Alberta Newspaper Group
For decades the Foremost community has rallied behind its Legion.
Even in 2019, with memberships down, the Foremost branch of the Royal Canadian Legion is getting to host its annual Remembrance Day events as well as a Poppy Campaign.
“November is always the busiest time of the year for us,” said secretary Paul Leighton, who has worked with organization for more than a decade. “On Remembrance Day we meet at the Community Hall at 10 a.m. and we have a full service with wreaths, honour guard and then do coffee and donuts afterward.
“We have about 200-plus people attending — it’s always well attended.”
On top of the Nov. 11 ceremonies, the Foremost Legion is in charge of the annual Poppy Campaign, which raises money for Canadian veterans and their families.
“We do this campaign for the whole area,” said Leighton. “We usually give out $3-4,000 each year for different places — some years we give the money to the Milk River area, we try and do a fair rotation.”
The Foremost Legion has been operating for more than 50 years in the community and now sits just under 10 active members. The group is always welcoming new members.
“Anyone can join,” said Leighton. “A lot of our members have family that was in the military, police or RCMP.
“There’s a few different levels of membership and people can reach out if they want more information.”
While numbers in memberships may be slowly going down, Leighton says community support isn’t going anywhere.
“They always come out to support us,” he said. “We have a really small group now, but the community always steps up to help us with a number of the duties for Remembrance Day.
“I think it shows, with 200-plus people showing up every year, the community is staying quite involved with this.”
The Foremost Legion had to move out of its building recently because it was unable to properly run it, but Leighton says the goal remains the same.
“We want to make sure those who came before us are not forgotten,” he said. “I think it’s so important for everyone, of all ages, to take a step back and be thankful for all of our freedoms – they didn’t just happen, people fought for them.”