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Canora Legion branch busy in the community, looking for members

Legion is hosting a pulled pork and coleslaw Canora in Bloom lunch at the Canora Legion Dugout this Thursday, July 11.
The Canora branch of the Royal Canadian Legion continues to be active in community service and supporting the needs of veterans. New members are always welcome.

CANORA - Hello, I'm Cathy Trach and as at September 2023, the president of Canora Branch #52

On April 14, Padre Thomas Carnahan and I attended the Legion's District 4 Zone 1 Rally in Sheho, Sask. In attendance from our Zone were a total of 33 members. Legion ranches in attendance were Foam Lake, Sheho, Springside, Yorkton, Canora, Kamsack, Preeceville, Kelvington; unavailable were Lintlaw, Norquay and Wadena (Rose Valley has joined with the Kelvington Legion).

Prior to the meeting, we had time to socialize with our comrades and were fed a lovely lunch. During the meeting, all branches in attendance gave a report of their yearly activities.

Nominations were held for a new Zone and Deputy Commanders. District 4

Commander, Alan Hodgson of Regina reported on his experience on the Legion National Foundation's Pilgrimage of Remembrance in 2019.

In describing the Pilgrimage, he advised that it runs every two years and is a 10-day excursion. The Legion National Foundation selects a group of Canadians to participate. Once chosen, the pilgrims travel to France, Belgium, and the Netherlands, where they spend two weeks learning about the devastation of the First and Second World War. They visit battlefields, trenches, Normandy beaches, military cemeteries, museums, and attend memorial services in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

The next tour is May 2025 and more information can be found on the website or call the Legion National Foundation at (613) 591-3335 Ext 306.

At the conclusion of the meeting the new Zone and Deputy Commander, Gerald Hoffman of Springside and Halley Hilts of Foam Lake respectively, were sworn in for duty.

District 4 Rally

On April 28, Padre Thomas Carnahan and I attended the District 4 Rally in Foam Lake. In attendance were 47 members from the four Saskatchewan Zones. Again, prior to the meeting we had time to socialize with our comrades and were fed a lovely lunch.

During the meeting it was announced that in 2026 the Legion is holding a 100-year anniversary celebration in Winnipeg with the exact time frame to be announced.

This year’s national convention is to be held in New Brunswick, August 24 -28.

I now have a new understanding of the word “sports” as the Legion does not necessarily mean track-and-field; it includes cribbage, darts and/or shuffleboard. Prince Albert will be hosting

The Legion cribbage tournament; date to be determined.

Decoration Day

On June 9, our Branch held a Decoration Day Ceremony at the Veteran's section of the Canora Cemetery, followed by coffee and cake at the Dugout.

Local Legion active

In other Canora Legion news, Lorie Negraeff, our membership chairperson, reports that we had 17 paid members for 2023, 15 so far for 2024 and two prepaid up to 2025. Of these members we have approximately 10 active.

In 2022 and 2023 Daryl Stevenson, our treasurer, and Deb Gabora, building chair, worked diligently to apply for grants. We received sufficient funds to upgrade our building. Such upgrades consisted of a new furnace, hot water heater, electrical box to accommodate new lighting and ceiling fans, bathroom fixtures, windows and we were able to stucco the building.

We do rent out the Legion Dugout and had approx. 14 rentals in 2023.

Towards the end of 2022, we purchased a new Veterans Monument and flagpole to replace the existing one at the Canora Cemetery. In June of 2023 our branch did an unveiling of the monument at our Decoration Day Ceremony.

Each December Lorie Negraeff, our bursary chairperson, sends a package to the Canora Composite School for Grades 10, 11 and 12 students, advising of the guidelines to complete an essay for the opportunity to earn a bursary. In 2023 we offered a $1,000 bursary and this year we are offering two at $500 each. Unfortunately there were no entrants for 2023 and to date we have not received any for 2024. This is not to say that no student has ever applied as apparently we did have an entry a few years ago.

Every June, someone from our branch will attend the Awards night at the CCS whereby we present a plaque in the achievement of academics. The school decides on which academic subject is chosen.

Last year we completed our annual Poppy Campaign with Lorrie Dennis, our chairperson, presenting the guidelines for the poster and literacy contest to the Canora Junior Elementary School, Canora Composite School and the Invermay School. The campaign went very well, receiving amazing posters, poems and stories from the students.

Our year ended with the Remembrance Day program, starting at the Cenotaph for all to give their prayer for our fallen veterans and lay their wreaths. This was followed with a Church Service at the St. Joseph's Church, ending with a luncheon at the Dugout, open to everyone. We had approximately 75 in attendance who not only ate well and had good conversations but had also shared stories and memories of family and/or friends who had served. I felt it to be a very enlightening day.

Watch for us during this year's Canora in Bloom for a pulled pork lunch at the Dugout July 11, fundraising with a 50/50 at the Pandemonium In The Park July 12 and our annual Remembrance Day program at the Cenotaph, church service and lunch to follow at the Dugout.