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Sault’s Royal Canadian Legion branch not closing, says executive

Royal Canadian Legion Branch 25 members to vote on future of Great Northern Road building at special November meeting
Royal Canadian Legion Branch 25 at 96 Great Northern Road. Darren Taylor/SooToday

Wilma Oliver, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 25 president, has told SooToday the local branch, located at 96 Great Northern Rd., is not closing.

“Any rumours (spread by word of mouth or through social media) the local Legion branch is closing are not true,” Oliver said.

However, Oliver did state “we are having a meeting with our membership asking for direction in regard to our building.”

Branch 25 members are being asked to attend the meeting, which will be held at 7 p.m. Nov. 29 at the Sault Ste. Marie Armoury at 375 Pine St.

“Even if they opted to close this building, it would be closing just the building, not the Legion branch itself,” Oliver said.

Branch 25 members will be presented with a list of options regarding the building’s fate at the Nov. 29 meeting, and asked to vote on those options.

The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 25 building turned 50 this year.

Branch 25 was first established in Sault Ste. Marie in 1928.

Far from being decrepit, the current building does, however, need some repairs.

At the same time, the branch building, as reported earlier by SooToday, has much to offer.

The two-story building’s lower floor includes a lounge and TV sets, pool tables and dart boards, a boardroom for meetings, space for dances and music nights, an impressive Canadian military history museum and a library of military history books available for sign out.

The second storey consists of a large banquet hall, which may be used for weddings, wedding receptions, dances and other special occasions (with a full kitchen in which food is prepared by Branch 25’s Ladies Auxiliary), and also serves as home to a darts league and the band practice space for the Legion’s band.

Royal Canadian Legion Branch 25, one of many Legion branches across Canada, is a service club primarily dedicated to caring for veterans and their families, but its charitable efforts have benefited several other community organizations and causes, such as ARCH, youth education programs (including public speaking contests) and track and field and sports programs (which the Legion will pay for, in part).

Membership at Branch 25 is currently holding steady at approximately 600, dwindling from about 800 a decade ago.

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Darren Taylor

About the Author: Darren Taylor

Darren Taylor is a news reporter and photographer in Sault Ste Marie. He regularly covers community events, political announcements and numerous board meetings. With a background in broadcast journalism, Darren has worked in the media since 1996.
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