Melbourne Legion 70 years

Melbourne Legion 70 years

Written by JoAnn Galbraith

On November 18th, 1949, twenty-four area veterans met in the Community Hall in Melbourne with the idea of possibly forming a Legion in the village.  With backing from Glencoe Legion Branch # 219, Melbourne received its Charter February 1st 1950. In 2017, a history committee was formed  to make plans for the anniversary celebration.

Several displays of the Legion’s history have been shown to the public since the committee was formed.   Richard Hathaway scanned all the photos and memorabilia while JoAnn Galbraith has reviewed the records and minute books with a possibility of publishing a book with the Legion’s history  in 2020.   

Fifty Legion members and special guest attended a  complimentary dinner at the Legion on Saturday night November 30th. Folks viewed a slide presentation of photos from the 1950s to present day.  Also on display were original photos and documents.  

At each table setting was a place card with the front cover consisting of a photo of the first Legion building 1949 and the present one in 2019.

Zone A 5 Commander Gerry Cross gave a brief history of Branch #510. Bob Davenport, on behalf of Reg Lovell Glencoe Branch # 219, gave a brief history of the affiliation between Melbourne Legion and Glencoe Legion since Branch #510’s formation.  

Regrets were received from Peg Luce, Zone A 5 Deputy Commander, and former Federal Minister Bev Shipley.  

JoAnn Galbraith, a member of the executive and the history committee, was introduced by President Tom Jeffery.  

Pin History

JoAnn told the history of her collection of Legion pins from 1783 to 2019.  The United Empire Loyalist pin represents those who were treated as traitors because of their allegiance to the British throne following the American Revolution were evacuated to Canada in 1783. 

The 1812 to 1815 pin represents the war 1812-15. A large percentage of those that took up arms in the 1812 War were Loyalists who fought against the American forces who were trying to take over their new homeland.  The 1812 pin also represents the Battle of Longwoods.   A memorial service is held annually at the site where the Battle occurred March 4,1814, usually the Sunday prior to March 4th. 

The American flag pin represents the Civil War. The Vimy Pin marks the birth of Canada as a nation as of the April 8th battle 1917,  a WWI pin dated 1918.  A Poppy pin and the origin of its existence since 1918.  A World War II pin, a Melbourne Legion Branch pin. 

JoAnn gave a brief history of the Melbourne Legion and the Ladies Auxiliary. A First Nation’s pin representing the Native Veterans. A Canadian flag pin represented Vietnam, Korean and Afghan Veterans.  A “D” Day  Looney 2019 pin and a Poppy Wreath pin inscribed with “We Will Remember Them”.  

Even though JoAnn is only an affiliate member of Melbourne Legion Branch #510,  her family members have been very involved during war time.  JoAnn’s great-great grandfather, Thomas Lucas was a Lieutenant in the 1812-15 war,  a son of a loyalist, who is buried in Cade Cemetery in Strathroy Caradoc. Her cousin Alonzo Lucas gave the Supreme Sacrifice in World War I. His parents are buried in Cook Cemetery. Her second cousin, Private Warden Lucas, a WWI Veteran, was a member of Melbourne Legion Branch #510. Her Uncle Bud Lucas, Royal Canadian Navy World War II, was a member of Caradoc-Mount Brydges Legion #251.  

In the new Mount Brydges subdivision in Municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc called Edgewoods, a number of the streets are named after Veterans of Caradoc Township and the Municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc. Lucas Avenue is a tribute to the four Lucas Veterans  who at one time or another were residents of Caradoc Township.  Two of the four are buried in the Municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc.

On the back of the place card was a list of  Melbourne veterans who gave the Supreme Sacrifice in World War I & II.   

The Archives Open!

Glencoe:   The Glencoe & District Historical Society has moved its archives from the old Carnegie Library building on Main Street Glencoe to the old Registry Office building, which until very recently was the home of the Glencoe Library.

Two years ago when the Historical Society started hearing rumours that a vision was taking shape for a new library, the members starting dreaming of moving their collection to the building that would be vacated, 178 McKellar Street.  

On February 16, 2018, the Society made a formal request to the Southwest Middlesex council and in early June, Council gave permission to the Society to move in.   The members were thrilled and grateful.  Not only was Southwest Middlesex gaining a modern new library but the community would gain an accessible archives just down the street.  

Glencoe & District Historical Society formed in 1978  and their growing collections could no longer be contained in the old building.  Worse, was the access problem.  Access into the building involved a difficult set of stairs; the bathroom was in the basement; precious books and collections were deteriorating without climate control; member meetings had to be held in another venue; and parking was poor.  The dear old Carnegie library just did not work anymore.Packing began in September and the move took place November 26.  On December 13, 2018, the Executive held their first meeting at the new facility.

This historical reference library houses archives from various community groups.  There is a book shop.  It has the original land registry documents and deeds.  Computers are available to the public for research.  There are special scanners, microfiche readers and photocopiers.  A meeting area that community organizations are welcome to use (donation welcome).  A reading room.  Family histories. Historical photographs.  Cemetery records.  Come visit and see for yourself.

World War I Battle Sites of France, Belgium and Germany

Notes by Ken Beecroft.  Presentation by Jim May.  Wednesday November 21, 2018 – 2:00 p.m.

The Members’ Meeting, held at Glencoe’s Historic Train Station, followed today’s Program presentation, which featured guest speaker, Jim May.  Jim spoke about Jim and Jane’s 2017 autumn trip across northern France, Belgium, Bavaria and Austria, to the battlefields and historic places, significant to Canada from the Great War. Jim pointed out that the itinerary of the tour was geographically based and not chronological to events of the First World War. Overall, the tour commenced in the Belgian city of Bruges, and ended in Salzburg, Austria.

 

The May’s travelled with a guided group of fifteen Canadians, including friend and seasoned traveler Heather Wilkinson. Their trip started in the Picardy and Flanders area of northern France. Jim talked about of summer of 1916, and the Allies “Big Push” Offensive in the Somme Valley.

What was supposed to be a quick victory over the Germans turned into a long costly campaign. The Royal Newfoundlanders especially paid dearly, along with other heavy Commonwealth losses. The tour group visited Hawthorne Ridge Cemetery #2 near Beaumont Hamel. They travelled to Hill 62 in western Belgium, near Ypres. Intense fighting in this area caused significantly heavy Canadian casualties. He talked about the Menin Gate in Ypres, commemorated in 1927, and a place of pilgrimage ever since.

Jim described the official and unofficial type of war monuments in the area. They travelled to Vimy, where he described the terrain and overall history of that April 1917 battle. Jim spoke about the design and construction of the Vimy Monument, and it’s unveiling in 1936 by Edward VIII. Jim’s presentation was accompanied by a slide show of the various sites and monuments.

 

Jim presented a treasured portrait of a family ancestor who died during the war, Pte. Ellwyne Arthur Ballantyne 4th Bn.Ellwyne was killed on the western front in 1917 and was buried at Aix-Noulette Communal Cemetery in France. Jim was particularly pleased to have had the opportunity to visit Ellwyne’s grave at that Cemetery.

Upon conclusion at 3:05 p.m., President Lorne Munro thanked Jim for his presentation and slide show, and presented him with an honourarium.

 

Stuart W. “Skip” Patterson, HMCS Prestonian, WWII

 

Excerpt from Royal Canadian Legion Yearbook:

Stuart Patterson was born 6 April 1928, in Rodney, Ontario.  He joined the Royal Canadian Navy on March 9, 1944 and was sent to Cornwallis, Nova Scotia for basic training in WWII.  He was assigned to HMCS Prestonian 18 November 1946 as part of escort group 28 out of Halifax.  At the end of the war, Stuart volunteered to serve in the Pacific.  He was is discharged 4 Jan 1946.

Stuart returned to Rodney where he farmed as well as worked for Union Gas for 30 years.  He helped found Rodney Legion Branch and he also founded Rodney Christian Mission and served as its pastor . He volunteered at the Parkwood Hospital in London, a veterans’ hospital.  Stuart and his wife Betty have 5 children.

70th Anniversary of the Melbourne Legion Branch #510

70th Anniversary of the Melbourne Legion Branch #510

Written by JoAnn Galbraith.

Melbourne, ON: On Wednesday evening October 17th, the Glencoe & District Historical Society celebrated the 70th Anniversary of the Melbourne Legion Branch #510 at their building in Melbourne. President Lorne Munro welcomed those attending and introduced the guest speaker, JoAnn Galbraith.

JoAnn announced that this year (2018), the Melbourne Legion Executive decided to update Legion records and compile photos and dialogues that Veterans and their family members have accumulated over the years. Tom Jeffrey, Wendy Robertson, Red Noble, Richard Hathaway and JoAnn Galbraith were chosen to carry out this important archival work.  For the evening.

JoAnn prepared a large display of Legion photographs and research material. She then explained the history of the first Legions which were established in 1925 after WWI.  These were special places where veterans could gather to reminisce and support one another.   Read more