Opening of Legion in 1957

As part of the Canada 150 celebration events, the Kemptville Legion No. 212 were present at the regular North Grenville Municipal Council meeting on Monday night to mark the 85th Anniversary of receiving its Charter from the Canadian Legion of the British Empire Service League, as it was called back in 1932. The branch had formed in late 1931, and gradually gathered members from the region. It was officially chartered on April 16, 1932, but it was some months later before the formal presentation of the Charter took place at a special banquet in the Armouries, now the Williamson Memorial Hall, on October 24, 1932, when the thirty members of the Branch were joined by representatives of the national and Ottawa branches of the Canadian Legion to mark the event.

The Charter was formally presented by Captain W. P. Grant to the President of the Branch, Walter Tuck. Walter was a photographer, with a studio on Prescott Street, and it is fitting that the procession into the Council Chamber on Monday night passed by the collection of photographs from World War I taken by him and donated to the North Grenville Historical Society by Bill Kilfoyle. The newly-chartered Branch held the first Poppy Day that November.

A further event to mark Canada 150 by the Legion will take place on Saturday, April 29, when the Legion building at 100 Reuben Street in Kemptville will celebrate the 60th anniversary of that facility. Between 1932 and 1957, the Legion had met primarily in the Armoury building. But on Kemptville’s 100th anniversary, a new building was opened on July 6, 1957. The date was itself an anniversary of D-Day, July 6, 1944.

The April 29 event will see a dedication plaque unveiled on the building, and will be attended by Steve Clark, MPP, Mayor David Gordon and representatives of the Royal Canadian Legion. The public are invited to attend and join in the dedication ceremony. The text on the plaque reads:

This building is dedicated to the courageous men and women of the Town of Kemptville, and the Townships of Oxford-on-Rideau and South Gower, who gave up their lives in military service to Canada and the Commonwealth. We will remember them.”

There will be a private Anniversary Honours and Awards Banquet that evening for Branch members and invited guests.

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