After 91 years, the Vernon Legion may disappear.
The five members of the branch executive tendered their resignations last night effective the end of April.
President Bill Balcaen tells CJIB News they’re tired.
“We have no issue with anyone. We’re just running out of members that can actually participate and take over some of the duties. This executive, we’ve been around just about six years some of us.”
Balcaen says the Legion has 150 members, a far cry from 1200 some years ago.
The number of vets is dwindling and the branch doesn’t have a lot of younger members and new people aren’t joining.
Those who are members have trouble finding time to help out.
“I think people, it’s a culmination, people are busy, different demographics totally. When you look at the family unit, moms and dads don”t have a lot of time anymore.”
Even getting enough members for a quorum can be tough sometimes.
Tuesday night’s meeting only had about thirteen or so people show up.
Trying to get volunteers to even put on a dinner is difficult.
“It’s not a nice decision to have to make. Believe me, we’ve given it a lot of thought and a lot of a sweat.We stepped in this year to make sure we had an executive.”
Balcaen says over the years, the Legion has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for various community associations like hospice and taking care of veterans and their families.
He says the poppy campaign has always been strong.
He doesn’t know what will happen with that.
Balcaen says if no one steps forward and the branch closes, the Legion Command in Vancouver will take over the charter and disburse whatever funds are left as it sees fit.
He’s hoping members will show up for the next meeting in March and steps can be taken to prevent a closure.