I have heard some in the military lump those in with maple leaf or Canadian flag pins as a prohibited way of attaching the poppy to a Canadian uniform.Pusser said:I like what this guy is doing: http://poppypins.com/Home_Page.php
Lightguns said:Hampton, NB Legion seems to have created a social media storm. https://www.facebook.com/jamie.keating.92
Mr Keating attempted to be part of service to honour 9 fallen friends from Afghanistan and was told the laying ceremony was for dignities only. His rant video is making the rounds of CFB Gagetown FB users last night and this morning.
MCG said:I have heard some in the military lump those in with maple leaf or Canadian flag pins as a prohibited way of attaching the poppy to a Canadian uniform.
I know of units that have been told they are not allowed to use that pin to keep poppies from getting lost.
Jarnhamar said:On a different note about the legion I can post the picture if anyone cares but I came across a post about how the Legion charges a $100 fee per formal complaint. It sounds like IF the complaint is found to be legitimate then the member is reimbursed the money? Still, pretty clever way to curb pesky complaints.
I guess it can work both ways. Cut down on what must be a number of BS complaints but it can also probably dissuade someone from making a legitimate complaint both if they feel they won't be treated fair OR if they don't have the money. I read somewhere the average Canadian household is $200 away from financial hardship (can't think of the right term). Also I assume a lot of Legion members are possibly on fixed incomes so a $100 gamble could be a big deal.Brihard said:If the complaint is anything BUT total bullshit it gets refunded. Complaint doesn't need to ultimately be supported, just not be blatantly frivolous. Exactly as you say- a filter for vexatious complaints.
I probably owe you a beer in a round about way for that ;DAnd yeah, I bought a few pins off him too.
Jarnhamar said:I guess it can work both ways. Cut down on what must be a number of BS complaints but it can also probably dissuade someone from making a legitimate complaint both if they feel they won't be treated fair OR if they don't have the money. I read somewhere the average Canadian household is $200 away from financial hardship (can't think of the right term). Also I assume a lot of Legion members are possibly on fixed incomes so a $100 gamble could be a big deal.
Get the Grump Out of the Legion!
Right across the organization, Branches and Commands receive complaints from the public and even our members about their experiences walking into a Branch. At some Branches, people are met with a certain ‘grumpiness’ that is not acceptable. It’s time to address this situation, and quite frankly it must be addressed now and with urgency. It’s time to get the grump out of the Legion!
B.C/Yukon Command sent out the following (adapted) message to their Branches, and Dominion Command whole-heartedly agrees with this message. It’s a message that must be shared across the organization, and we hope every Branch shares this message with their members.
Every effort is being made at the Dominion, Provincial, Zone and Branch levels to recruit and retain Legion members. The media loves sounding the death knell for our organization, and we must fight it by working even harder at our membership numbers. We know many Branches have focused on this, ensuring their Branches stay welcoming, inclusive and relevant… and these Branches see growth because of this.
What we continue to struggle with is the reception people get at some of our Branches. We hear of experiences from across Canada that makes us cringe…
-An Ordinary member (in his forties) went for dinner at a Branch in a town where he was working temporarily. Upon entering, the entire place turned and stared at him, and not one person greeted him. He felt too awkward to stay, so he left.
-Another person attempted to join a Branch, and asked if he could be an Ordinary member as a Paramedic. He got a flat “No” and no one took the time to explain or offer information on any other category of membership. He left.
-A group of people belonging to a local softball club went to their Legion Branch after a game. Rather than taking what could have been a great opportunity for the Branch to welcome the team, tell them about the Legion and let them know about membership, a group of ‘regulars’ (members that occupy the same table each night) shouted at the team to remove their baseball caps the moment they walked in the door. The team turned around and left.
This kind of behaviour is creating a perception across the organization that is killing our efforts in welcoming potential new members. We must address this final and critical step of recruitment. For this organization to attract new members we must all, even the folks at “that table” in your Branch, be less grumpy. In fact, why are we not more like hosts?
Put bluntly, the Legion cannot survive on its current membership alone; to continue our mission of Remembrance, we must embrace those that walk through our doors, regardless of background, age, or profession. It’s time to get the grump out of the Legion!
Let’s start to get the word out about being a good host. Here are 6 ideas to assist your Branch in ways to welcome new or visiting people:
1. Agree that if there is any member of the Branch Executive in the Branch, that it is set up that that they watch for people who look out of place and uncomfortable, and greet them.
2. Put up a small dry erase board at the entrance that says: New to our Branch? We want to welcome you! The greeter of the day is: (name of volunteer) . Please ask for me.
3. Talk to the bartenders and servers to approach and welcome people when times are quiet. We hear stories of people being completely ignored by bar staff in some Branches. Not ok. Sometimes they are the first people that a new person would approach and they should be personable.
4. Understand that most people don’t really know how things work in our Branches or what activities are available in our locations. If we welcome our guests a bit better and make them feel comfortable with the Branch events, then it won’t be so intimidating to come in the next time – perhaps with another guest.
5. Having trouble getting a new member to come for their initiation ceremony? It should be done at a general meeting, but it doesn’t have to be. Invite them to an event, or even do it with a couple of Executives hosting their visit. Have an Executive member accompanying the new member at the meeting at which they are to be initiated and explain the initiation process in advance of the event – this could make a new WelcomeHandshakemember more comfortable; anything that forms the relationship helps.
6. Why not have some pin-on buttons made and ask some of your outgoing and pleasant members to wear a “host of the day” pin and have them welcome people? These are easy things that friendly people do well. Above all, deal firmly with the grouches and those members who “welcome” guests by yelling “remove your hat” – they are hurting your Branch.
We know that some Branches are doing an extraordinary job of being friendly and welcoming from the minute a guest opens the front door. So if you are doing it right and having success, or have good ideas to welcome your visitors, please share them with Dominion Command so we can start conversations across the organization.
Let’s show Canada just how friendly the Legion can be!
John Tescione said:Pins 'deface' poppy symbol
"You know it is defacing our poppy, and our policy is such that the poppy should not be defaced," said Maxwell, who also speaks for the Royal Canadian Legion's poppy and remembrance committee in Ottawa.
His stance is in line with what's written on page 42 of the Legion's Poppy Manual — that the poppy is a 'sacred symbol of remembrance' and no other pin (except the pointy one that it comes with) should be used to attach it to your clothing.
Maxwell said legionnaires should wear their poppies in the traditional fashion, but recognizes that the Royal Canadian Legion can't control the will of the Canadian public.
"It's a personal choice. And it's better to wear a poppy than no poppy at all," he said.
Dominion Command has directed branches across Canada not to sell the poppy pin centre substitutes.
Maxwell adds that if people are worried about poking themselves with the poppy pin, many legion branches supply "poppy savers," or plastic ends, to put on the pointy end of the pin.[/color]
That makes me feel like an old fart - many of the "if you see someone who's looking like their new or unfamiliar with the place, go up to them and chat 'em up" tips I learned in the junior ranks and Sgt/WO messes when I was a member.rmc_wannabe said:Some of their initiatives are a little... corny.
A year-and-a-half long dispute over roughly $300 has led to a rural Nova Scotia legion being stripped of its certification following a bitter clash with provincial leadership in Halifax.
Members of Clare Branch #52 in Saulnierville dug in their heels and didn't comply with a bylaw requiring the chapter to send a small portion of money raised through its annual poppy campaign to the Nova Scotia/Nunavut Command of the Royal Canadian Legion.
After Clare didn't pay for the second time, the Royal Canadian Legion withdrew the branch's charter in November. But that doesn't seem to bother the branch's former president.
"They wanted it, they got it, they can keep it," said Russell Comeau, who also served as Clare's local service officer.
He said members didn't feel the command supported or provided any services for their area.
"Nothing, nothing whatsoever. They'd just say send us money," he said ...
Poppies? For legions, the big money’s in real estate
By leveraging the land it sits on, a Calgary branch got a chic new hall with a trendy eatery and luxury condo tower on-site. Other cash-strapped legions may soon follow suit.
Jason Markusoff, macleans.ca, September 6, 2017
My knife cuts cleanly through the pork schnitzel, and it’s not too greasy, resting in a splash of stout-based jus. The herb spätzle strikes the right balance between crispy and chewy, while the arugula-and-fennel salad’s natural spice is softened by a lemon vinaigrette. As the evening goes on, I trip through the range of local microbrews on offer, from the XPA to Red Rage to the lemon-berry helles.
The servers are young and black-clad. The décor is black and rustic browns, washed in sunlight on three sides by eight-metre, floor-to-ceiling windows. The light fixtures are those hipster Edison bulbs. I am at Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 264.
It’s likely the most audacious turnaround venture in a country full of legion branches fending off the triple scourge of dwindling memberhip, crumbling halls and slowly fading relevancy. Calgary’s six-decades-old No. 264 hall, a windowless sprawl of beige bricks with a sprawlier parking lot in the Kensington district, is fenced off, destined to become a developer’s condo tower. Next door, as part of a land swap meant to take the branch from struggling to self-sustaining, that developer built a new legion-owned building with a chic public restaurant (dubbed “1918 Tap & Table”), a member’s lounge above it and two top levels with 15,000 square feet of office space that the legion plans to lease for cash flow—a resource whose scarcity in recent years has forced branches throughout Canada to shutter.
“It was a three-stream approach for revenue, which makes the entire operation viable,” says branch treasurer Mark Barham. The v-word is one that in recent years too few legion leaders have been able to utter. Nor have they been able to predict, as Barham does, that those revenue streams may yield $1 million in net annual income—money the Calgary branch treasurer says could be reinvested into local community projects for veterans and others.
Barham, a retired Tim Hortons franchisee with a salesman’s flair says he was first brought into 264’s leadership as a trustee, tasked with turning it around or shutting it. He believes most fellow legions are also sitting on their survival strategy: the prime land, usually downtown, upon which their leaky and underutilized buildings sit. Unlocking that value, Barham says, is the path forward for Royal Canadian Legions.
The alternative is gradual decline. Korean War and Second World War veterans are now in their 80s and 90s, while Afghanistan veterans have returned to a social network their combat predecessors never had: Facebook. The legion started this century boasting nearly 500,000 members at 1,600 local branches nationally; it now has just 275,000 members and 1,407 branches. Some national and provincial leaders now actively encourage troubled branches to amalgamate with healthier ones, and sell their buildings. Other branches are finding smaller or more affordable spaces. A handful are pairing with developers to build halls on a tower’s ground floor, and condos or seniors apartments above, including Cobourg and Port Dalhousie in Ontario, as well as Port Moody, B.C., whose condo/legion project sits near a Skytrain hub.
Legions across the country, many in squat 1950s or ‘60s brick buildings with insides that have hardly changed, are deciding how to cope with their infrastructure problems, says Brad White, national executive director. “They say: Do we really need a great, big building like that, when we had a population of maybe 1,000 veterans or members before, but we’re now at 200 or 100?” he says.
Other branches call No. 264 every week for advice about land sales and development (some have had development plans or sales fall through, or get vetoed by legion members; the Calgary branch was on its third developer before things clicked). Many are surviving just fine and don’t need an asset liquidation, while others sit on less valuable land, in towns with weaker real estate markets–certainly not the $10 million in Calgary land value that No. 264 occupied. In the future, legion branch health may be divided among property haves and have-nots.
In the mountain town of Canmore, Alta., a proposed development would give the branch a facility that’s modern, more reasonably sized than its current 10,000 square feet, and some sales income. “They’ll have a legion, plus investments that should take care of them for the rest of their days,” says branch president Darrel Jones.
At No. 264, change is bringing new members with its new look and sleek public restaurant. The old crowd doesn’t show up there; but it doesn’t show up that much to the member’s lounge upstairs, either. Members didn’t bring over the pool table or shuffleboard from the old hall, and have basically the same design as the modern eatery downstairs–and the same bill of fare, with a burger twice the price it used to be, grilled spring salmon instead of fish and chips, and pea-and-barley risotto on the menu where the baked macaroni with beef used to be. The place is too new to reek of fried food, and it likely never will.
“It doesn’t feel like a legion to me at all,” says a former RCAF pilot in his 80s, who doesn’t want his name used. Many of his fellow veterans now drink at other branches. His Thursday evening beer mate, a legion youngster in his mid-60s, has long liked No. 264 as a quiet place to drink and hear literal war stories. His wife would never accompany him to the old hall, he says; but this newfangled legion, sure.
Bill Cox, Branch 264’s president, acknowledges he’s lost longtime members who prefer the traditional atmosphere. But not as many as he’s lost to old age.
“When you move from one town to another, you lose friends, lose memories,” he says. “But you move to a new one you get a chance to rebuild that, to make new ones.”