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Midland Royal Canadian Legion branch #80: Ready to serve

Scattered across Canada one finds the old Royal Canadian Legion branch signs everywhere. Midland is no exception and benefits from a passionate membership

Scattered across Canada one finds the old Royal Canadian Legion branch signs everywhere. And Midland is no exception. 

Our branch here in Midland, thanks to the work of a small and dedicated band  of volunteers, is flourishing. Current president Ron Adair, members Dee Adair and Dan Travers and others, managed to perform a miracle after some enormous challenges.

Dare I say COVID? That is over and life at the branch has resumed with vigour.

Now I am not saying the Adairs and Travers of this world are miracle workers, but they come close and are to be praised for the hard lifting they have done in restoration of the branch, the membership and the level of excitement they have created.

Each executive comes into the job with a mix of enthusiasm and trepidation, thinking, “Why on earth did I volunteer for the job?” A word to the wise when you are at meetings…if you wave your hand, you have the job and we are very pleased you have made the sacrifice.

Speaking of volunteering - it is a bit of a sacrifice, though nothing compared with those we honour, as some paid with their lives.

A few hours a week or month isn’t much and you will be better for giving as much good returns such as gossip, hearsay and some actual facts.

There is a very small aspect of all of this which reminds one of Stephen Leacock. Though not Mariposa, it is still Midland and the absurd and silly exists alongside the pathos. You cannot  invent the characters to be found at the Bullsh*t, I mean, the Table of Truth.

One develops an entirely new cadence and manner after training under masters such as Jimmy Clark, Dougie and Jimmy Wright, Swifty, or others who wish to remain anonymous. Some gone, some here today. We will remember them.

Nor can we forget the famous spaghetti dinners held by the ladies auxiliary. I have it on good report that many older bachelors set that day aside for a full meal with great company. There are at least three shifts.

Mary Graham is still serving the bread. Son Chester I noticed, dispenses the boxed wine. These are skill-sets developed over years of training. These tasks require equal proportions of humility and humour. Clan Graham has both in  abundance.

Finally, what good is a branch without a band? Well, Midland Pipes and Drums lead the parades very ably and are the backbone of the Legion at every Drumhead, Remembrance Day or Burns Supper.

The Midlandaires, or whatever line up under that moniker, entertains each Friday and it starts around 4:30 P.M.

Meat draw and fifty-fifty and the odds, and, perhaps, the gods are with you.

René Hackstetter, June 11, 2022.