By Tim Kalinowski
The Legion Ladies Auxiliary Branch No. 6 has been active in Redcliff since 1940. Back then it started with about a dozen members. Today they have about 70 members, but that represents a substantial decline over the past 30 years from the group’s heyday.
Legion Ladies Auxiliary first vice president Merle Davies said unless the group can attract some younger members the writing might be on the wall for the 75 year-old organization in the community.
“One of these days, what’s going to happen is people are going to say, why can’t we get help with this or that? The reason is there won’t be this organization. We are one of the few branches still functioning,” said Davies.
In the mean time, the group will continue to carry out its mission in the community, said Emily Harris, president of the Auxiliary.
“Our role is to support the Legion branch in its fundraisers, and to fundraise to support the community and the veterans that come back to the community,” explained Harris. “We donate to bursaries for local schools. As far as community works go, we do visit the shut-ins of the Auxiliary. We visit our sick members in hospital… We are always there to help. When organizations ask for help we give it to them.”
Remembrance Day is by far the most important event the Ladies Auxiliary takes part in each year, but Davies listed a few other events and non-profit groups her organization is involved with in town.
“We also help with Robbie Burns Night, and we give to Girl Guides, the Scouts, the library, and we have recently given a $1,000 donation to the Redcliff Youth Centre,” said Davies.
Harris added it was important for her members to help the next generation coming up in the community, and that’s why the school bursaries, Girl Guides and Boy Scouts, and the library are all recipients of their fundraising efforts. Harris said her members put the Redcliff Youth Centre in that same category, and wanted to encourage the community to support for this institution which is struggling to stay open.
“I would really hate to see it close,” confirmed Harris. “That’s really important to our community, and for the kids to give them a good start in associating with each other and be with each other in a group. And so they can feel included.”
To learn more about the Redcliff Legion Ladies Auxiliary call President Emily Harris at 403-529-0599.