KAWARTHA LAKES: The Royal Canadian Legion was formed in 1926, with a commitment to the remembrance of those who gave their lives for peace and freedom.
Prior to 1926 the Lindsay Legion, Sir Sam Hughes Branch, was called the Great War Veterans Association which was founded in 1917.
“The Legion's mission is to serve the veterans, members of the military, and RCMP members as well as their families. The Legion is also here to promote remembrance and Remembrance Day,” said Bill Neville, public relations officer for the Lindsay Legion.
The Lindsay Legion is named after Sir Sam Hughes, who served as Canada’s Minister of Militia and Defence, during the First World War and was knighted in 1915.
He was a driving force behind Canada’s early war effort and brought an arsenal of troops to Lindsay. Sir Sam Hughes increased the efficiency of the pre-war militia, and after 1914, led the Canadian war effort with enormous energy and personal drive.
He lived most of his natural life in Lindsay, where he passed away, due to Pernicious Anemia, on January 8th, 1953.
In memory of Sir Sam Hughes, the Lindsay Legion serves the community in many ways, with donations to several community groups throughout the year.
“Charitable efforts is one of the biggest things the Legion does,” Bill said.
The Lindsay Legion donates to a lot of local organizations, like the Ross Memorial Hospital, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the Boys and Girls Club, the cadets, the local foodbank, the Salvation Army, and the March of Dimes, to name a few.
“We try and keep a lot of our donations in the community,” said Brenda Elliott, donations officer, for the Lindsay Legion.
She added, “We are a non-profit organization, and the Legion believes in our community and to help out where we can, along with all the veterans.”
The Legion assists its members, who are veterans, through a Branch Services Officer. The officer provides support to veterans, widows, and ex-serviceman in their community. They devote most of their time to disability pension claims and are actively involved in preparing for these claims. As well, Service Officers appeal and defend against negative pension decisions.
The Lindsay Legion is hosting its annual Remembrance Day service on November 11th, and encourages everyone in the area to come out.
“The Lindsay Legion service is a very well put together service,” Bill said.
At the service families who have lost loved ones can lay a wreath for the deceased relative.
Starting at the Lindsay Legion, located on 12 York Street North, there will be a march at 10:00 a.m. Legion members will form a procession outside and march up Kent Street to the Cenotaph, located just outside the Kawartha Lakes Public Library, on 190 Kent Street West. Once the procession arrives, the official Remembrance Day service at the Cenotaph will begin at 10:30 a.m.
Everyone is welcome to attend the ceremony and encouraged to honour Remembrance Day with the Lindsay Legion.