What is the Squamish Legion about and what do we do within the community? I believe many people have some concepts on what the Squamish Legion kind of is. They do Remembrance Day? Isn’t it only for veterans and military? Isn’t that the place with cheap drinks? Well, some of this hearsay is partially true.
We do organize the Remembrance Day service in Squamish at the Cenotaph in Stan Clarke Park on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. We are not a private club exclusively for veterans or military, We are a community service group founded by veterans. Anyone can be a member for only $50 a year. Veterans get there first year free at our branch. We don’t have cheap drinks; we have well-valued members pricing and, as some would say, we’re the best value in town.
Formed in 1931, the Squamish Legion is also one of the Squamish’s oldest community service clubs. We’ve survived a lot of change over the years in the Squamish Valley, and I’m sure they’ll be more yet to come. This ability to survive is mainly due to our amazing volunteers and members who have stood by us over the years.
So in the spirit of debunking myths, let’s bring up a couple of commonly asked questions I receive as the Squamish Legion President.
Q: So what’s the Squamish Legion about?
A: It’s a community service group that was founded by veterans of WWI and WW2. The focus of the Squamish Legion is preserving Remembrance Day and serving our veterans and members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), RCMP and their families. However, as a community service group, we volunteer in other capacities in Squamish such as Squamish Days Loggers Sports in addition to raising funds through our world-famous Legion Meat Draw. All funds raised must be donated back into the community or towards veteran’s causes, such as transition, education and financial assistance.
Q: There’s a Legion in Squamish? Where is it located?
A: 40194 Glenalder Pl, in the Garibaldi Estates, above the Tantalus Bike Shop and across from Boston Pizza (Garibaldi Village Shopping Center). The Meat Draw starts at 3:00 pm and runs to 6:00 pm on Saturdays. We’re open Tuesday–Saturday and our staff is great.
Q: Can anyone join? I’m not a veteran or have never served in the military.
A: Yes, anyone can join. However, one must be 19. Now I fully emphasize and understand why people may be hesitant to drop in and see what we’re about. The Squamish Legion is not exclusively for veterans. It’s about community service and promoting Remembrance. Gone are the days of the stereotype of angry old men (sometimes cranky but within tolerable limits) who will stare at you when you walk in the door and yell at you to take your hat off. I don’t think I’d care too much to be president of that kind of established institution. As a veteran, I realize it’s not in everyone’s wheel house to join the military. One doesn’t have to have served in order to show support for those who have or do.
In conclusion, if you’re interested in fundraising for community causes and veterans, winning great cuts of meat from Nesters at our world-famous Meat Draw, honoring and respecting Canadian traditions and, most importantly, serving your community, please drop by and see what we’re about.
Lest We Forget
Russ Robertson is the president of Squamish Legion.