To further add to the facts explained in yesterday’s blog ”Calling Out The Great Canadian Veteran Pretender” I would like to add a story that appeared early this week in the Charlottetown Guardian newspaper. This questionable news article apparently merited half of page including a photo. The article referred to the Charlottetown Legion branch promoting a game of “Chase the Ace”. This is a card game/draw used as a way of raising monies for the branch. It was stated in the story this could be a life line to save the struggling club. The Charlottetown legion recently sold their building and arranged to rent the basement. It is no secret that many legions are in financial trouble. Here on PEI our two city branches, Charlottetown and Summerside rent the basements of what was once their buildings. It could be speculated, Chase the Ace is the latest replacement to the disappearing bingo’s that once provided funds. However, chasing aces, shouting bingo, playing lotto machines do not address the root cause of dwindling revenues. This in no way seems to follow the intent of the latest Legion Motto,”Preparing for the 21st Century”. These card games/lotto machines are nothing more than stop gap measures. At best the legions will stumble along for another year or two. No new members joining, older members leaving, this is clearly the problem. Yet Dominion Command and Provincial Commands seem incapable of change. We could ask how are they preparing for the future? Is it the selling of poppy earrings,mugs,sweaters,umbrella’s, medals etc. Clearly it is not the answer and does nothing to enhance the legion image. Opening up of membership to almost anyone off the street, offering free one year membership to retiring service personnel, none of these actions are working. The original purpose of legions was to offer aid to and provide veterans with an inviting place to meet and enjoy the company of other vets. I would wager, in many of today’s legions finding a veteran could range from difficult to impossible.. I do not advocate we get rid of associate members, indeed there are many invaluable associates assisting in the daily running of branches. However, they are not veterans and should not parade with a chest full of legion medals at Remembrance Day ceremonies. They should certainly not be in executive positions at any level. The legion has lost its way, veterans are no longer the reason for the legion, its the associates who have become comfortable making the policies and rules. Why would any veteran want to be apart of an organization run primarily for and by civilians. I cannot honestly see the legion in its present form lasting many more years.
God Bless and keep reading