Stettler Legion undergoing a coup

Written by Submitted

Dear Editor,
The Legion has been in Stettler for years, started by our returning Veterans and carried on by relatives and caring people. Ceremonies were carried out, bereavements and general good comradeship. The Legion was a place where people met and good comradeship prevailed with eats, drinks and games all for the entertainment of the members and visitors. This Legion, along with other branches, collected monies for our Vet’s or others in need to improve their lot in life.
The Legion in Stettler carried on for years and with meat-draws, Chase-the-Queen and other fundraising activities and was able to keep up repairs, utilities and other expenses and have some reserves in the bank. The members of the Legion attended ceremonies throughout the area including funerals, parades and a host of other activities. The Legion elects people to a committee for decision making and along with the other members strives to keep the Legion going.
Recently due to some unforeseen hardships it seems Command was approached to assist until the Legion could catch up to big costs like a major roof repair but it is understood there was a plan in place and the roof  repairs were already carried out. At no time did it seem the Legion would have to close the doors. The members could not have foreseen the actions carried out by Command and it is believed most of the members are still in shock. Command being the ‘over-all bosses’. A high ranking Official in Command called a general meeting and informed members there seemed to be some problems in the Branch’s operation and there were clauses in the Legion By-laws that allowed Command to take over with no questions asked.
Command came in like barn-burners and took over every aspect of the Legion. They ousted the elected members that form a committee to oversee operations in the Legion and this was carried out some two months before the Branch elections. The operation of the Legion was put in the hands of three unelected members and through these strong arm tactics one can see members not volunteering, losing faith and quitting.
The next move supposedly carried out by Command was one of proceeding to the Bank and taking over all funds and assets that belonged to the Branch. This was carried out without the knowledge of the three members with signing authority and one wonders if this is legitimate. They absconded with all funds and assets and Branch members will never know the amount of money withdrawn at this time.
The members were informed that Branch #59 in Stettler could carry on programs, but with no money how are purchasers for meat-draw, Chase the Queen, alcohol and confectionaries to be purchased?
Command did inform us there would be a General Meeting at the Legion in the future to inform us if the building was to be sold and the monies from the sale would no doubt end up in Command coffers.
Our Veteran’s fought through two World Wars paying the supreme sacrifice so these strong arm tactics would cease and desist. I am sure these same Veterans would not rest easy in the light of these actions.
A disgruntled member,
Dave France.
Stettler, Alberta

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