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Kudos to the High River Legion

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This past week, a dark period has come to the end for the Royal Canadian Legion in High River. It was just over a year ago that the entire executive was let go by District Command, and the charter was taken over by Command. For the past year, the Legion has operated under District Command, which for any Legion is not a good thing. The Legion Charter is essentially the bylaws by which the Legion operates. Without that charter, the Legion falls under District Command’s bylaws, which may or may not be different from their own.

As District Five Commander Dino Michaud said when he presented the charter back the High River Legion, “whatever is under command’s bylaw is different from the branches…the branch has nothing to say about what is coming because command controls everything.”

Essentially, for the past year, the High River Legion was not in charge of itself.

Rather than allow that to continue, or to fold entirely as many Legions have done, the members persevered. They worked hard to regain their charter and fall under their own bylaws once again.

This qualifies as a Legion success story, especially considering that District Command wants to use the bylaws drafted by the High River Legion as a template for other Legions who may be in trouble.

One year ago, things were much different. During a meeting between the Legion members and the executive, voices were raised and tempers were flared. Members were unhappy with the Legion executive in High River and they voiced their displeasure.

Of course, it may not have been completely the executive’s fault. Things have been changing for every Legion across the country. Many have shut down due to lack of memberships and funds, and so far the 21st century has not been good to the long-standing Canadian organization.

High River could have sold its building, given up its charter and essentially ceased to exist.

Instead, those put in charge by Command worked hard to bring about changes to the Legion.

For the past 12 months they found ways to make the Legion work again, to make it profitable and to, most importantly, make it govern itself. They have succeeded.

Not only have they succeeded, they also ensured that they would be under their own governance, and in existence, for an 85th straight year.

This year will mark 85 years for the High River Legion, which is an immense accomplishment during these trying times for the Royal Canadian Legion.

If you have not been to the Legion before, stop in and check it out. Many people do not realize that anyone can join the Legion and new members are always needed. You can meet those who made history in this town, you can learn about the brave military history of High River residents and you can develop new friendships.

Congratulations to the High River Legion. You have proven that while the trend for most Legions appears to be downward, the High River Legion is bucking that trend.

Kudos to you. Here is hoping that you continue to be an inspiration for other Legions across the country.

What are your thoughts?

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