MARMORA ROYAL CANADIAN LEGION

                                             BRANCH 237    ESTABLISHED IN 1932                                                                     

  A Little History supplied by the Royal Canadian Legion  

By the end of World War 1, there were a total of 15 Veterans groups and a number of regimental associations representing former service members in Canada. Despite their common goal – to help returned servicemen in need – their efforts were fragmented and largely unsuccessful. In 1925, an appeal for unity led to the formation of the Dominion Veterans Alliance. The Legion was founded in November of that year in Winnipeg, Manitoba as The Canadian Legion of the British Empire Services League (BESL). It was incorporated by special Act of Parliament, Charter issued in July 1926.

Initially, the principal objectives of the Legion were to provide a strong voice for World War I Veterans and advise the government on Veterans’ issues. However, World War II brought an influx of new demands and the Legion increased efforts to help Veterans and returned service members, as well as those serving abroad.

To this day, even with numerous changes over the years, including the adoption of our current name, The Royal Canadian Legion has never faltered in our efforts to improve the lives of Veterans, ex-service members and their families. It has been our principal objective since day one, and we will continue to work for it every day forward.

 

The Founding of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 237, Marmora

Marmora Herald - Dec. 8, 1971

The Marmora Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion had its beginning with  the members of the Great War Veterans Association,  which was formed here about 1920.  They held  their meetings in a room over what was the  Toronto-Dominion  Bank.  

The Canadian Legion was formed in 1925 at Winnipeg, with veterans organizing under the leadership of Field Marshall Earl Haig.   The Marmora G. W. V. A. did not join until September 2nd, 1932 with       18 charter members -

 
  • Arnold Ezen 
  • A. Bartlett,
  • Charles. A. Bleeker,
  • W. Cotterill,
  • Frank Grant.
  • Percy Gray,  1st President
  • Warren Hickey,  1st Sec -Treas
  • N. Kilpatrick,
  • T. McQuigge.
  • C. Jones,
  • Nathan Mumby,
  • H. Osborne,
  • L. Rundle,
  • C. Tandy,
  • Herb Wright,
  • A. V. Yates
  • J. Nobes.
  • Sgt. Escort:  J.J. Laird

In 1928-29 the Memorial Building was erected on land partly owned by the G. W. V. A. and they were granted a room in it to be theirs as long as the building existed. The building also housed the Library and Post Office. Plaques were placed at the front entrance honouring 1914-18 veterans who gave their lives, and later plaques were also placed. for those of World War II.

lEGION bUILDING ON RIGHT,  9 mCcGILL sTREET, mARMORA

Medals of George Charles Brooks (Deloro)

1940

PURCHASE OF NEW BUILDING
In 1945, expecting an influx of members,  the old vets (45-50 yrs. old then). purchased the building at 9 McGill St., recently vacated. from Judge Parker of Toronto and Marmora. The old Legion room in the Memorial building was kept but was put to use by the Ladies Auxiliary who received their charter· Feb. 19th, 1947. The first president was Myrtle Potts, who was succeeded after two months by Alfreda Leal.

 
 
 
 

300 MEMBERS SIGN UP
In the new building, the first bar licence under the L. C. B. O. was obtained with the requirement of 5() members. Since it was the only Branch with one for some distance. Marmora signed up over 300 members - a fair number from outside the Marmora area.   Wilbert Mumby  was the president during this transaction and was the first to be sent to a Dominion Convention (Quebec City - 1946) and to an Ontario Convention (Windsor - 1947). He was also Marmora's first zone commander and was followed as such by Percy Gray Jr.

 

LEGION ACTIVITIES

1947

NORMAN HIPSON'S 1947 pRESIDENTS PIN 

tHE vETERANS cEMETERY AT THE mARMORA cOMMMON cEMETERY.  In 1987 gravesites were increased from 40-61

June 16, 1960

1961

March 22, 1972

1972 Break in

We're looking for more on this story.  Anyone?

1978 Legion begins support of sled dog races.

Pete Empey

The first move to obtain the present building. began in the spring of 1970 when it was put up for tender by Hastings County School Board, and a tender was put in by the branch with small hope of getting it .   Past President, William McDonald  and Percy Gray President, contacted practically all members of the Board, Council Reeves, and anyone who might influence the procurement. The Branch submitted the only tender,  and  was sold the building and 2.2 acres of land.With all the legal work done,  ownership was obtained in Sept 1970,  and with necessary renovations,  the members were able to move into the licenced sections - ladies' room and men's room - on July 1st, 1971.   Work on the hall necessitated removing a brick wall and moving doors,  decorating walls before the official opening on December 4th.

1985

1986

THE LEGION MEMORIAL

Poster created by Janine Ralph in 1981 for Legion contest.

We are looking for a good photo of this poster.

In 1987 flag poles and flood-lights were installed.

THE '90S

Sept. 13, 1997

  THE LOUISE SOPHA COLLECTION

MORE PHOTOS!

THE NEW MILLENIUM

2000

2001

2003

Sept. 8, 2006

1987 - THE LEGION PIPE BAND

If you're Scottish, it's likely
that the sound of bagpipes stirs
a certain feeling of pride and
warmth in your heart, unlike
any other music. Even those without clan blood enjoy the pipes (excepting, of course, the steadfast few who run for the earplugs at the first notes of their highpitched drone), whether it's a rousing Highland fling or a brooding Scottish dirge. And it's a rare parade anywhere in Canada that does not feature at least one pipe and drum band.

Here in  Marmora, our pipe
and drum band is in its fourth
year, and going strong. "The
Marmora Legion Pipe and
Drum Band  now has 15
members, much Iarger than
.the  original .group",   says one of the founding members, Bud
Deering.

"There were four of us then
and it took off from there"
said Deering, the band's bass
drummer  after the band's
practice on Wednesday night.
Deering said the Marmora
Legion had been without a pipe
band to represent them and it
was finally decided in 1987 to
get one together.

The band was formed under
the direction of Bret Cousins, the band's current Pipe Major:
who is a veteran of many pipe
bands, including the Queens'
Pipe Band and the North Bay
band.
The other members of the
group are Nancy Nelson
(drummer), Bob McKellar
(Pipe Sgt. ), Bonnie Deering
(Tenor drummer) , Brian Landry (Snare drum), Byron
Moorcroft (Drum Sgt.), John
Bradley (Tenor Drummer)
Jack Bennion (Drum Major:
band co-founder), Kim Fluke
(Piper), Erin Kane (Piper),
Sheila Day (Piper) , Peter
Deshane (Drummer) Debbie
Tims (Drummer) and Jimmy
Larson (Piper).

 

The band gets its funding
mainly through parades, fundraisers and community
support."We've held yard sales, bake sales, raffles, a lot of things," says Bradley.

The band's current fundraiser
is another raffle, with the first. prize, a 14-foot canoe
with paddles, supplied by Ted
Bonter's Marine in Marmora,
"and the second prize, a
complete fishing tackle and
pole outfit, supplied by the
Centre Hastings Sports Centre in Madoc.

The band is also financed
through their public appear-ances, and they ask $250 per
parade. The group has also
received a great deal of outside
funding, and they are very
grateful to the businesses,
community groups and the
Legions in Marmora and
Madoc whose donations have
kept the band afloat·
Although it might seem the band would not have many expenses, Deering explained that instrumentand uniforms are not cheap.
"It would cost at least $2000.00 to fully equip and dress a piper
in the band," he explained.
Bagpipes of any quality cannot
be bought for under $1000.
Deering estimated it costs
about $20,000 to put a fully dressed band on the street. 
"Community support has
gotten the band over the big
initial investment,"  says
Cousins, and although they still
welcome donations, funding is
not as crucial now as in the
beginning. 
"We've come a long way,"
says drummer and band
secretary Bonnie Deering.
"When we first played, we
were dressed in black pants
and skirts. Now we all have full
dress, and we're almost fully
outfitted with new equipment.
And without the organizations
who make regular donations,
we wouldn't have this."