Legion marks 80 years with big bash

It was an all-day, all-ages affair Saturday as the Bowen Island Legion celebrated its 80th anniversary.
 
There was a free community carnival with activities and food for the kids during the day. 
 
“It was really, really awesome and people braved the rain to come out and celebrate,” said Bowen Island Legion vice- president Yvonne McSkimming, 
 
After feasting on a pig roast in the evening, prepared by local chef Gord Hedge, residents danced the night away to the sounds of Dustin Bentall and David Graff and the Continental
Grifters.
 
The Royal Canadian Legion recognizes Legion Week as a time of celebration leading up to Canada Day, joining the tradition of duty, service and sacrifice with the patriotism of our country and our citizens.
 
It’s a chance for people of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy a festive event while learning about history and sharing in the heritage of what has made communities, such as Bowen, vibrant and strong. 
 
McSkimming joined the legion because some of her family members were involved in defending countries during wartime. 
 
“And I wanted to make sure the legion has a legacy,” said McSkimming.  “We have to have more young people getting involved.”
 
With recent changes to the liquor licence, the legion is now able to welcome families with kids to Friday night dinners. McSkimming said it’s a chance for residents to break bread with each other in a warm and inviting environment. 
 
Lance Weismiller, who’s been a legion member for 44 years, was recognized Saturday evening for his service. 
 
The legion puts on regular events throughout the year for its members, of which there are 150, including celebrations around the major holidays.
 
“We can’t do any of the work without the graciousness of the volunteers, who give tremendous amounts of time and energy to make these events possible,” said McSkimming.
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