and small throughout British Columbia, the Yukon and this great country of ours. It is very fitting that we published this history book during the year of the veteran. While there is much focus and attention placed on the deeds of our veterans, let us recognize and applaud their deeds before they are gone and there is no one to thank and recognize. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many 1000s of volunteers who give so generously of their time and energy to keep this tradition alive by perpetuating remembrance, and dedicating their time and energy to serving our veterans, their dependents and the community in which we live.

Unknown Speaker 19:15
Let us all realize the witness of this book bears to these 1000s of individuals in villages, towns and cities throughout the province and the territory whose dedication, sweat and tenacity built the buildings and maintain the flame of Legion presents in the face of adversity these many years. The efforts of those who tended the barbecues and lifted the pianos and stack the chairs and washed the dishes and ran off the notices. Their efforts and resolve are enshrined in this book. We also look forward to a growing membership and a larger presence in our community as we serve and remember those who gave so much that we may enjoy the freedoms and prevent the freedoms and principles that we have today. Now at this point, I'm going to refer to the initiation of the history book. I'm a dual membership in the Legion. I'm Ladies Auxiliary for many years, as was mentioned, but I'm also a branch member. The ladies actually reuse the get holes there meaning a week before the branch, and we used to get very often the same material. So material about the proposal to do a history book was read first in the Ladies Auxiliary meeting. And I thought, oh, that sounds like a good idea. And they were asking for someone to volunteer from the Ladies Auxiliary to do their story. And nobody's hand went up. I attended the meeting of the Legion the following week as a regular member. And this material was brought forward to the members. And they were asking for volunteers to do the history, which goes back to the 1930s. So I was prepared mentally to do something. So I put up my hand, but it was the only one. So I was committed. And where do you go from there? Where do you go? And you've just got a very short timeframe. Yes, by the time all these notices gotten to us, it was months later. And we only had a couple of months to pull it all together. And so I literally started by climbing the walls. Have you ever done a project where you just really felt like climbing the walls? Well, here I had to get the ladders, and climb up the walls to get copies of the charters. They're all hung up under glass and in frames, but they're up and out of reach to protect them. So that's how I started climbing the walls. And I did a lot of wall climbing, I can say before I was finished. Because I'm starting with a raw package. I didn't really know the history. The odd person did. And I sent out the word I spoke at every chance I could to people, Tom heard me talk. I approached him for stories, too, because he'd been in the British end of being involved accidentally by Canadians who were stationed in England. So I said, Tom, I'll promise you a finished copy of the history book, if you'll give me your history. And your involvement. Well, he hasn't given me his story. So he's still waiting for the history books. But I also had assumed that there would be space there was no limit put on how many words and how many pages so I thought, Aha, I'll get in touch with as many people as I can. Because I want to get stories of the debt as well, all of it. And I also wanted some stories of the the homefront. What was keeping our country going was the homefront, the women who were looking after families, but they were also doing a lot of other important wartime energy things. So I also managed to get an old English cookbook that was issued during the war in England, that shows all the substitutions for things like fresh eggs and all these other things. And I thought, oh, wouldn't that be interesting? I think it's really interesting. I got quite excited about it. Anyway, I got a volunteer from the Legion who was the secretary at the time of the branch. And she volunteered to write all the stories up on a computer. So she would do that in between all of the things that she was doing. Her name is Moses Wyatt, and a very wonderful and charming lady and very hardworking and astute and really smart. So I started to get stories. I interviewed Ladies Auxiliary who told me about when they started their auxiliary it was 1947 veterans and their families were having a really hard time trying to get used to normal life after the horrors of war. And they didn't have much money. So the lady started a sewing D and they were busy knitting and knitting and sewing and making clothes for them and helping them out making meals. As I understand. We're the ladies Women's Institute of Salt Spring Island doing that down and Fulford to help the veterans week after week, month after month and for several years they were busy making meals for them free of charge. Of course it was all loving effort and helping them in any other way that they could. So as time progressed, I got some great stories from vets. There's one vet and I won't mention his name, but he gave me his story starting at the age of 15 That's when he tried to join the services on the prairies. And he was young, but he said he was older. And he ended up because he knew how to write, he ended up in the horse brigade, of the Canadian Forces of which they had no horses. So they had to go to the farms and bore some horses, so they could form a Beretta breed. And eventually, he, he wanted to really be a pilot, but he was too young, and they didn't have training and Canada wasn't really set to go to war, yet a wonderful story. And so he's gone up from the age of 15, to the age of about 78. And he's still got 20 years to go when he's over 90, but 92 Or three, and he's just gone and finished high school a couple of years ago, because he never had time to go to school, to finish his grade 12. So he just recently finished grade 12 with all the honors of high school. And that's the kind of information but the exciting time he had was when he did actually, he became a rear gunner, and went into the Air Force. And he said he didn't know when I ended the plane from the other, but that's where they assigned him. So that's where he went. And he said, it was really something shocking to be flying over in Egypt and other parts and see what was going on. But he said he always felt that he was given some kind of an angel, because of a lot of the action that he saw. And he was wounded slightly, but never too badly that he died or anything. So that was a really important life experience, and a wonderful story. So I had it all photocopied and gave him back his original. And I haven't done anything with it yet, because it turned out and I'm rushing myself here. But I'm watching the time too. It turned out, they weren't prepared to handle any bad stories at that point at all. So I did receive other material as well, as well as a history of some of the groups and how they started, and of other other things that were going on and Saltspring Island. And so it was really, really great to have quite a collection. And to encourage people to give me their stories. I've got one man who's still writing his story about being in the Burma war, the Forgotten War, and a number of the things that we don't know about, but I think that we should know and appreciate and extend our congratulations to them for the survival. There's one man who has been in and out of prison counts five times and escaped five times alive. And I think the last time was a day that peace was declared. And I said, Please, can I have your story, but he, he wouldn't share it with me because he's doing his life story, which is fair enough. I think that kind of information is important for people to learn. How does it happen that people learn to survive, learning to survive and coming out of something? And what is it that they have in the way of knowing how to rise above things, so they can survive in very improbable time. So there are these kinds of stories that are in a box in my home now. And in the meantime, Jeremiah's Wyatt is unable to spend any more time on this project. Because no, the headquarters have now come out that they want to have stories of the bets. And they want no more than 200 words. And a nice picture that's to be on the special cameras. Well, I have to sort of start over again. And I've got to give some of them back their stories and tell them well, you have to tell it all in 200 words, so this takes time, this takes time. But this is how it is sometime the Legion is no different than government in many ways, I think we can recognize that. So that's what's kind of on the back burner. And so those of you who have a story and Tom, I will wait for your story.

Unknown Speaker 28:57
And others who have stories and who can tell even about their own relatives. Now I came into the branch because I was orphans by the age of 12 of both my father and mother. So I had no but to sponsor me and they wouldn't accept me for years and years and years. But now they've changed that ruling and ordinary citizens can go in without having anyone who's related to them. That was ever in the service. And a lot of people may not be aware of that, that you can become a member by applying in this about a two year trial period where you don't vote because you don't know all the issues yet. But after that, in the meantime, if they find out you know how to read and write or anything, you're just really on your on call for everything that needs to be done. It's endless work to be done. I can tell you that within our branch, we have wonderful, wonderful volunteers. And within our Ladies Auxiliary, which is famous, I think we have even greater, greater volunteers. But our ladies are getting older too. So we've had to cut back a little bit on some of the outside catering that we were doing. But we're still doing everything for the vets primarily. And we will be, we will be laying wreaths. I'll be laying a wreath on Saturday at the Cenotaph and rushing back to the Legion because our women in the meantime are making up enough sandwiches for two to 300 people and all the snacks that go with it. So on Friday night, we're having a dinner again, for 100 people. So it's endless, you see, but you see we have a good comradeship and we have a good purpose. So it's important for you to know that when you stick your hand in the air and say, well, I'll do it. You may find yourself climbing the walls. But you know, it's an eye opener. It's wonderful to meet the people that I've met, and to be encouraged by them, and to be inspired by them. And so for any of you who don't know what to do with any spare time and the thing is, I live on Salt Spring and I know everybody seems to have about six unrelated jobs, no volunteers. So that's how I got to write it. At the last week when it was ready to go to press 1000s of words. They cut it down to 500 words one page. That's all we were allowed. So much and I really, really just we were shocked but anyway, and Stan Obi Stan, my spouse is here somewhere there. He obliged by sending the photographs by email to the headquarters. So they could include the picture of the old Legion branch and of the newer one. So we had to really, really shorten that wonderful history. However, we made it into the history book and now I'm going to read you that page.

Unknown Speaker 31:58
I'm going to read the PAGE PAGE 51. And I hope that it means something to you. Were in the college and mid Island zone. Salt Spring Island branch 92. Salt Spring Island branch 92 received its charter in 1931 and the Ladies Auxiliary in 1947.

Unknown Speaker 32:27
Free meeting rooms were made available in the local harbor House Hotel until the branch raise enough money to purchase the Ganges United Church ments in 1955. So from 1931 to 1955. The harbor house gave them free meeting space is that wonderful. And this became the center of Legion and auxiliary activities until the more recent move to the current branch premises in 1988. And that was a new building constructed the flagpole and the flag from the original branch was really relocated to the new branch on Blaine road and still stands proudly in front of the building, which was built on land deeded to the branch by E G Ted meeting, who also deeded 1000s of dollars towards the building itself. Branch 92 has always enjoyed great support for our Poppy campaign and Remembrance Day ceremonies in which the community at large participate. The public gathers at Centennial Park. The school choir sings while its race are laid at the Cenotaph followed by a march past that the public are then invited to join the Legion members for a lunch that has been prepared by the ladies exhilarate our Poppy Fund supports the island eldercare and hospital facilities, Meals on Wheels programs and provide student bursaries. In most recent years, our Poppy funds has raised approximately $10,000 a year. Branch 92 has many special activities centering around the community of Salt Spring Island. For instance, it donates to many organizations, especially concentrating on youth groups including high school ball teams, swimming teams, the Girl Guides and the Boy Scouts who had their charter at the branch since 1937. As well as too many other groups. bursaries are donated annually by the branch and the ladies auxilary from our weekly meat drives, with as much as $40,000 being donated annually to our community from that July 1, Canada Day is a special family oriented day at our branch and games and activities are offered for all ages from toddlers, to veterans, the local community band and the Legion pipe band plays at the event. In 2002, we hosted the Highland Games, at which 3000 members of the public attended and made a net profit of $10,000 for our branch. Crafton Brook is a seniors housing project that the Legion supports, along with the Salt Spring lions and the Rotary Club. So Ladies Auxiliary cooks and serves Friday night sufferers for 10 months of the year, preparing for up to 100 meals an evening. They also catered to other activities memorials and parties in July and August when the ladies take a well deserved break. The branch cooks barbecues each Friday evening after the Meet draw each evening featuring a different team of volunteers. Other special celebrations at the branch include the Legion 60th anniversary dinner and dance, the 60 of D Day celebrations, New Year's Eve dance and Robbie Burns night. The Salt Spring Island RCF. That's Association celebrate celebrated its 81st anniversary on April 1 That does every year with 100 persons in attendance for the dinner from Canada and one from Montana. Of special note is our team of voluntary janitors. Facing a financial crisis in 2002. He Donnelly performer formed a crew of volunteer janitors. There are now eight team members raging and eight ranging in ages from 70 to mid 80s. Actually, I think he's 86 or 87 know, individually they spend no more than an hour or so once a week, but collectively, they're keeping the Legion cleaner than it's ever been before, as well as saving 1000s of dollars previously paid to a janitorial service. Seven part time bartenders are employed. All other positions are volunteer. The Salt Spring branch has maintained an average of 650 members annually, and the Ladies Auxiliary has 40 members. In summary, although this Legion history is a skeleton of the record of all of its contributions to the island since 1931 It is an integral part of the social fabric of the community that your story

Unknown Speaker 37:51
now, I'd like to recognize and make a presentation

Unknown Speaker 38:03
the presentation just make sure okay. I'd like to make a presentation to your president to for his personal copy to Mr. Robert Bob McWhirter.

Unknown Speaker 38:30
I've written this, if he can read it, this the size of the typewriter Mr. Robert Bob McWhirter president of the Salt Spring Island, Historical Society. And this is being presented to you not from me but from the BC and Yukon command

Unknown Speaker 38:55
of the Royal Canadian Legion and the members and Ladies Auxiliary of branch 92 Saltspring Island. The branch has given me the authority to hand out these, these history books to anyone, I think, volunteers and acts in the community's well being. So it's quite an honor to do this. Maybe nobody else volunteered to do it. Bob, thank you for your many years of service 1965 to 2006 to this island community. During most of those years, you have been an important teacher of social studies and history to students from grade six to grade 12. Following this, you played a very important role as school district, school superintendent and administrator. In addition, you have volunteered on the boards of Lady Minto The hospital and the Greenwood society. You were also a justice of the peace for 20 years, until eight years ago when that role was cancelled by the government. More recently, for the past seven years, you have been an active member of the Saltspring Island Historical Society and have undertaken the very responsible role as president this last four years. Your positive and important community involvement all of these years is impressive. You're an outstanding inspirational citizen for which we are grateful. And this was prepared at the bottom. Historical researcher Catherine Hall member of branch 92 and past president Ladies Auxiliary, computer typing and editing mas Wyatt press secretary to branch 92 photography of meeting branch Catherine home and history of Saltspring Island branch 90 to see page 51. Thank you very much, Bob, kind of you.

Unknown Speaker 41:15
Just like to say, in my house at the school district, the Legion was very instrumental in many areas of our school. I was also one time the chairperson of the Boy Scouts on the island, and Legion is the number one sponsor of a scouting organization on Saltspring. Island. They also responsible for many scholarships, as was mentioned, and we're always available to help any students who need assistance, anything for carrying on their education. So I thank you very much for your efforts in our community.

Unknown Speaker 41:45
I'll make a presentation to you also, just for the Salt Spring Island Historical Society. This is for your society, for your library. Thank you to all the members over many years for your valuable contributions to this island community. So this is for your library, and that is for you.

Unknown Speaker 42:09
Like to thank you for the promotion. I never quite

Unknown Speaker 42:11
I realized it afterwards. I hope no, I hope you didn't notice I accidentally said that. Now I understand you're going to have tea fairly soon. But in the meantime, I have been asked to leave room for any questions, and I'll see if I can answer them. Are there any questions? Yes. There's a lady down there.

Unknown Speaker 42:40
I don't know the answer. I they do better than state. Not that I know a good question. And I should get a better clear cut answer.

Unknown Speaker 43:02
Okay. Tom, several questions. You mentioned that's the national. Yes. That's that's the information I received. That was made.

Unknown Speaker 43:22
I realized it was wondering, Is that the same as the British?

Unknown Speaker 43:32
I don't know. But I'm going to find out and make sure. Well, other than that we're all together in the Commonwealth. And we have certain aims and objects that tie us together to support each other. But I don't know about their actual support groups such as legions. I don't know the dates for that, but I can find out. I should know anyway.

Unknown Speaker 43:58
Your presentation was professional.

Unknown Speaker 44:04
I learned that. Oh, thank you. I hope it wasn't too boring. I actually found it quite interesting finding you. I've learned so much. I've already forgotten half of it. Yes.

Unknown Speaker 44:22
He was a commander. Yes. The reason I didn't give His title is that I keep falling over the words. The short term is where I gave away my book. He read my book on page 51 It CDR and when I'm reading it and thinking that I have to try and think oh, what does it mean Stan told me already a couple of times but today, I just skipped it. Also I did that for the head janitor. He also was he carries a great number of things on his chest. But he's become the and still is doing the head of the janitor thing. but they are commanders. Yes, Ted meeting donated not just the land, but the 1000s of dollars with which to build the building. And that was 1988. And it was quite a move. Also in order to raise other funds from the building in which they had been located in that first branch, apparently there were some brick walls. And so they did some alterations and took the bricks down from the walls and had people giving them a certain amount of money for the bricks like maybe $100 or something however whatever the amount was that was set and that helped to raise money as well for the move and for the building. Any other yes

Unknown Speaker 45:49
yeah. It was moved. Yeah. And I remember being in the Old Branch, it was looking and apparently the women always put on a good dinner and dance there on the weekend. And the people who were down at the Bay in their votes could hear the music and everything going on and they'd all come up it was like a pied piper type of a thing and that way they attracted everybody to come and pay money for dinner and for a nice dance. So there were no automatic dishwashers or anything then either but they had a really good solid core group of women working hard. And also I was told that in 1947 when the women's started there are many many areas in which there was great need because it was such an adjustment coming back from horrific wars and there still is today great adjustments for anyone who's ever been in that situation. So we should remember that

Unknown Speaker 47:03
and I'm very grateful they had a holster and they had their own iPhone they had your own man that had poppies on the ship

Unknown Speaker 47:23
as an ad

Unknown Speaker 47:26
and they showed this film and if you could get hold of some real takes five minutes on my email

Unknown Speaker 47:44

Unknown Speaker 47:49
ladies and gentlemen if there are no further questions oh yes Tom Yeah

Unknown Speaker 48:00
I did eventually find out the story of nothing was started when I was when I was a youngster paperboy?

Unknown Speaker 48:26
I have very nice memories

Unknown Speaker 48:36
Yes, it was a different viewpoint of what it's like when when there were children growing up. Now when I was I guess five, and then in two to six years old. The war was our the war was already on. And I was in a one room schoolhouse, I was in a place called Willoughby in Langley, which is now becoming very high density but at that time, it was very rural. So this one room schoolhouse went up to grade five you just moved the row each year. And by grade five you were pretty knowledgeable about how to add one on one is to and things. They used to have mock air rates because actually by flight time by Air flight time, it was very close to the city of Vancouver. We all had the black blinds to pull. We had to grow Victory Gardens. And those of us that were just young very young children were given Mickey Mouse gasp mess. Did you know that that out in the country. They were doing that we had to have rehearsals we all the something would ring and all of us little children were told grab your coats. It's airway time. And we'd go down the stairs of the school and over Cross. Cross the playground and over to the ditches and we were told to lie in the ditches and cover our heart Her ears. And we did that for many times. We also had shortages. There were rations for tea and coffee, my mother used to like tea and our neighbor liked coffee. So they would exchange their coupons so that they could get with a wine. And my mother would really wring out these leaves and dry them and cheese cloth on the line. But we were lucky in that we had our own vegetable gardens, we learned to do everything because we didn't have any facilities. And we had animals. So we always had milk. We learned to milk the cow and, and I actually did a paper route myself. I didn't tell Tom, can I take a minute to tell Tom? I was about dying at the time. My dad had died when I was six. And mom had quite a handful with six children on a 10 acre farm with no money. So we all had to really learn to survive. And my two brothers were doing paper routes. And they used to have the interim and drop newspaper bundles off for all the various delivery people delivery boys usually. And I said to them, Well, if you can do it, so can I, because I was little tag along to these two brothers. So he said, Well, you know, we haven't gotten the money to get a bike or anything for you. And you have to have a bike and a carrier. And you have to have a rain hat in the hood, and it has to cover the bike. So anyway, I contacted the son, we didn't have a phone. So I don't know how I did this. But anyway, I said I wanted to be a paperboy and deliver the sun. And they did the same for the province. So I got a route from each. And I also got some kind of an agreed upon deal that I could pay them $2 a month. And they supplied the bicycle, the carrier, the hat, the coverall. And every month, I had to spend a certain amount of this money to pay for my bike. But on collection date was always bad, because a lot of people had animals and things and I had to go into their homes to try and collect money. And there was this one family always had this big. It was the Alpine dog, the big ones that St Bernard. And it was so lovable, but it loved me so much. It knocked me off my back my bike every month when I went to collect and just know that I wasn't gonna be up there. But it was very nice. And it was slobber all over my face. And I would try and get the owners to come and give me some money. And then this other time, the man said, Oh, my dear, I'm too poor to pay you. He owed me about three months by this time, but I never had the heart to cut them off. So he said, Will you take gold in exchange? And I said, Oh, well, I'll ask my mother. So I went home and said, Mama, can I have a goat? Because he can't pay me and mother said, Well, you know, you, you know, we already had cows and pigs and chickens. So I knew there is responsibility here somewhere. So I said, she said, you'll have to know you have to clean it. You have to milk it. You have to feed it, look after it and really care for it. And I said I will mama. So my brother and I went he was much older than I was. And off we went. And we walked at home in the end of a rope. And it had a baby. And suddenly there were two. My brothers in the meantime had to build a little platform in a little shed because goats are shorter than cows and only has two tips instead of four. I could barely even do it. But still that was my responsibility. So again, you never know what you're going to get when you want to get involved in doing something you learned a lot. My mother wasn't too fond of the boat, the goat because it always attacked her when she wasn't looking. But anyway, that was all part of why we survived I think in our own way during the war. There were hard times but I think all of us children were aware of war. And a lot of our neighbors young neighbors all went off to war and never came back. My Baikal Yes, I was a paper by this paper girl for several years. Oh, yeah. I owned it. i Oh, yeah, yeah. Anyway, I think in summary that I thank you all, first of all, for coming to this session. And I do hope that you found it interesting enough that there may be a few things have some new meaning for you. And also, I'm very fond of the people here. I feel I know a lot of faces here. I don't always know names with faces, as we all are populations expanding but I know that everybody seems to be doing something very humane and worthwhile and helpful to their neighbors. And I think this is what the most important thing here in memory of what the vets died for, what they died to have as have peace So I thank you once again

Unknown Speaker 55:10
the personal stuff at the end

Unknown Speaker 55:13
that's not in the script or, like, I'm on the mic. I'm not talking on the script. like to mention that with respect