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News - RCL - 16 Oct 2017

News Item 25 of 96 

RCL: 16 Oct 2017
DISTRICT FALL CONVENTION HIGHLIGHTS

October 15th, Durham Legion Branch 308 hosted the fall District Convention. The event was well-attended, with forty-six of the fifty Branches having representation. Branch 530 was proudly represented by President Bob Berg, Secretary Donna Champion, Poppy Chair Jim Conrad, and Yours Truly.

The Council Meeting started at the crack of dawn, followed by the Parade at 11, time for a quick sandwich, then the business portion of the Convention from 1-5 p.m.

Ontario VP Comrade Wes Kutasienski told us about the new Branch Support Programme. Ontario Command will be investing any surplus per capita into “moderate risk” funds. Any interest realised on the investments will be disbursed to Ontario Branches, on a number of Members basis, to use as they see fit. The first cheques are expected to be in the mail by September 2018.

We heard from the four Zone Commanders, and it was clear that many problems endured by local Branches are shared by Branches District-wide. C-3 Commander Comrade Daryl Minifie emphasized the issue of some “Modern Day” Veterans not feeling welcome in our Branches due to the attitude of a few of the older Veterans. He reminded us “There is only ONE Veteran”.

Detailed reports were given by the Committee chairs. One outstanding report was presented by the New Veterans Services Chair, Comrade Bill Ridley. He reported on some new and exciting programmes he and his committee are working on to ensure the RCL looks after all Veterans, young or old. Legionnaire or not.

The resolution from Branch 530, regarding the use of Poppy Funds to provide buses for “Why We Remember Week”, and like Remembrance education programmes, was concurred by the Resolutions Committee, and passed by the floor unanimously. Congratulations to Comrade Berg for his hard work in getting this as far as it is. It will now go to the Provincial level. Remember, the way to change a Legion rule is by resolution, and most resolutions start with a concerned Branch Member.

Other highlights:

  • $50,000 was donated on the floor by Branches and LAs, including $11,850 to Homeless Veterans, $400 to Track & Field, $400 to Youth Ed, $11,900 to Bursary, $12,650 to Charitable Foundation, and $2,000 to the RCEL (looking after our Veterans in the Carribean)
  • Comrade Darryl Reid reported on the Service Dog programme, which is progressing, the Bill in Parliament just waiting for Royal Assent
  • Comrade John Dalley reported on Mission Butterfly, a programme for PTSD sufferers which is planning a pilot programme with the support of Ontario Command

Comrades, a copy of the Convention booklet, with all the reports, will be posted at the Branch. You are encouraged to pop in, grab a beverage of your choosing, and take a look at these reports. There is a lot of information in forty-eight pages.

The spring convention will have a format change – it will run Saturday from 1-3, then Sunday from 9-2. Rather than a Saturday seminar and not much else, the Saturday session will have a twenty-minute presentation, then it will be all business. The inaugural presentor suggested is our own Comrade Kim Peters, with a report on her experience on the Nijmegen March. Let’s all support Kim, and hope that she is ultimately chosen for this special presentation.

As you may know, the Branch is limited in the number of Voting delegates (6) we can send to conventions. These spots are usually offered to Executive Members, as the duly elected representatives of our Branch. However, any Member “in good standing” (preferably with a uniform) can attend a Zone or District Convention as a non-voting observer. There is nothing stopping us from sending 10, 20, or even 50 such delegates. Consider attending the next convention in the spring. There is always something to learn, and you will get the opportunity to see how the Legion does business. Who knows – you might even be inspired to run for an Executive position at the Branch.

 


jm
 

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