Take a look at any community of any size and you’ll find some concerns that are struggling.
Businesses, non-profits… social agencies… all rely on patronage in order to remain vital and relevant. With some, like the Rossland Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, adaptation is proving to be a valuable part of evolution. While Legion membership may be in decline elsewhere, Branch President Doug Halliday is presiding over a bit of a resurgence in Rossland.
“Mostly it’s thanks to the community,” revealed Halliday on July 5. “We won an award last year, we’d increased our membership by 10 per cent. We got a nice certificate from Dominion Command (in Ottawa) for that.”
In his current position for the past seven years, the easy-going Halliday seems well-suited to the task, and puts in about 20 hours a week at it. Asked what it is that makes him successful in his role, he laughed, “…probably the fact that I don’t know how to say ‘no.’”
All joking aside, Halliday had gained a lot of familiarity with the Legion environment during his 22 years of active military duty. Doug served as a mechanic in such locations as Egypt, the Golan Heights, Cyprus, Germany and Jamaica as well as numerous postings across Canada. His military connection remained strong following his retirement from active service in 1980, and the Alberta native moved ahead on a different, yet related path.
“I got a civil service job doing contract management for the Department of National Defence,” Halliday explained, “…administering contracts… quality assurance for military equipment.”
Under Halliday’s watch the branch (established in 1945) appears to be on the upswing, indeed. After meeting with the personable executive and seeing the bright and comfortable premises of Br. #14 at 2081 Washington Street, a rising profile is understandable.
The Branch is closed through the months of July and August but was open that day for the funeral of a long-time member.
Halliday and his circle do their best to keep the attractions happening, and a few years ago the Branch was the recipient of a multi-thousand dollar facelift to it’s exterior.
The social action will resume in earnest when September arrives, making way for winter – as with the rest of Rossland – the busiest of seasons.
There’s really not much that compares to the Legion atmosphere in Rossland or anywhere else, for that matter.
If you’d like to look into a membership… please give Joanne Drystek a call at 250-362-2150.