Tuesday, 1 March 2016
The "first Legion in Canada" ?
Last week, the former Royal Canadian Legion, Manitoba Branch No. 1 on Sargent Avenue at Maryland suffered a major fire. It closed in May 2015 and was undergoing renovation into a restaurant and banquet hall.
Over the years, facts - both correct and incorrect - got mashed together to create the claim that this was the "first / oldest Legion in Canada".
The Legion was created in 1925, with this and 33 other Manitoba branches receiving their charter on the same day. The two buildings that made up the hall were not built until 1949 or so. The claim actually has its basis in the formation of a precursor to the Legion, the Great War Veterans Association.
To read more about the history of the building, the formation of the Legion's Manitoba Command and the prehistory of Manitoba Branch No. 1, check out my latest Winnipeg Downtown Places post.