Legion welcomes public with open doors

By CAROL CHRISTIAN, Connect Contributor

The Royal Canadian Legion is newly reno-vated with new menu options with old favourites. PHOTO: Carol Christian, Connect Weekly.

The Royal Canadian Legion is newly renovated with new menu options with old favourites. PHOTO: Carol Christian, Connect Weekly.

To members and supporters of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 165, October 8 is more than just a date on the calendar heralding the arrival of Thanks-giving. It’s the day that officially signals the start of a new era for this important piece of the community.

After years of waiting and months of renovations on both levels, the Legion is welcoming the community to its official re-opening on Thursday, October 8, 2015 starting at 12 p.m.

Getting underway at noon, the day is to feature a ribbon cutting, tours of the remodeled facility, a presentation of future development and full luncheon, says Karen Eisenhauer, branch manager. The band Olde Skool will be taking the stage that evening, as well as on October 9 with Cheryl and the Jammers headlining on October 10.

Renovations to the second floor ball-room were completed earlier this year and the clubhouse downstairs was renovated over a seven-week period this past summer. Renovations to the hall and the offices will come at a later date.

“We’ve been getting a lot of positive comments,” said Eisenhauer. “The members, especially the older members who have been waiting on this for years…”

“We’ve been getting a lot of positive comments,” said Eisenhauer. “The members, especially the older members who have been waiting on this for years, are really pleased because they thought they were never going to see it. Now it’s a place they can come, and sit down and be comfortable; they can watch TV; they can sit and chat. It’s pleasant. It’s bright. It’s welcoming.”

In addition to being a place to support Legion members with information and programming, it also houses such groups as the Veterans’ Support Group (which starts meeting Monday nights as of October 5) and Army Cadets. The upgraded second floor is available to host functions whether weddings, celebrations or galas.

“We’ve got plenty of space. It’s just under 4,000 square foot. Christmas bookings are pretty tight right now, which is a wonderful thing to be able to say,” said Eisenhauer.

A Halloween party is in the planning for Saturday, October 31. The Legion will be hosting its Remembrance Day service starting at 11 a.m. on November 11.

With the remodeling pretty much complete, the Legion is turning its attention to some prevailing misconceptions about it.

“A lot of people probably still think that you have to be a member to come in or that children are not allowed or that you have to be a veteran to join and none of that is true anymore,” said Eisenhauer.

“A lot of people probably still think that you have to be a member to come in or that children are not allowed or that you have to be a veteran to join and none of that is true anymore. The Armory Grill is open to the public. It’s still a private club downstairs, but we have opened it up to the public, as long as they go by the posted clubhouse rules, we have no issues,” explains Eisenhauer.

Steve Niehaus, along with his wife Cathy, are the culinary talent behind the Armory Grill and the re-opening brings a few savoury changes on the eatery side of the Legion.

Monday is free pool; Tuesday features a barbecue special; Wednesday is all-you-can-eat pasta night; Thursday is half-price wing night from 5 to 9 p.m.; and Friday is the popular steak night. Saturday is prime rib night featuring Alberta prime rib with Yorkshire pudding staring at 5 p.m.

‘We’re here. We’re open. Anybody can come. You don’t have to be a member. Children are welcome,” says Niehaus inviting everyone back to the table.”

– Connect Weekly –