Legion auxiliary opens its organization to men

If we don’t include men we could lose our charter

Rick StiebelThe Chronicle

The Ladysmith Legion’s women’s auxiliary is looking for a few good men to man up and make a positive contribution to the community.

Loretta Schoonarts, in charge of membership with the Ladies Auxiliary for the Royal Canadian Legion  Branch 171, said they are making the novel move of adding men because of a declining membership that has dropped to 28 members.

“This is a new concept for us,” she explained. “But If we don’t include men we could lose our charter because so many of our members have died or moved on. This is our way of trying to keep it going.”

The Ladysmith branch, which was founded on April 10, 1945, supports programs that assist veterans, seniors, children and families throughout the region.

Schoonarts, Lynda Berwood, Irene Telford and Kay Platt each received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in May of 2013 for their work in the community with the women’s auxiliary.

Schoonerts has been with the organization for 40 years and has served as president for at least three or four terms. “And practically every other position as well,” she added.

“Kay is 91 and still comes to all the meetings, Irene is 80 and I’m 84,” Schoonarts noted. “ Lynda is the youngster of the group at 61. We need some help. The only requirement is that we are looking for people who want to make a positive difference in their community.”

Schoonerts said she doesn’t expect any issues arising from the inclusion of men.

“Over the years we’ve been telling them what to do anyway,” she added with a laugh.

For more information, please contact Schoonarts at 250-245-2196.