The Burns Lake Royal Canadian Legion Branch 50 has found its new executive committee. In a strong show of support on Dec. 16, 2013, general membership nominations and voting led to all nine positions being filled.
New and returning faces suggest a good mix of experienced legion members with young and some first-time executive members.
The legion was facing a potential crisis when it failed to form a new executive committee during its Nov. 18, 2013 regular meeting. At the time, legion chairman Bob Whipps warned that if membership did not take interest and show up for the next general meeting and elect a new executive, then the branch would begin a process that could mean the loss of their charter and the permanent closure of the branch (see Nov. 27, 2013 Burns Lake legion faces apathy).
Faced with the real possibility that he may have to shortly inform B.C./Yukon Command that Burns Lake could not draw an executive committee out of its 150 member base, Whipps placed an advertisement in Lakes District News asking for community feedback.
His question, do you support the Legion in Burns Lake, received a 100 per cent positive feedback, as tracked by the Lakes District News.
The community support for the legion was well-represented during the nomination process, as every executive position had more than one candidate step forward to take up duties.
Even the general executive, a five-member team that divides various legion duties between themselves, required a vote as six members stepped forward to stand on the committee.
“It was a worrisome time,” Whipps said of the weeks following the Nov. 18 failure to elect a new executive. “I’m really glad enough people took the time and showed interest in the legion.”
The newly elected executive committee will take effect on Jan. 1, 2014.
The new year may also bring with it changes to the B.C. liquor license act which could make the legion more family friendly.
Support for recommended changes to the B.C. liquor license act were announced on Dec. 17 by the B.C. Premier’s office. The changes flow from the recent liquor policy review the province has been undertaking.
Among the recommended changes is permission for establishments like the legion to allow minors accompanied by adults during dining hours or during other special events. This would mean that the local legion could have families come out for their dinner specials, or during community events they might host.
The expansion of income-generating possibilities for the Royal Canadian Legion across the province was welcomed enthusiastically by B.C./Yukon Command.
“We’re thrilled to hear government is making positive changes in liquor regulations impacting the Royal Canadian Legion and other membership clubs, so we can hold gatherings that safely accommodate minors, like community events, anniversaries and birthday parties,” said Angus Stanfield, president of the Royal Canadian Legion BC/Yukon Command. “These changes will help us strengthen our charitable giving for veterans, youth, seniors and the communities we serve.”
Other recommended changes to the liquor act include allowing for time-limited drink specials – happy hours – as well as the removal of the restriction that patrons must order food while drinking at a food-primary establishment.
There will be constraints to the proposed changes. For example, minimum drink pricing will be required during drink specials, and minors will be prescribed hours when they are allowed in establishments that adopt a family-friendly policy.
But the changes do allow for more flexibility at the local legion to become a family friendly destination, which can’t help but boost their revenues.