LITTLE CURRENT—The Little Current branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, #177, hosted its annual honours and awards and volunteer appreciation evening on Friday, December 1 with many acknowledgements being made to the individuals, groups and businesses who have rallied around the Legion over recent years, helping to keep the institution alive and well.
Legion President Debbie Menard began the evening’s proceedings by acknowledging the death of Comrade Wayne Debassige of M’Chigeeng.
President Menard started with the most prestigious honour of the night, Legionnaire of the Year, awarding it to Comrade Ruth Eadie.
She told the audience that Comrade Eadie has been a member of the Legion for 16 years and currently acts as 2nd vice president and chair of entertainment, her third year in this role.
“She organizes all the dances and is quite creative with the themes as well as the decorating and luncheons to be served, only to do the cleanup after the parties,” the Legion president said. “She has bartended, helped on wing nights with the sauces and overseeing bar activities, then cleaning afterwards, sometimes having to go to work the next morning.” Comrade Eadie also helps with the meal functions by setting up the hall, purchasing food supplies, preparing and cooking the food, serving it and then, as always, helping to clean up afterwards. She also donates many of the food supplies and helps the Ladies’ Auxiliary with many of their functions too, Comrade Menard stated.
“Ruth has scuffed, buffed and polished our upstairs hall three times (along with her co-worker) and also the downstairs clubroom to a lustrous shine,” Comrade Menard continues. “She just goes non-stop then cleans and cleans. The energizer bunny has nothing on her!”
“Ruth works tremendously hard for the welfare of this branch,” the president continued. “She was presented with a certificate of appreciation in 2015 and a certificate of merit in 2016. Her dedication and loyalty all of these years towards Legion endeavours are immeasurable and boundless. Let us stand and commend this amazing woman.”
Comrade Eadie received a Legionnaire of the Year plaque, a bouquet of flowers and a poppy necklace and earring set for her efforts. The large crowd gave her a standing ovation in recognition of her considerable efforts.
Comrade Menard then called up Little Current Lions Bruce Burnett, president, and Mike Dubreuil, treasurer from the Little Current Lions Club.
“On behalf of Branch #177, we are deeply grateful to you for considering us with your Catch the Ace endeavours and profits,” the president said. “You have enabled us to be so much more financially secure. Your donations to the branch have enabled us to secure three GICs (guaranteed income certificates) which gives us great peace of mind and added security for the future of this branch’s existence. Your continued support is much appreciated as it benefits both of our great organizations, which in turn benefits the community organizations.”
During the evening’s proceedings, seven certificates of appreciation were also handed out to deserving individuals: Margaret Bowerman, John Chapman, Joe Hannah, Debbie Menard, Judy Miller, Lucy Sagle and Tom Stephens
Four certificates of merit were also awarded to: Doug Clarke, The Manitoulin Expositor, Rob and Ursula Paxton and Elizabeth St. Jacques.
As always during the Legion honours and awards, pin presentations were also made to the following ordinary members: Dave Walton, 40 years (150th anniversary medal); Blair Sullivan, 30 years (90th Legion anniversary medal); Paul Manion, 20 years, Denis Blake, five years, John T. Murray, five years; associate members: Mike Cooper, 35 years; Kenneth Rowe, 35 years; Charles Adam, 30 years; Terrance Hari, 30 years; Kevin Hutchinson, 30 years; Denis Cunningham, 25 years; Cecile Migwans, 25 years; Robert McCallum, 20 years; Brian Morrison, 20 years; Cathy Morrison, 20 years; Elizabeth Ann Wahamaa, 20 years; Gary Green, 15 years; Darin Hannah, 15 years; Mathew Jordison, 15 years; David Marshall, 15 years; Connie Donaldson, 10 years; John McLennan, 10 years; Larry Smith, 10 years; Asa Jewell, five years; Jim McBain, five years; Leonard Negannegijig, five years; John Stephens, five years; Philip Stephens, five years; affiliate voting: Darrell Eadie, 20 years; Marcel Gauthier, 20 years; Gordon Keatley, 20 years; Godfrey Lovelace, 20 years; Jack Omnet, 20 years; Stewart Harris, 10 years; Norm Hore, 10 years; Marlene Mallette, 10 years; Leonard McCoy, 10 years; Bill Strain, 10 years; affiliate non-voting: David Naples, 10 years; and Fred Burger, five years. (These last two are summer visitors from the United States and the president explained that she and Comrade Roy Eaton had made their presentations to them before they returned home.)
The Ladies’ Auxiliary, led by president Nancy Milburn, then handed out its pins, including a 55-year pin to both charter members Verna Heise and Peggy Patrick, neither of whom were in attendance, but do still attend events when able, it was noted.
Josephine Eshkibok of Wiikwemkoong was also presented with a pin for 45 years with the auxiliary, with daughter Marie Eshkibok being presented with her 20-year pin.
The honourees were then treated to snacks and refreshments following the awards presentations.