The West Vancouver Legion is grateful to the council for responding to its long-standing financial concerns by giving it a grant of $11,239.
The grant is equal to the business portion of their taxes and would help legion stay in operation and keep contributing to the community through various initiatives such as the poppy campaign.
“It allows us to keep operating in West Van and helps us stay in operation and gives us more resources to run the poppy campaign,” said Doug Brown, the legion’s treasurer.
The West Vancouver legion, much like other legions across the country, has struggled to remain financially viable due to dwindling membership and limited revenue.
“We are not pushing problems to the council, and we have been working hard to increase membership, but we are barely solvent. Any single extraordinary event like the flood four years ago could wipe us out,” Brown told the council last year in December.
There are 46 branches of legion in the province, according to BC\Yukon Command of the Royal Legion. Out of those, 43 have tax arrangements with their municipalities which include grants from the local governments, lease of premises from the government, and multi-year tax exemptions.
A flood in 2014 wiped away nearly $100,000 of the legion’s savings. Keeping financially healthy while being prepared for any such future event has been a struggle ever since. The legion has done a lot to reduce expenses but doesn’t have any money to put into maintenance.
“We do the very basic that is needed because we simply don’t have the funds,” Brown said.
The membership costs $65 and all members have to be above 19 and should have a proof of citizenship. Members can also bring family and friends to the legion and support the legion by patronising the bar.
Locals can also support the legion by renting a hall at the legion. “It is a great place to host all sorts of parties and social gatherings such as reunions or birthday parties. We are a licensed establishment. The legion remains a pleasant alternative to commercial establishments,” Brown said.