Royal Canadian Legion Roberts Creek Branch #219 has been recognized for achieving the highest membership increase in 2004 of all Legion branches in British Columbia. Membership increased some 45 members in one year.
Membership statistics are compiled monthly by the BC/Yukon Command of the Royal Canadian Legion. A 10 per cent annual increase is recommended to maintain a healthy membership. Already in 2005, 18 additional new members have joined Branch #219, a 10 per cent increase in just one month.
On Jan. 12, Roberts Creek Legion officially inducted its new executive for 2005. Officers include Tim Webber, president; Paul Appelt, vice-president; Ben Gerwing-Levy, treasurer; Deborah Levy, secretary; Rick Steele, sergeant-at-arms; and Heather Powell, David Kelln and Michael McGinnis as executive at large.
The Roberts Creek Legion, affectionately known by members as "The Little Legion," was active in 2004. A major project completed in the past year is the new smoking room. The 300 sq ft. well-used addition adds 24 seats and was built entirely with volunteer labour, including artistic details such as hand-carved door handles and window ledges and hand-milled window and door trim.
Another project in the works is the construction of a new wheelchair access ramp to the entry door, which will be less steep and more stable than the existing one. It is expected to be completed before the Valentine's Tea on Feb. 5.
The Valentine's Tea is a major annual event that attracts some 60 seniors from the Roberts Creek area for dainty sandwiches, cookies, cakes and many pots of tea served from silver services. The Legion is transformed overnight into a beautifully-decorated tearoom complete with fine china, fancy tablecloths and fresh flowers. The men of the Legion, often otherwise attired in well-worn work boots, dress in suits and ties for the occasion to serve the guests.
The Little Legion is pleased with the "healthy generational mix" that regularly attends, remarked executive president Tim Webber. Veterans, baby boomers and twenty-somethings mingle around the pool table and dance at a wide variety of special music events.
"We are trying to become more attractive to a younger demographic," said Webber. He hopes more young members will become involved in leadership roles and community service within the Legion.
No veteran affiliation is required to become a member of the Royal Canadian Legion. Membership fees for the Roberts Creek branch are $45 per year.