About Branch 530
The Waterloo Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion has been very active since its formation in 1952.
Below is the first known photograph of Waterloo Branch 530 as it appeared shortly after it was purchased in 1952. At that time, part of the building was still being used for industrial manufacturing.
Seventy ex-servicemen attended this meeting and W.W. (Dip) Nichol was elected the first President. Other officers elected were Vice President James MacDonald, Secretary A.D. Smith, and Treasurer Durward Preston. The executive consisted of Fred Shanks, Albert Grundy, George Coyne and Firman Martin.
Charter Night was
The list below represents the 100 Charter Members:
Executive Officers of the Branch inspected several buildings looking for a suitable location. The result was the Garfield Raymond Glove Company building, providing we could meet their proposed price.
At a meeting in
the late summer of 1952 Finance Chairman Rance Bricker brought the good
news that one of
After we occupied the building many members worked very hard “free gratis” to make temporary renovations in order to give us a Clubroom. The top floor was then rented to Canada Health Insurance Company as their Claims Office and half of the basement was rented to Russell Knitting Company. The other half was our Clubroom.
In 1953 a Cenotaph Committee was formed, made up of Executive Members along with an affluent Waterloo Citizen, Mr. Ford S. Kumpf, who was known as “Mr. Waterloo”. This group was responsible for raising sufficient funds to erect a Cenotaph. After several years of meetings, a suitable location was chosen which is presently located between Knox Presbyterian Church and Marsland Centre.
The money the
Committee raised came from business establishments and personal
donations. Through their
combined efforts the Branch was able to raise the required $17,000.00 to
have the Cenotaph erected.
The unveiling took place on
After meeting L.C.B.O.’s requirements, we received our liquor license in November 1953.
At a general
Mr. Seagram thanked the group assembled and stated this framed certificate would be hung in a very conspicuous place where it would be noticed and would be treasured deeply.
Health Insurance Company and Russell Knitting vacated the premises, 404
Wing R.C.A.F. Association rented the third floor for their Clubroom in
1954 and remained there until the 1960’s when they built their own club
The Waterloo Mount
Hope cemetery had a small section for Veterans graves near the
The City of
The Last Post Fund is a fund available to pay funeral expenses for Veterans that served during the First, Second and Korean Wars, who require financial assistance. The opening and closing of the grave is paid for by the Fund as well as a marker.
The unveiling of our first Memorial Board for the Branch was in 1964. This was purchased from the Globe Furniture Company through Comrade W.A. Moss, who was employed there. The money used to pay for the Memorial Board came from the estate of Orval Hasenpflug, who left the Branch $500.00 in his will. Orval Hasenpflug was a guest member.
In the year 1959 the Waterloo Branch 530 was presented with the Van Someren Trophy for the best Branch in 1958. Presentation was made by Provincial President Henry Harvey to Membership Chairman Comrade Bill Moss, and President Comrade Joseph Oberholzer.
In 1958 the Dominion Command of the Royal Canadian Legion started a Fitness Program named Participation Program. This program was started to improve the health of our children and adults. Track and Field was chosen as the sport since this is measured by individual performance. Other than relay races there are no team sports. Each person competes with his own past performance.
The Waterloo Legion formed a Track & Field Club and joined the South Western Branch of the Ontario A.A.U. “Amateur Athletic Union” who were the ruling body in sports at that time.
The Hamilton Olympic Club immediately offered their assistance to get us started and have stuck with our club through the years. With their help we managed a National meet in our first year, and several more since.
Comrade Russ Echlin was our driving force in building our club. He was our first Track and Field Chairman, and was also the Chairman of the University Committee responsible for building Seagram Stadium, the track and all the facilities. The Legion offered to put in the field events and go fifty-fifty on all implements and equipment. We also donated weeks of labour.
The track was
measured and marked in yards and meters.
The markers were aluminum and placed in the cement curving of the
track. These markers were
made and donated by Comrade Stewart Wagner.
The Waterloo Branch was then able to run the first ever Track and
Field meet in metric in all of
Command hired Geoffrey Dyson, a world famous Track and Field coach from
Legion was well known from
Sports has been a big factor in the activities of our Branch for the past 40 years. The Branch has never failed to enter in Zone, District and Provincial competition in all twelve sports.
The Branch has won many championships over the years in all Legion Sports, particularly dominating in snooker, darts and shuffleboard at all levels.
It is to be noted that some members have played in some of the different sports from day one to the present.
The facilities for sports in the Branch have been improved over the years to the point where we have some of the finest dart playing areas, both in the clubroom and on the third floor, as well as snooker tables in the club room.
Throughout the 40
years of Branch 530’s existence, you can always come in and enjoy a good
game of cards, snooker, darts or any of the Sports.
The friendly atmosphere of the Branch will ensure that everybody,
young and old, are welcome at any time to take advantage of the great
sports facilities. With
sixteen dart boards on the third floor and the large snooker tables in
the club room, which were donated to the Waterloo Legion in 1956 by
Orval Hasenpflug, owner of the Hub Cigar Store in
Since receiving our Branch Charter in 1952, the building has gone through many renovations. A Major renovation was done a little over twenty years ago. To continue with improvements to the Branch, a ten passenger elevator was recently installed to serve the three floors at a cost in excess of $200,000.00. The members of Branch 530 can be very proud of the facilities we have today, and of the great contribution they have made to our Community. This was accomplished by a great number of dedicated members, especially a great portion of our Comrades who have passed on to their just reward, as well as those still looking after the Branch. To record the names of all those involved is impossible but we, the member, know who they were and still are. In 1992 the Branch Executive consists of the following members:
From a small beginning of the first 100 Charter members in 1952 to our present membership of 1350 in all categories in 1992, approximately half are now Senior Citizens or on the verge of becoming Seniors.
The Waterloo Branch 530 has served its members well during the past years and are confident that the Branch will continue to serve its members equally well in the future.