October to November 2020

It has been a challenging time, but still we have persevered and continue to bring about positive changes.

SOFT OPENING: We opened October first with COVID safe guards in place. It has been wonderful seeing our Legion family return. We have opened with extreme caution and continue to make health and safety a top priority. We now have brought back darts and meat draws.

EXECUTIVE and GENERAL MEETINGS: BC Yukon Command has requested that our executives stay in place until such time as we can have General Meetings and elections our current executive will remain in place. In September Amanda Lawrence resigned from the Executive as she accepted our vacant bar tender position. We appointed Vickie Gall to the Executive and shifted some of our responsibilities. Vickie was one of our very active “Do’ers” and now is Chair of Ways and Means. We also have another vacancy as Loise Geoffrion has also tendered her resignation. We are very excited about the Executive Team that we have built and the directions we are moving in. If you are interested in joining our executive please message us at info@crestonlegion.ca to express your interest. The Executive has been meeting monthly through a combination of safe distancing and tele-conferencing. When we can once again have a general Meeting, we will have much to share with the membership.

RENOVATION UPDATES: We just wanted to share a little of what has been happening in our branch. Some of this has been through our own fundraising, through grants and through our insurance claim. Already done:

-Lighting and ceiling in half of the canteen

– Flooring up and down

-Painting in the canteen and part of the upper hall

– Electrical upgrades

-Asphalt driveway

-Repairs to heating, cooling and refrigeration

We still have a long list of To Do’s-We will put a suspended ceiling and lighting on the other half of the canteen. Currently that 1/2 has 11 holes in the ceiling. This project will begin soon-We have an offer on our Snooker Table so we will soon begin some work on our Hall of Hero’s in that space.- We are fundraising and writing grants to replace our roof. We have received over $4,000 in cash donations that we are holding in trust for our roof. Every dollar counts!- Once the roof has been replaced we can fix our ceilings upstairs in the upper hall and complete our painting upstairs. It is a daunting list, but we are up for the challenge and are very determined to have Branch 29 return to its Glory Days! Check out the pictures of the ceiling that is done and that remains to be done. You will see why we are pushing ahead one project at a time.

REMEMBRANCE DAY: Our plans for Remembrance Day changed in keeping with Public Health requirements. In the end we were able to do a small indoor program that was broadcast virtually for our community to see. As always the Fly Over was well received. As we were planning for Remembrance Day, it became clear that we would not be able to have our WW2 vets in attendance. For many, their age and health meant it would be too much of a risk for them to participate. We wanted to thank our Vets for their service so we planned what we called a curb side salute. We did a small convey. Once we arrived close to a Veteran’s Residence, we got out. Brian O’Neil played the Bagpipes, Pastor Haberstock led us in a prayer and Retired Master Sargent Army Veteran, Dwayne McKenzie led our curbside parade and salute. It was a great honour to do this for the 12 vets who participated.

Bill Constable
Gail , Marble and Karen
Dwayne McKenzie and Brian o’Neil
Pastor Harry Branch 29 Champlain
On Parade
Gail giving a poppy to Sir Ralph
Sir Ralph Heald and Family
Thelma and Ray Destabel, both WW2 vets. Thelma was a past president of Branch 29. These two veterans have been married 26 years.

OCTOBER FIRST: Branch 29 will Re-Open!!!

It has been 6 and a half months since COVID and a flood caused our closure… We are finally able to announce that we will do a “Soft Re-opening” of Branch 29 beginning October 1st. We are looking forward to reconnecting with our Legion Family again and welcoming new patrons and members. Because your health and safety is our number one priority, we will be following ALL recommendations from Public Health.

For the first two weeks we will not do meat draws, serve food or have children in the premises. The Executive will be meeting on the 15th of October. Once we can have food available, we will look at opening it to include families. We are intentionally going slow and careful. We care deeply about your safety, but we can hardly wait until you return. Our capacity will be 50 people including staff and volunteers. Please be patient with that. We cannot have more than 50 in the Canteen. EVERYONE will need to sign in for contact tracing. When you have signed in you can go to a table with a green card, indicating it has been cleaned for you. Please stay in your bubble group.

Safety information will be posted at the door and on your tables. Please follow these regulations. Please give us constructive feedback on our soft opening. We know that we will learn and make improvements as we go along. Welcome Back!
(If you are interested in volunteering on one of our opening days, please message us. We will need volunteers to assist Canteen staff until safety routines are manageable from the staff)


This is a summer that we will never forget! It is a summer of two pandemics: COVID and RACISM.  It is also the summer that Branch 29 could not open up because of a flood, but that is for later. Both pandemics are global and pervasive.  So many lives lost due to COVID; so many injustices due to racism. 

Most of us have had the experience of being teased or taunted; but marginalized people the world over have and continue to experience institutional racism.  Unless it is lived, we do not fully understand how devastating discrimination is. Marginalized peoples do not have the ‘privilege’ of experiencing life the way that most do. They are often misjudged and stereotyped as they try to go about their daily lives. Stereotypes make it hard for people to fully integrate into our communities. It is not in line with the freedoms that our veterans fought for. We must not forget that our veterans fought for freedom for ALL… not just for some. The summer of 2020 is also one of hope. We hope that as we look back on the summer of 2020, we examine our own biases and take steps to further embrace diversity, both personally and institutionally.

Further we hope that as we look back on the summer of 2020, we take a deep look at our values as a community, a nation and a world.  The COVID-19 virus has caused us all to realize the importance of our nuclear family, keeping them safe and well.  It has helped us learn that each of us can make sacrifices that can support one another through a crisis. It has helped us live simpler lives and look for balance in our day to day interactions. For some there is deep skepticism around COVID, for others there is extreme worry. Regardless the global measures taken have saved lives, especially those of our most vulnerable populations. We hope that people will continue to embrace the values of family and community as we gradually begin to open up. Branch 29 would like to extend a THANK YOU to all of the people in our valley who have and will continue to make a difference through this crisis.

As many of you know, Branch 29 had a flood mid-April.  Combined with the COVID, Branch 29 is hurting as we work to make necessary repairs.  The reality is that the Canteen will likely not re-open until the first of September.  We are hoping to open the upper hall mid-summer but that timeline remains to be seen. Our reality is that we have regular expenses with no revenue.  Instead we have held many fundraising activities including two hot dog sales at Pealows and a car wash at Classic Glass.  Thank you for your community support!  We will be doing more over the summer.  We have a Go Fund Me donation page at     https://www.gofundme.com/f/royal-canadian-legion-branch-29.  Many people have reached out to us with donations through GO Fund Me or in person donations.  Thank you!  Our goal is to raise $11,000 so that we can limp through the summer, make needed repairs and build in some COVID safe renovations to improve safety for our staff, volunteers and patrons. Every dollar is important! We are absolutely confident that we will reopen our branch in a way that is safe for our ALL! 

No doubt, 2020 has been a summer of devastation, but it has also been a summer of hope.  We know that there are challenging times ahead; Branch 29 is ready to be part of the rebuild in this valley we call home. 

COVID, FLOOD & COMMUNITY… It has been a challenging time for all but not without opportunity

As the globe dealt with COVID, businesses closed their doors in order to flatten the curve. Branch 29 was no exception. On March 17th we closed temporarily our doors looking forward to the day we could re-open. One month later, almost to the day, a pipe burst upstairs and our canteen flooded. Fortunately we were doing regular inspections. That helped limit some of the damage. Still the damage was significant and we knew as the rest of British Columbia gradually opened their doors, we would still be dealing with flood mitigation.

Collapsed ceilings, electrical, mold and more…

However challenging this is, there are new opportunities. We will gradually bring parts of our lovely old building up to code. We uncovered a place where decades ago, a window once had been. We will be putting a window back in. Our duct-taped emergency door will be replaced and we will have more energy efficient lighting in the part of the building. Of course not all of this is covered by insurance, especially renovations required because of COVID. We have begun a fund raising campaign to help with the deficiencies. Our community as always has been very generous. We need $11,000 to cover our expected costs and as of June 1st, 2020, we are half way there.