Legion members are worried. As an active committee member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #90 in Unity, Saskatchewan, puts it, they are “in dire need.”
While branches and members appreciate communities supporting their fundraising efforts, what they need more than ever before is new members, and especially, new members who are willing to take on an active role.
Mike Wildeman of the Unity branch says recent meetings have no more than nine members in attendance and the average age of the attendees is close to 80. “The Legion, in a year’s time, may not be the Legion, without a membership drive,” he said.
At one time, the Unity Legion boasted a membership list of 175 names; today that list is down to less than 60. Many on today’s list are members in name only and are not active in organizing or planning any activities.
Wilkie and Luseland Legion branches have the same issues with declining membership lists and less than 10 people coming to meetings. Luseland Legion president Brian Honeker said they only have 22 members currently, six of who no longer even live in the Luseland area.
Any membership drive will have to focus on people willing not only to become a Legion member, but also to attend meetings and take a turn on the executive. The only qualification to be a Legion member is being a Canadian citizen.
The Unity, Wilkie and Luseland branches all meet only once a month, and take the summer off. Both Wildeman and Honeker, and other active Legion members in the area, would be more than happy to hear from you if you have any questions about Legion membership and/or where you might be able to assist, whether it is locally, provincially or nationally.