The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 122 has re-opened it’s doors in time for Remembrance Day, with reduced hours and capacity.
The branch will be open from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
The Legion will be putting on a COVID-adapted ceremony for Remembrance Day, with an online wreath campaign and poppies available at the branch location.
With COVID-19 safety procedures in place, Randy Hamilton of the Legion says that they’re ready to welcome back people, with meat draws and other events in the works.
“We’re encouraging people to come and support the Legion through our events,” said Hamilton.
“We’re at reduced seating capacity so we’ll run a modified meat draw, with a capacity of 15 people in the branch. It’s why we aren’t having a Remembrance Day service back at the Legion either, because it would be a logistical nightmare and nuts just trying to clean.”
Hamilton says that contact tracing will be in place for meat draws and other events that will be held in person at the Legion.
There will also be sanitization and sterilization of surfaces after in person events, to limit the potential spread for COVID-19.
When arriving at the Legion, there will be a modified eating plan, with groups of up to six people able to sit together.
COVID-19 has been a tough time for Legion branches across Canada, with Hamilton stating that it was important for him to re-open the Golden branch and not let it fade away like many others have.
“It’s important for the memory of the veterans, you know, those who served and those who are currently serving,” said Hamilton.
“It’s very disheartening to watch some of the other branches close, especially with all of the hard work people are putting in to keep them open and they still can’t stay alive.”
In addition to their meat draws, Hamilton says that they’ve been in talks with the Golden Jr. B Rockets to host watch parties for live streams of Rockets games, as fans won’t be able to head to the Plywood Palace this year to take in the action. The Rockets and the Legion would split the profits.
He says that they’re still working out the logistics, but that there will be three TVs and a bar for alcohol sales.
Hamilton also says that they would like to host dinners and other events, but are still working out the logistics of hosting such events, as they have to work with BC health orders as well as BC/Yukon Legion rules and Dominion Rules.
“The biggest thing is to keep our older veterans and older members safe, the ones that are most susceptible to COVID,” said Hamilton.
There will be a small ceremony at the Cenotaph this year for Remembrance Day, which will be closed to the public. Hamilton says that Golden residents can still participate by observing the moment of silence and tuning into the live stream of the event on the Golden Star Facebook page.