Legion prepares for move
Waterloo branch to move from Regina Street North to Marsland Drive by July 1
The Waterloo Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion has announced they are preparing to move to a new site in the city. The Legion Hall, which is currently located at 19 Regina Street North, will be moving to 316 Marsland Drive by July 1.
The primary reason for the move is the financial restraints the Waterloo Legion branch is currently facing. The Legion has seen declining membership in recent years and has also come across a number of repairs and renovations that would have to be done to maintain their current facility.
“We used to have about 1,500 members, now we have 600, so our needs are much less now than they were then,” said branch president Charlotte Daniel. “We have a very old, big building on 19 Regina St., somewhere in the neighbourhood of 10,000 square feet. It’s just way bigger and more expensive to operate than what we need now.”
The Waterloo Legion opened its doors in 1952 at its current location and was purchased with the assistance of Tom Seagram, son of famous Waterloo distiller and politician Joseph E. Seagram.
Since then, the Legion’s mission has been to aid current and former members of the military and their families. They have also been active in helping local charities.
“Our central focus is to have a place where current veterans, such as the ones from Afghanistan and the younger military members, can come and feel comfortable and have like-minded people to chat and engage with. It’s a place for them and their families first and foremost,” said Daniel. “We also work together with the poppy campaign to help veterans who suffer from [post-traumatic stress disorder] or need assistance in any way physically or emotionally.”
Another major community involvement by the Legion is the Why We Remember Week, a weeklong event centred on educating Waterloo’s school children.
“It’s really an educational presentation to school kids. We talk about the importance of remembering what happened in past wars, as well as the current military functions like our peacekeeping,” said Daniel.
The Legion will also continue to offer its space for rent and facilitate social events like Sunday brunches, as they always have.
“Everyone is welcome,” said Daniel. “And I hope that they stop by when we finish our move and check out our new location.”