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BC Yukon Legion Command updates on Revelstoke Legion

The Legion will remain closed until it is brought into compliance
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Revelstoke Legion. (Zachary Delaney/Revelstoke Review)

Following its closure earlier in March, the Revelstoke Legion executive was suspended, and the branch is under a trusteeship until further notice while the BC Yukon Legion Command helps the local branch get back up to working order.

With over 70 people packed tightly into the purple-blue hall in the Legion, BC Yukon Command President, Craig Thompson, spoke about the past, present, and future of the Revelstoke Legion to a quiet crowd over the hum of bar fridges.

Thompson started the meeting by asking for a show of hands for those who were Legion members. Two-thirds of the room raised their hands. Next, Thompson asked who had paid their dues for 2024, to which few people raised their hands.

“What transpired earlier this month is we became aware at the command level that there were some issues happening here at the branch that we could not overlook,” began Thompson.

He explained that the Revelstoke Legion came to the command’s attention several years ago. In the time since, the Legion has fallen behind in its finances, from membership to taxes, which recently forced command to step in.

“A lot of the membership information is in disarray,” said Thompson.

Despite the strong turnout on Wednesday, March 20, Thompson said that in the trustee’s examination of the memberships, they’d only found 22 members.

But the issues didn’t stop with the money.

“Liquor was a big one,” he said.

Thompson revealed that a liquor inspector spoke to the trustees when they took control of the branch earlier in March that the Legion had as many as six violations, one of which carried a fine of $7,000.

Another issue that arose during the trustee’s audit was problems with the method of operation of the Bargain Basement that operates out of the basement of the Legion.

“The Bargain Basement is operating in a manner that gives us a bit of concern in relationship to the Bargain Basement to the branch itself,” he said.

Finances, membership, liquor operation, and the Bargain Basement were some of the main problems that the audit turned up, but Thompson presented the command’s plan for getting the branch operating again.

With the previous executive suspended, the Legion will remain in trusteeship under close command supervision. The current trustees will be working to correct the compliance issues before the Legion can reopen. Thompson announced that they will be looking for a local management team to work with the trustees.

“We are looking to put together a management team of Legion members who support the vision of the Legion and are willing and able to work together with the trustees and amongst themselves as well. To do the things that need to be done to make the compliance issues proper, so that the Legion can have its own executive back and start running the branch as the vast majority of branches across this country operate,” he said.

An attendee questioned Thompson regarding when the community can expect the branch to open, but Thompson couldn’t give a firm response.

“The time frame is totally dependent on the management team and how quickly you can get things back to a level of where it should be,” he said.

Thompson said that in his experience, trusteeships can run anywhere from just a few months to years.

The Bargain Basement, Thompson said, has less ‘prohibitive’ compliance issues. He expressed optimism that it could be reopened within a couple of weeks.

Thompson concluded the meeting by reaffirming his commitment to getting the Legion opened once again and to ensuring that members of both the community and the branch are updated more regularly. He also welcomed all volunteers or prospective members to get involved.

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