Farewell to Branch 259

By Tracey Arial

The Royal Canadian Legion at 1,000 St. Antoine St. West in Duvernay no longer exists. It closed last February. Their phone number is out of service.

“They just closed the door and walked away,” said Norman Shelton, the president of the Royal Canadian Legion’s Quebec Command and Laval West resident. “That’s a really unusual situation. They have a charter. Usually if a branch is going to fold, they contact us ahead of time. Then they have a meeting and either close the branch or combine with another.”

In this case, no one in the branch wanted to join the executive to fold things down properly. So Quebec Command took charge of the members themselves.

“We sent out 62 letters telling them about their branch closing and giving them the option of staying with Quebec Command or transferring to another local branch,” said Shelton. “Eighty-five percent of them are now members with other branches in the region. We still have five or six members with us and we’ll see what they do next year.”

This particular branch also rented their premises, rather than owning, so there was no property for Dominion Command to handle.

“The landlord was nice,” said Shelton. “He got a hold of the branches in the area and let them buy the tables and chairs cheap. The pans and the cash register, the glasses, the coffee makers…the other branches in the area had first choice over the materials. He was a real nice person.”

Quebec Command divided the area the branch once covered into the territory covered by other branches in July so that the poppy campaign this year could go smoothly despite the loss.

Branches 216 and 251 in Laval got confused over two stores where members sell poppies, but the situation was rectified quickly.

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