Over the past two and a half years the Fraser Lake Royal Canadian Legion Hall has been renovated, refurbished, refinanced, and members’ spirits renewed, due to the efforts of some very dedicated volunteers.
I recall the building as being a community hall back in the days before multi-channel TV and instant internet, when our family lived out-of-town. The hall was a social and entertainment center located in the nearby town of Fraser Lake. I remember chug- chugging across the lake from the North Shore in a boat with a 2 1/2 horse- power motor to attend a Taller O’shea or Evan Kemp music extravaganza. In later years we drove over to watch movies such as “True Grit” and “Born Free” on Friday evenings and attended many of the Saturday night dances.
When the population increased and the Recreation Complex became the community entertainment focus in the 1970’s a group of war veterans, their relatives and supportive members of the community, purchased the building as a place of honour and a venue for meetings and Legion activities. It became a hive of activity and money was raised for the Poppy Fund which helped provide funding for many medical and educational needs in the community.
When I joined the Legion I really had no idea what it was all about. I learned that there was a strong connection to the past; particularly to veterans of the world wars and subsequent battles our fellow Canadians had participated in, and continue to participate in. We need to honour our veterans whether or not we believe war was a necessary part of our history.
There’s been some discussion involving those wishing to preserve tradition and activities from previous years. The “hats off” emphasis from the past has been lessened to maintaining the tradition, but only on Remembrance Day and times of particular relevence to honouring our veterans. Many young people wear head coverings as part of their indoor wardrobe ccessories and “times they are achanging”
An Honour Room has been developed at the far end of the hall, with couches and comfortable chairs. Photographs and albums containing information pertinant to our citizens who went to war, portraits of past presidents of the Fraser Lake Legion, and other relevant memorabilia is on display. Everyone is welcome to relax and enjoy perusing that particular area of the Legion. But please remove your hats.
Children are always welcome at the Legion when the kitchen is open. When the bar is also open, children must be accompanied by their parents. When the kitchen is closed and the bar is open, it is “adults only”.