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Whither the Royal Canadian Legion? Or RCL Withers?

the 48th regulator

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Petamocto said:
48th,

I agree with your intent but not your SoM; even live bands might miss the mark for < 30.

Any Legion decision makers out there, I'm telling you: Playstation 3 tournaments of Rockband, Gran Turismo 5 (due out soon), and COD Modern Warfare...I'm givin' ya pearls, here!


I agree,

But Nofriendo, will not be the only thing that can get them.  Most Troops have large screen T.V's and All the latest games, and can play them in their underwear in the shacks while they drink beers.

You need to offer something, that they can not have at home, and draw them out.  Go to any bar in Toronto, Ottawa etc, and the ones with live bands are packed with people of all ages.  Even the bands that can't hold a tune.

dileas

tess
 

SeanNewman

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mariomike said:
I love my RCL branch exactly the way it is. It was built in 1927.

You are bang on with the ambiance that a place offers.  There are several old messes in Canada that are beautiful and made with enough rich wood that it would cost millions today to build, but I think you can still have a vintage building and do modern things inside.
 

Michael OLeary

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mariomike said:
I love my RCL branch exactly the way it is. It was built in 1927.

That's the whole problem, second and third-generation Legionaires who grew up in the Legions of the 1950s, 60s and 70s want it to be just the same forever - and then cannot understand why new generations of veterans don't want to turn back the clock to join a service club that's 50 years out of synch with their lives and expending energy to raise money to fund buildings and activity schedules that haven't changed in decades.

mariomike said:
Everything is changing so fast these days.

Yes, and institutions that don't evolve die.
 

pbi

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Yes, and institutions that don't evolve die.

This is it, right here: it happened to Eaton's department stores (another Canadian icon), and it's happening to the Legion.

Maybe the Legion can re-invent itself in time to avoid oblivion, but would "re-invention" be suppported by its current membership? Would it even look like the Royal Canadian Legion anymore?

Cheers
 

SeanNewman

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Looking forward 20 years, I wonder what the hypothetical situation would be if the Legion did go under.

All those good initiatives and scholarships stopping.

Somehow the military will end up being the bad guy, and media will spin it like soldiers are taking money away from students (it won't be "thank you for the scholarships for the last 70 years", it will be "we made financial decisions based on counting on this money here and now you're taking that from us").
 

Michael OLeary

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Perhaps the issue is that the legion has evolved.  It has seen branches evolve from being ex-service member's clubs providing a place for returned service members to connect with peers into local service clubs that emphasize support to community activities. Its membership has evolved away from a focus on ex-service members to a concentration of those who join to support local initiatives (although traditional Legion programs which focus on the aging veterans (like housing for vets) are maintained). Those Legions that have been described as social centres in small communities have become just that - which is not the same as an ex-service members' club - and that role is not dependent on them being Legion branches no matter how important it has become in those communities.
 

observor 69

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Take a look at a RSL near Overwatch Downunder's home on Bribie Island.

I could easily see myself wanting to take advantage of what this club is offering.  :)

Check out the Facilities:

http://www.bribiersl.com.au/
 

mariomike

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Baden  Guy said:
Take a look at a RSL near Overwatch Downunder's home on Bribie Island.

I could easily see myself wanting to take advantage of what this club is offering.  :)

Check out the Facilities:

http://www.bribiersl.com.au/

It looks good. I checked the demographics of Birbie:
"The median age of persons was 55 years, compared with 37 years for all of Australia."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bribie_Island#Demographics

Then I checked the eligibilty requirements for the Returned and Services League RSL of Australia:
http://www.rsl.org.au/
Similar to Ordinary membership in Canada:
http://www.legion.ca/Membership/who_e.cfm#canord

1977: "Bribie Island RSL constructed and opened its doors. Established as a proud tribute and memorial to all who fought in the wars. Membership was limited to returned service personnel. Entry restricted to returned service personnel and bona fide visitors."

1982: "The Bribie Island RSL Club changed its name to the “Bribie Island RSL & Citizens Memorial Club”. The Bribie RSL was the first club in Queensland to undertake this controversial but very significant change. Membership rights extended to the general public.":
http://www.bribiersl.com.au/default.asp?PageID=9&n=History

Q: Do I have to be a member of an ex-service organisation to become a member?
A: No. Members of the community are welcome to join as Club Members, which allows them to access the benefits of regular Club membership.:
http://www.bribiersl.com.au/default.asp?PageID=30&n=FAQs+26+Answers

It looks like a nice club. But, where does that leave the young veteran? 
 

1feral1

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The RSL organisation,and RSL clubs are two different creatures. The sub-branch is manned by former ADF pers, and the club is magaged by mainly business people to ensure a proper run place.

All RSL clubs hve a sub-branch, where Vets can access everything they need from councilling, to Vet's services, to make claims for injuries, etc. See the membership details for the club, but membership to the RSL is for serving and former Defence Force members only.

Bribie has the highest population per capita in the country of Viet Nam Vets, along with this, with the ever expanding 'greater Brisbane' (being 65km from the city), the demographics are slowly changing, and a younger local population is emerging. The majority of working people commute, and many ADF pers live here, and choose to retire here. Also many retirees of the the 70's and 80's, who are WW2 and Korea vets live here, as the island has alawys been a retrement mecca.

As for the younger Vets, like myself, since the club propsers the way it does, subsidied meals for members, cheaper drinks, and a vast variety of entertainment, along with the 'pokies' (VLT's) makes it a truly vibraint, bright, profitable place, full of people to meet and socialise (of all ages).


Here is a few pics of the club I took yesterday. Not bad for a population of around 16,000. Most evenings, especially weekends, its busy like this, and a hub of social activity and meeting place for all ages.

Today's RSLs are evidence of a changing time, and will always be around. Canada should learn from it's sister organisation.

Here is a link to the housing estate I live on, still advancing and developing, and a great place, all to encourage new younger families. http://www.pacificharbour.com.au/ Also this place http://www.pacificharbourgolf.com.au/main_golf.php

Cheers,

OWDU
 
J

jollyjacktar

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That sure as  hell is not the Legion of my memory from MacLeod.  While is does to my eyes look like a service club, it is a modern service club.  Clean, trendy and not a outdated place for soaks and dart players.  I could see myself darkening the door way there.  (Unlike what is available for me here on the Eastern Shore.  Nice folks I am sure, but they won't see me for dust)  The Legion of my memory does not appeal to me.
 

1feral1

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To top it off, yesterday, the BI RSL was a MILF's heaven, so many single chicks and yes, cougars, on the prowl. A :warstory: that deserves to be told, truly, ha!

Cheers,

OWDU
 

kratz

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Danjanou said:
Gee another Legion bashing thread and it's not even Nov 11th yet. I'm with Recce, Mr. O'Leary, OWDU and Pet on this and yeah for the record I'm an ordinary member too.

*Edit* : Clipped the rest of your post for brevity.

With OWDU's repost from earlier legion threads in response to sheikyerbouti's self appointed posting history of defending Vancouver's RCL, this thread has run it's course IMO.
 

1feral1

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Rehashed perhaps, but not reposted. I find the thread very informative to others including myself, and if anything helps the failing pathetic Legion, why not? Healthy input is simply that.

If the RCL wishes recover, ratehr than die a slow death, the organisation needs to learn from similar Veteran's organisations who seen the fall coming years ago.

Opinions are like AH's, we all got them, but if you don't think this debate is valid, thats fair enough.

OWDU

 

Humphrey Bogart

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the 48th regulator said:
If they were smart, specifically ones closer to a base, they could offer a live band night.  Canvasing to see, if any of the local troops have put together their own bands, and let them play there.  If not, get local bands in.

Turn the Legion, into a more pubby, modern joint, will definitely boost their attendance.

Modernizing the look, in that they get away from the '70's linoleum floor, wood paneling look.  Updated pictures and themes on the walls.  A fancier bar...etc etc

You can still keep the darts and cribbage, as a lot of pubs in Toronto are seeing a resurgence of these things, but they offer a lot more in a way of entertainment.

dileas

tess

I agree with this, If legions would modernize their facilities, get some good pub food, maybe play some sports on the tele I would consider going.

IPetamocto is right though PS3, XBox that is the crap that will draw todays young soldiers to the legion.  I would even add throwing Ultimate Fighting Championship for free that would draw people in droves.  The Beer sales would more then make up for the price of airing the event.
 

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Stymiest said:
I agree with this, If legions would modernize their facilities, get some good pub food, maybe play some sports on the tele I would consider going.

So true. It's a well accepted business  practice that you keep abreast of your competition. The Legion needs to determine what the competition offers that attracts their customers, and offer those activities. I'm with OWDU, I think the Legion, through modernization, can become the social focus of the community and still provide the services to veterans that it always did.
 

Thompson_JM

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Overwatch Downunder said:
To top it off, yesterday, the BI RSL was a MILF's heaven, so many single chicks and yes, cougars, on the prowl. A :warstory: that deserves to be told, truly, ha!

Cheers,

OWDU



Must.... Move..... Down Under....... Find.... Cougars.......
 

mariomike

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In today's Sun on the subject:
"Legions losing battle with time:
Dwindling membership sounding taps for branches":
http://www.torontosun.com/news/torontoandgta/2010/05/01/13791476.html

( Some interesting comments from readers in the story. )
 

Michael OLeary

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mariomike said:
In today's Sun on the subject:
"Legions losing battle with time:
Dwindling membership sounding taps for branches":
http://www.torontosun.com/news/torontoandgta/2010/05/01/13791476.html

( Some interesting comments from readers in the story. )

In my opinion, the real story is in reading between the lines:

Not just a club for veterans and drinking, he said, “they are the centre of many communities,” hosting weddings, banquets and other events.

A role they obviously haven't been capable of maintaining, the fact of failing Legion halls dispels the claim.

Legions have some autonomy but about 20 branch presidents were dumped last year for resisting provincial rules and recommended changes.

It has been said above, institutions that refuse to change die.

The defunct Royal York branch was a hub for veterans and their families, but they dwindled due to age, “too much competition from halls,” and more restaurants with liquor licences, Strader said.

So, restaurants with liquor licenses are to blame.    ::)

Unlike older members who dressed for volunteer work, younger associates plus peacekeeping veterans “don’t like putting on uniforms,” McDonald said. “It’s a different time.”

And we wouldn't want to accept change to attract new generations of members.

The worst blow, however, was the province’s smoking ban, she said. “Most of the guys smoked during the war and many said if they couldn’t do that at the legion while having a drink, they wouldn’t come.

No, wait, maybe it wasn't the restaurants, it was that damn government for not letting people work on their lung cancer that did it.  And that built-up smoky nicotine residue over painted cinder block walls and wood paneling was always such a delightful ambiance.    ::)

Refusing to change and adapt is not a survival strategy. Sadly, it seems the only people who can't grasp that are the ones running the Royal Canadian Legion
 

the 48th regulator

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Frig me,

This legion has found a brilliant solution!!  They will have us running in droves to sign up!



No-headgear policy may become thing of the past

By JASON HALSTEAD, Winnipeg Sun


It’s a sure sign that legions are doing all they can to survive when they might even consider changing their strict no-headgear policy to accommodate young people.

If you’ve ever worn a hat into a Royal Canadian Legion, you are likely well aware of the stricly-enforced rule that pays homage to the Queen.

Al Coote, first vice-president of the St. James legion branch, said it could be a bitter pill for older members but one that would signal a nod to the younger crowd.

“They want to wear their sunglasses and hats but they can’t as the rules state,” said the 68-year-old former member of the Royal Canadian Navy. “Eventually we may have to change that. Some of the old guard wouldn’t like to see it happen.”

With poker chips replacing bingo cards, karaoke replacing live bands and VLTs pushing out shuffleboard, Coote said he’s well aware of the changing face of the legion.

“There’s not too many of the oldtimers left,” he said. “The younger people are taking over and to keep them in here we may have to change the rules somewhat.”

St. James legion ladies auxiliary member Lorna Main said it’s been difficult finding younger women to take up the mantle.

“The younger generation will be taking over, if they want it,” she said. “We can’t get any young ladies any more.”

Coote also hopes to boost numbers of new veterans at his legion.

“Hopefully we can get them in here once they’re out of the service,” he said. “That’s the ultimate aim. There’s a few that come in, but not in great numbers.”

The St. James legion branch at 1755 Portage Ave. still has 4,600 members and is relatively strong, but Coote fears for other smaller branches.

“Eventually you’re going to have to see some of the smaller branches amalgamate,” he said.

Copyright © 2010 Winnipeg Sun All Rights Reserved



dileas

tess
 

Michael OLeary

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Not that I have ever heard anyone claim that was the reason they haven't joined the Legion.

And five years too late for this embarrassing little episode?

http://korematsu.blogspot.com/2005/11/sikh-barred-entry-at-canadian-legion.html

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Sikh Barred Entry at Canadian Legion Hall, Forcing Change to Out-of-Date Rule

On November 18, 2005 the Brampton Guardian reported, "Royal Canadian Legion branches in Brampton have been forced to change an out-of-date rule, which discriminates against some Sikhs and Orthodox Jews.

Local veterans call it a tradition that they fiercely enforce-- no 'headgear' in the Legion clubroom. Head coverings must be removed out of respect for the fallen.

Branch 609 on Queen Street East enforced that rule on Remembrance Day, telling Ravinder Singh Dhaliwal, a 26-year-old Brampton university student, he was the only adult member of the community attending the service who was not allowed in the clubroom.

'It was humiliating,' Dhaliwal said of how it made him felt to be singled out.

He was pulled aside and told by President Marie Hayden that 'headgear' was not allowed in the clubroom, including Dhaliwal's turban.

'It's unfortunate, but it's nothing personal,' Hayden told The Guardian. 'It's a rule. I wasn't disrespectful. I was very polite.'

Members of the Legion, a private club, had voted for that rule, she said, and she was just enforcing it...

Poulin and Ontario Command Executive Director Marlene Lambros told The Guardian the 'no headgear' rule was modified eight years ago when all branches across the nation were notified in writing that religious headdress is an exception to the rule.

The presidents of Brampton's branches-- 609 and 15-- both say they were unaware of the change in policy at the upper tier. They said the last they had heard on the issue was in the early 1990s and the decision was left up to the local branches."

I'm sure we have a thread of two around here somewhere on the issue.
 
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