Comox Legion seeking public input at June 25 open house

 

 

Part of its mission is to serve veterans, members of the military, the RCMP and their families. But 300,000-plus members of 1,400-plus branches of the Royal Canadian Legion also serve a host of community programs across the country.

The Comox Legion contributes between $40,000 and $60,000 each year to a variety of non-profits in the Comox Valley.

“We’re not just an old man’s drinking club,” said Rod Bell-Irving, second vice-president at the Comox Legion.

Branch 160 is hosting an open house Saturday, June 25, an all ages event intended to bring awareness to the purpose of the Comox Legion. The open house coincides with Legion Week, June 24-30.

“Legions across Canada, to varying degrees, are going through transformations,” Bell-Irving said. “Some of them are closing through lack of support. Financially, they’re not able to survive. Demographically, Legions tend to be older than younger in terms of its members.”

The B.C. command has released a strategic planning document that suggests Legions will no longer exist by 2022 if branches do nothing differently.

“They put that out there to motivate and encourage branches to wake up and smell the coffee, and say ‘What are you going to do about it?’,” Bell-Irving said.

The Comox Legion, one of three Valley branches, is financially sound. Its membership is around 900 people. More than 500 are veterans.

Still, Branch 160 has initiated a strategic planning process that asks: Ten years from now, what do we see ourselves doing, and where do we see ourselves physically?

It’s considering three options: do nothing, renovate the 60-year-old building or undertake a total rebuild.

“We have one of the bigger meeting rooms that we rent out or give away for community members to use,” said Bell-Irving, noting an option might be to add an elevator.

“We own the land that we sit on, and we own the building. We’re looking at possibly tearing down the building and undertaking a development on the site. The Town of Comox has recently developed a strategic plan. Our site has been zoned in a manner that would allow us to build a structure that could be as high as six stories. That gives us some scope and potential for building a significant structure that might incorporate things like seniors subsidized housing, veterans housing, or some other combination.”

Branch 160 has invited 25 non-profits — the Food Bank, Therapeutic Riding and RCMP kids camp, among them — to the open house to advertise what they do. Each will be given time to promote their organization and to discuss what the Legion contribution means to them.

The public will also be asked for input and to consider the question: If we’re not around in five to 10 years from now, what difference would that make to you?

“We’re asking the public and the community to help us shape our strategic plan,” Bell-Irving said.

The open house runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 1825 Comox Ave.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A man sustained burns to his body near this spot around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 13 in Courtenay. The fire was left of the pathway. The Station youth housing facility and city public works yard are to the right of the trail. Photo by Terry Farrell
Emergency personnel respond to man on fire in wooded area of Courtenay

A man was badly burned in the early morning hours Tuesday in… Continue reading

This 2013 Dodge Ram 1500 was stolen from Black Creek Motors at approximately 2 a.m. Sunday, April 11. Photos via blackcreekmotors.com
VIDEO: Thieves steal truck from Black Creek car lot by towing it away

Have you seen a 2013 Dodge Ram 1500 in your neighbourhood in… Continue reading

Teresa Hedley and a copy of her book, “What’s Not Allowed? A Family Journey with Autism.” Photo supplied
Comox Library recognizes Autism Awareness Month with presentation by local author

April is World Autism Awareness Month, an annual opportunity to increase understanding… Continue reading

Comox council will further look at a troublesome traffic area in the Point Holmes area of the town. Photo submitted
Comox council to look at speed calming measures at Point Holmes

“…We are waiting for a problem to happen if we don’t act.”

A 41-person air task force, including 12 members from 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron at 19 Wing Comox, seized more than $3 million CND worth of cocaine as part of Op Caribbe. Photo by Canadian Armed Forces Operations/Facebook
19 Wing Comox crew involved in three-tonne cocaine seizure worth more than $293 million

12 members from 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron involved in Op Caribbe

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Two men were seen removing red dresses alongside the Island Highway in Oyster Bay. (Submitted photo)
Two men filmed removing red dresses from trees on highway near Ladysmith

Activists hung the dresses to raise awareness for Vancouver Island’s Murdered/Missing Women & Girls

Comox Lake is the drinking water source for the CVRD. Photo supplied
Comox Valley Water Treatment Project nears completion

The Comox Valley Water Treatment Project is more than 85 per cent… Continue reading

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

RCMP on scene yesterday at the altercation at the trailer park. (Submitted photo)
Violent altercation at Port Hardy trailer park sends one to hospital

Police say man confronted another over airsoft shooting, then was attacked with a weapon

Comox council approved a change in fees for using the Comox Municipal Marina, extending the collection of fees from March 1 to Oct. 31 each year. Black Press file photo
Fee changes, increased costs coming to Comox Municipal Marina

The town will be extending the collection of fees from March 1 to Oct. 31

John Albert Buchanan was found guilty of manslaughter in the 2017 death of Richard Sitar. Pictured here, Buchanan walking to the court in Nanaimo last year. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Six years including time served for Nanaimo man in bludgeoning death

John Albert Buchanan sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo for death of Richard Sitar

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Most Read