TWILLINGATE – This year marks a significant change in Twillingate’s Royal Canadian Legion Branch 21, as Ladies Auxiliary president Rose Hopkins formally handed over the organization’s charter to Legion Branch president Ronald Sloan.
For reasons that Comrade Hopkins would prefer remain undisclosed, the Ladies Auxiliary disbanded after 44 years of service. The ladies have taken the opportunity to join the Legion as full-fledged members.
Comrade Hopkins who served as Ladies Auxiliary president for the past 17 years, and for a total of 19 years, has a great deal of pride for their service. “Through the years, we have worked as equal partners with our Branch as is endeavoured to fulfill its responsibilities of service to veterans, the promotion of remembrance, and service to the community,” she said. “Our relationship with the Branch has been a good one and our efforts have always been acknowledged and appreciated. We have always been involved in all of the remembrance activities sponsored by the Branch, including parades and wreath-laying ceremonies, church services, school assemblies, and programs at the long-term care unit of the local hospital.
“Many of the things we did as members of the Ladies Auxiliary were common to all auxiliaries, but we like to think that some are unique to our own particular situation. The activities required a lot of dedication and hard work but were also very rewarding. The reward came from the positive feedback and expressions of appreciation received from our Branch, community groups who receive donations, students, seniors, widows, Sea Cadets and the community in general.
“The comradeship and the feeling that one is contributing to the community leaves a feeling of accomplishment and pride. That’s how it felt to be a member of the Royal Canadian Legion Ladies Auxiliary in a Newfoundland outport.”
Ms. Hopkins was a member of the Auxiliary for 41 years, joining a few short years after its formation in 1968. For 44 years, the ladies have volunteered their service to the community although there have been many changes. Comrade Hopkins said she remembers “at one time we were the only caterers in town and were busy making meals every week. We don’t cater any more, but we still have wonderful Christmas parties andpPot lucks.”
As she spends more time with her husband, who has been sick of late, she observed “now that I am just a member of the Legion it is a lot less work and responsibility. I will still continue to do what is required and help my Legion as much as possible.”
Another significant event was the change of Branch 21’s leadership. Comrade Ron Sloan is now the president of the Branch taking over from Charles Hickmott, who served as the president for 19 consecutive years. Comrade Hickmott remains on the executive as past-president and chaplain.
The Royal Canadian Legion continues to be a strong volunteer organization in the Twillingate community. If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering contact one of your local Legionnaires and they will advise you on how to become a member.