The Royal Canadian Legion Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario Command's 49th Biennial Provincial Convention was held in Fort Frances for the first time ever over the weekend.
The Legion Ladies Auxiliary to the Royal Canadian Legion Br. #29 held their convention in conjunction with the Legion from June 14-17 while the Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario Command ran from June 15-17.
“I think it went really great for a small town hosting it for the first time,” lauded Legion Ladies' Auxiliary president Alfreda Easton.
“Usually it is hosted in Winnipeg, Brandon [Manitoba], and Thunder Bay.”
“Our branch took it on . . . because our membership is getting smaller and smaller so we thought we would give it a try and see how it worked out,” she added.
Easton noted they had 25 new people at the convention who attended for the very first time, which was great to see.
“It was really exciting and there was a few younger members in their 20s that came,” she added.
Easton said the younger folks are the future of the Legions and auxiliaries so it's very heartwarming to see them take such interest.
During the Legion Ladies' Auxiliary meetings that took place upstairs at the Memorial Sports Centre, they had a local guest speaker, Nathan Cousineau, who served in Afghanistan and talked about his service to the country.
Meanwhile, the Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario Command held their convention at the local Legion and La Place Rendez-Vous over the weekend.
Roughly 250 people attended and of them were 128 delegates who had a vote at the convention's meetings.
Mayor June Caul was in attendance for the opening ceremonies and shared some remarks with Legion members, veterans, and attendees.
“I am in awe and humbled by what I see up here,” she said during the ceremony.
“It brings tears to my eyes when I look around you, to see all of you here today, and to see what you stand for—God bless you.”
Mayor Caul noted that Royal Canadian Legions play a significant role in every community across the country, advocating for all veterans and honouring those who have passed on.
“Thank you for ensuring that we never forget the sacrifices that were made to keep our country a free place to live,” she remarked.
“Peace and freedom came at such a high price for those thousands who were killed in action and for the families who waited for loved ones to come home, but instead received the most devastating news of death.”
Mayor Caul was touched by the remembrance ceremonies held at the cenotaph on the morning of June 15 and the honouring of the countless men and women who were killed, wounded, and scared for life by the atrocities seen on the battlefield.
“The Royal Canadian Legion does a superb job of keeping that part of our history alive through all its members in their teachings and service to our communities,” she lauded.
“With the recent D-Day ceremonies held in France, we are reminded of the importance to preserve this history and that we live in freedom and peace because of the dedication and sacrifices of others,” Caul added.
The 50th biennial convention will be held in Thunder Bay in 2021.