Kamsack Legion adapts as COVID-19 pandemic restrictions are in place

With the current COVID-19 pandemic situation, the Kamsack branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, has found ways to adapt while self-isolation and social distancing measures are being taken.

The majority of Legion members are elderly, and Jim Woodward, Legion president, along with his wife Jean, have been making the effort to contact the senior members who are self-isolating.

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“On a regular basis we make phone calls and go out and knock on doors to check and make sure all is well,” Woodward said. “From the beginning of the pandemic we have been delivering food baskets to our senior members who have not been able to get out themselves. All the while we practice social distancing, and are following provincial and federal guidelines.”

Gordon Craig is the Service Officer for the Kamsack branch. Since the beginning of the lockdown to flatten the curve, he has been making phone calls to all local members to check on them. “Gordon calls to touch base and have personal contact with members over the phone,” Woodward said. “The calls have been well-received and appreciated.”

All normally scheduled events have had to be cancelled or postponed at this time, he said.

A fundraiser concert featuring Brenda Lee Cottrell in a show billed as Brenda & The Legends, The Memorable Music of the Legendary Ladies, which was to be held May 21 at the Legion Hall has had to be postponed.

“We hope to rebook this concert as soon restrictions loosen up and the performer will be allowed to begin touring again,” he said. “So far it sounds like the Legion’s doors will remain closed until September 1.”

Another Legion tradition, the Decoration Day Service held at the Legion portion of the Riverview Cemetery in Kamsack, has had to be cancelled this year. Held on the first Sunday in June, the Sunday nearest June 6, the anniversary of D-Day, members of the Kamsack branch of the Legion are joined by members of the Kamsack RCMP Detachment and Kamsack air cadets to honour the veterans who sacrificed so much for the freedoms enjoyed by so many.

“We may try to hold a ‘virtual ceremony’ this June,” Woodward said. “We will find a way to continue the tradition of Decoration Day, even if it’s not as we have always been able to. We must never forget the sacrifices made by others in the name of freedom.”

Woodward added, “Be safe, Kamsack and community. We look forward to supporting everyone again when this virus is behind us...stay safe!”

About the Legion: Kamsack Branch 24 of the Royal Canadian Legion, located at 324 Second Street, was declared first a municipal and then a provincial heritage property.

The building was constructed in 1908 by former Kamsack Mayor H. Harvey, a businessman who operated a hardware store in the building which is currently occupied by Home Hardware. Harvey sold the house to the Legion Branch in 1946 for $7,500. The three storey building which was made of hardwood was renovated into suites where serviceman returning from overseas lived with their families as they waited for their “wartime” house to be built.

The building was renovated in 1972 and then again in 1981 to accommodate the needs of the Legion members.

Today the Legion Hall is used to host social events for both the Legion and com