ROYAL CANADIAN LEGION BRANCH #92 SALT
SPRING ISLAND, B.C.
Spring Branch 92 received its Charter in 1931, and the Ladies Auxiliary in 1947.
Free meeting rooms were made available in the local Harbour House Hotel, until
the Branch raised enough money to purchase the Ganges United Church Manse in
1955 and this became the centre of Legion and Auxiliary activities until the
more recent move to the current branch premises in 1988. The flag pole and flag
from this branch was re-located to the new Branch on Blain Road and still stands
proudly in front of the building, which was built on land deeded to the branch
by Cde E. G. (Ted) Meaden, who also deeded thousands of dollars towards the
92 has always enjoyed great support for our Poppy Campaign and Remembrance Day
ceremonies, in which the community at large participates. The public gathers
at Centennial Park and the school choir sings whilst wreaths are laid at the
cenotaph, followed by a march past. The public are then invited to join Legion
members for a lunch that has been prepared by the L.A. Our Poppy Fund supports
the Island's eldercare and hospital facilities, Meals-on-Wheels program and
provides student bursaries. In most recent years, our Poppy Fund has raised
approximately $10,000 per year.
Branch 92 has many special activities centering around the community of Salt
Spring Island. For instance, it donates to many organizations, especially concentrating
on youth groups, including High School ball teams, swimming teams, the Girl
Guides and Boy Scouts (who had their Charter at the Branch since 1937), as well
as many other groups. Bursaries are donated annually by the Branch and the L.A.
From our weekly meat draws, as much as $40,000 has been donated annually. July
1st - Canada Day - is a special family community day at our Branch, and games
and activities are offered for all ages from toddlers to veterans. The local
community band and the Legion Pipe Band play at the event. In 2002 we hosted
the Highland Games, at which 3000 members of the public attended, and made a
net profit of $10,000 for our Branch. Croftonbrook is a seniors' housing project
that the Legion supports along with the Salt Spring Lions and the Rotary Club
L.A. cooks and serves Friday night suppers for ten months of the year, preparing
up to 100 meals an evening. They also cater to weddings, memorials and private
parties. In July and August, when the Ladies take a well deserved break, the
Branch cooks barbecues each Friday evening after the meat draw, each evening
featuring a different team of volunteers. Other special celebrations at the
branch include the Legion 60th Anniversary Dinner and Dance, the 60th D-Day
celebrations, New Year's Eve Dances and the Robbie Burns Night. The S.S.I. R.C.A.F.
Vets Association celebrated its 81st anniversary April 1st with 100 in attendance
from Canada and 1 from Montana, for the dinner.
Of special note is our team of "volunteer janitors". Facing a financial
crisis in 2002, Cde E. Donnelly formed a crew of volunteer janitors. There are
now 18 members, ranging in age from 70 to mid 80's; individually they spend
no more than one hour once a week, but collectively are keeping the Legion cleaner
than ever before, as well as saving thousands of dollars previously paid to
a janitorial service. Seven part-time bar tenders are employed; all other positions
The S.S.Branch has maintained an average of 650 members annually, and the L.A.
40 members. In summary, although this Legion history is a skeleton of the record
of all its contributions to the Island since 1931, it is an integral part of
the social fabric of the community.