The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 242, in Barriere, has been serving area veterans and the surrounding community for 60 years. On March 16, the Legion will be holding a celebration to mark this milestone 60th anniversary, and plans are well underway to make it an enjoyable event. The Branch will have more information forthcoming in the newspaper, but in the meantime Legion members are advising folks to mark the date on their calendars for March 16.
Planning for a Legion in Barriere was started back in 1952 by returning veterans of World War II, they wanted their own local Branch, due to the fact that it was a long drive to Kamloops for the annual November 11 Remembrance Day services. The drive to Kamloops back then took about two-and-a-half hours on a good day, but much longer on snow covered roads.
Holding a membership drive, the veterans signed up 43 members, and with the sponsorship of Branch 62, Kamloops, on February 3, 1953, they received their charter.
Then followed a lot of hard work and fundraising by the members and the community, some financial help from Manne Salle, and as a result land and unfinished buildings were purchased from Harry (Pappy) Yokum, for the site of the Barriere Legion.
The first president was Walter Clayton, and the secretary/treasurer was Len Sadlier-Brown. The Legion bar was opened in 1955, with additions in 1962, and the last extension in 1981.
Current Branch members say, “We are still going strong.”
The Barriere Legion sponsors Hospice, Search and Rescue, the Fire Department, Cadets and Minor Ball, and most importantly, our veterans, both young and old.
The Branch’s Ladies Auxiliary also helps the Legion to continue servicing the surrounding community.
If you would like more information about the upcoming 60th anniversary, or would like to become a member of Branch 242 call Al Fortin at 250-672-2150.