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Streetsville Overseas Veterans’ Club RCL Branch 139

101 Church St. Mississauga ON L5M 1M6

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http://www.nmeda.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Wheelchair-ramps2.png   Phone: 905-826-8672  Fax: 905-826-6426  

 

 

HISTORY OF STREETSVILLE OVERSEAS VETERANS CLUB

Royal Canadian Legion Branch 139

 

The Streetsville Overseas Veterans Club was organized November 11th 1925 for the following purposes:

 

·        To perpetuate the sense of comradeship which was engendered among and between all ranks in common service overseas during the Great War.

 

·        To contribute by joint action when necessary and possible for movements having their objective of safeguarding the interests of overseas veterans.

 

·        To contribute by personal and joint effort to perpetuating among the younger generation of Canada a realization of the horrors of warfare and the necessity of each citizen being prepared to defend his country against such horrors by building up a nation within the British Empire strong in the power of defense.

 

  • To assist by corporate action in all movements seeking the welfare of the community or country by the development of the spirit of service rendering citizenship.

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Early Years

Present Building (1957)

Web Site Links

Circa 1920 Founding

Major Site Improvements

Charitable Efforts

From 1933

Handicap Lift (write-up)

Poppy

1936 the Dugout (photo)

Planning for the “Tank”

Cadets

After WW!!

M113 Troop Carrier

1957 (photo)

Our D-Day Vets

 

 

Circa 1920 Founding

Click on the links (highlighted in blue) within the topics to see photos/write-up

 

The founding Officers and Members were:

President – Captain Reverend Frank Vipond

Secretary – Sgt. H.F. Staley

Treasurer – Captain Reverend W.T. McCree

 

 

Members

Anderson,

J.

 

Haddon,

F.G.

Arch,

W.C.

 

Hammond,

J.A.

Buckingham,

J.

 

Langmaid,

Russell

Burgin,

George

 

Lovatt,

W.F.

Campenalla,

V.

 

Petty,

W.

Coyne,

George

 

Plankenhorn,

G. V., SGT

Davis,

W.

 

Reed,

D. V., Captain

Drennan,

B.L.

 

Toffano,

B.

Drysdale,

W.

 

Tutton,

A.

Evans,

C.D.

 

Waddell,

J.

Evans,

C.R.

 

Webb,

Fred, Sgt.

Graydon,

E.

There were three other members whose names are not recorded.

 

At the first meeting it was decided to undertake the erection of a Memorial to those ‘Who did not come back’.

 

As a result of their efforts the War Memorial (Cenotaph) that stands in Main Street at the intersection of Queen Street was unveiled and dedicated on July 1st 1926.It was a very impressive service in which the local veterans were assisted by the Clergy.  Sgt. H.F. Staley read the Roll of the Veterans who did not return and Major-General F.L. Lessard C.B. unveiled the Memorial.

 

Each child in attendance was given a small Union Jack which he or she held in his hand and repeated slowly after Reverend Vipond: ‘I…………..promise and vow that so long as I live in or near Streetsville. I will never disfigure or otherwise dishonour this Memorial, but I will revere it and care for it as the token of my remembrance that true men laid down their lives for me.’

 

Short addresses were presented by Major-General Lessard, Brigadier H.S. Cooper, Lt.-Colonel T.L. Kennedy, M.P.P. Sam Charters and M.P. Reeve C.H. Falconer.

 

It is not recorded but it has been reliably reported that after the ceremony the Veterans adjourned to a suitable location and reminisced about days gone by.

 

On December 20th 1928 The Streetsville Overseas Veterans Club became Branch 139 of the Canadian Legion of The British Empire Service League with the following charter members:

 

Capt. Rev. Frank Vipond

W.C. Arch

Wm. H. Davis

J.W. Buckingham

Lt. Rev.W.T. McCree

C.D. Evans

H.F. Staley

W.J. Tracey

Capt. D.V. Reed

George Coyne

G.F. Thompson

Fred Elderfield

Lt. J.W. Drennan

A. Hammond

B.L. Drennan

R.T. Epps

C.R. Evans

Fred Haddon

 

 

 

Records of the early years are very sketchy but minutes are available of most of the meetings from 1933 on.

 

 

 

From 1933

 

In the early years meetings were held in Church’s Hall above the printing plant of the Review.

 

The Legion’s principle function during the depression was to strive to obtain for the Veterans an opportunity for employment if any were available. Some welfare work was done but the extreme difficulty experienced in raising money curtailed their efforts in this regard.

 

In October 1934 it was decided that if the Branch was to survive, suitable clubrooms of their own must be obtained. A committee was formed to study the matter and reported back the following month that materials for a suitable building could be obtained for $600.00. Although this seems an insignificant sum now it must have appeared very large in the heart of the depression.

 

Lesser men might have given up at this point but not these determined Veterans of World War I.

By April 1935 Branch funds totaled $80.00 and half of this was used to establish a building fund.

During the balance of 1935 efforts were made to obtain property for a building site and for a time it was thought that they would be able to obtain a lot being used for a sawmill at the corner of William and Ontario Streets. When this proved unobtainable their attention was directed to a small lot on Church Street and plans were finalized to proceed with a building 30ft. by 65 ft. at this location.

 

On May 23 1936 the last meeting was held at Church’s Hall and the new building committee consisting of Bill Arch, Fred Elderfield and Len Pope was formed. Work parties were to be held each Tuesday and Thursday to build the new hall. On July 21 1936 the Regular Meeting was held in the new building, which was to become affectionately known as “The Dugout”. The fact that the new club had new quarters of their own inspired the members to bring more Veterans into the Club and the fall of 1936 saw a large increase in membership.

 

On December 16 1936 the Dugout was officially opened by a public dance when a capacity crowd enjoyed the music of the Harmony Orchestra.

 

By January 21 1937 expenditures on the building were completed and the mortgage had been raised to $850.00 with Mrs. Fred Elderfield as mortgager.

 

Although there is little mention of it in the records of the Club an event still brings chuckles from the OLD SWEATS. The big stag held in the Dugout when the entertainment was reportedly so exotic that it had a detrimental effect on the domestic life of some of those who attended. Even now, incoming entertainment chairmen are cautioned on this point, with the result that Branch social functions never quite measure up to that big bash of the thirties.

 

Steady progress was made in reducing the mortgage and by January 31 1942 the Club was in a position to pay it off and the document was ceremoniously burnt.

 

During the years of World War II membership dropped somewhat but the World War I Veterans carried on throughout the war and as a result many thousands of cigarettes were sent to the boys overseas and the Club was alive and healthy when the World War II Veterans returned.                                                                        

 

 

 

After WWII

 

In February 1946 a banquet was held for the returning World War II Veterans and the Club membership expanded rapidly about this time. By 1953 the Club decided they required a larger building for clubrooms and auditorium but it was not until March 1956 that the present Legion building on Church Street was started. It was completed during 1957 and by 1972 the Branch was in a position to burn the mortgage.

 

I n 1954 the Ladies Auxiliary to Branch 139 was formed and has played an active and valuable roll in Legion activities from then until now.

 

In 1960 the Legion gained Royal accent and became The Royal Canadian Legion.

The Legion is proud of the facilities it has to offer Veterans, their spouses, sons, daughters, other family and citizens of the community who support the Aims and Objects of The Royal Canadian Legion.

 

The Clubroom on the ground floor is spacious and equipped for billiards, darts and other games. The second floor is available to the public on a rental basis when not being used for Legion activities.

 

 

 

Major site improvements include:

 

-       1980 SOVC (Streetsville Overseas Veterans’ Club) purchased the lot adjoining our present location to add horseshoe pits and a picnic area.

 

-       2002 the Branch Cenotaph was erected.

 

-       2003 an outside patio deck was added to the north side of the building for the pleasure of our members.

 

-       Aug 2006 the pavilion housing the Field Artillery Gun Carriage was completed facing Church St. on our adjacent lot opposite

 

-       Sept 2007 Wrought iron railings were added

 

-       Sept 2012 the installation of our Handicap Lift was completed. The official opening was held on the 16th to celebrate the opening of Legion Week.

 

-       Planning began in 2011, and in Oct 2012 the M113 Troop Carrier was positioned next to the Cannon Pavilion.

 

-       2012 we also undertook and completed a total dismantling and rebuilding of our kitchen and bar facilities to bring our Banquet Hall up to code including new gas stove, range hood, deep fryers, glass washer and ice making machine.

 

Through the years that the Streetsville Overseas Veterans Club has been in existence it has helped many Veterans and their dependents to obtain pensions, benefits and medical assistance to which they were entitled. It has also helped in a material way those of their Comrades who are in less fortunate circumstances.

 

The Legion today focuses their charitable efforts and money towards youth and seniors activities and causes in our community through Poppy and Nevada Funds with our primary responsibility being to the Veterans who we will always remember.

 

The Streetsville Overseas Veterans Club proudly sponsors the 105TH Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps., the 186th Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps Haida and The Royal Canadian Air Cadet #800 Black Forest Squadron. We also help fund the Navy League Cadet Corps #139 Revenge. Cadets

 

 

Originally submitted in 1985 by the late Mac Hunter, Past President

Updated since 1985 by Benjamin R.C. Pearce, Life Member (MSM) and Secretary

Web Content since 2008 added by Verna Dennis, PRO