Wow! it has been two years and what an interesting time as Branch President. I would like to take the opportunity to thank my Table Officers and Executive for the last 2 years. The members of the Executive worked very well together as a Team. Yes, we were met some challenges, but as a Team we overcame them. I feel we accomplished many things and have made your Branch even more successful than ever. We tried and succeeded to run your Legion as a business, renting our facility for member and outside functions. Our calendar, even today, is full for the next few months and we continue to have phone calls asking about our rentals.
I would also like to say thank you to our staff for your support and dedication to serving our members. Over the last 2 years we have worked well under the new union and as a Team.
Over the last 2 years our Membership dropped with a lot of prior members not renewing and some transferring out. But even with this, we’ve had some success and getting new members daily and lots of transfers coming into our Branch. This says a lot about our Membership committee for the hard work they have done in recruiting and getting past dues paid. The big question is why a member in good standing would not renew their membership. We have not figured this out yet as we are the friendliest Branch. This problem in the New Year has to be addressed and figured out so we do not keep going downward in our membership numbers. If you have the answer please let us know of your ideas.
In the past 2 years we have had some up and downs around our Kitchen and as of the last few months I believe we have turned that around with the hire of our new cook. Also, in past years Cde. LeBlanc has put in countless hours of volunteer time doing the Ways & Means and has given so much of her time to make our Branch a success. Please pass on your thanks to her for her support and hard work, as do I. Now, where are we as we move forward with Ways & Means is a tough question to answer with Cde. LeBlanc stepping down from the position as Chair . It will be a hard losing such an asset and hopefully one of our members will step up in 2017 to take on this responsibility.
Our future as a Branch, as I see it, is great if we keep going the way we are. My hope is we stay strong and take the steps to build a new building for the members of Branch 91 and the community. What that means is the big question, but we are starting to have some meaningful discussions with professionals to get some guidance and understanding of the steps needed to move forward. This past week I have met with Mayor Stu Young to ask where he sees the Legion in the future and what he thinks we should do for a new building. From this meeting we have been given a couple of names to contact to see if something can be worked out. Our hopes are big and we hope yours are too. Stay tuned for more news to come.
Okay, the question is why I want to run again for President of Branch 91. It is because I see this as a challenge to make our Legion a better place for all. I want our Branch to be even more successful and be the leader for other Branches to follow. We need to learn more about how to market ourselves more successfully. We need to make known within our community that we are here as a Legion and not as the silent partner as some think. We need to be the leader for Veterans of today and yesterday. I think we have some hurdles to get over to make the community believe this is our Mission in the Royal Canadian Legion, but I believe we can do it. We have to get past the stigma of the general public thinking all the Legion is, is a bunch of old men sitting drinking beer. We need to keep letting the public know that anyone can join our Legion. As mentioned previously, we need a new Branch and I would like to see this happen, sooner than later. I hope I can have your support for another 2 years as your President of Branch 91.
Please be aware of the closures over the Christmas Holidays and that our Kitchen will be closed from the December 24 to January 2nd.
With Christmas coming up and our Branch being extremely busy I would like to take this opportunity now to wish you and your family all the best throughout the Christmas Holidays and the New Year.