2018 was a busy year for the Royal Canadian Legion in Bradford West Gwillimbury.
The year saw the launch of Bradford Flight 37 of Newmarket 94 Squadron Air Cadets, the expansion of the veteran banner program, and continuation of remembrance traditions that included the annual Remembrance Parade on Bradford’s main street.
The legion held successful fundraisers to help pay for expensive roof repairs, and it revitalized both its entertainment and outreach in the community.
And 2019 will be even busier, said legion president Mike Giovanetti.
“This year will be the grand opening of our cadet squadron,” when Flight 37 becomes a fully-fledged air cadet squadron right here in Bradford, he said. “They get their charter this year.”
There are plans to change things up in the Hall of Heroes, where the veterans’ banners will be on permanent display. The legion is also talking with the Town of BWG about funding for a second bench in front of the legion hall on Back Street.
“And we’re looking at putting a mural out front” to be designed and painted by local high school students, said Giovanetti.
“Let the kids design it,” he said. “We’ll have a committee here to go over the designs. The kids will paint it.”
“That’s what the legion’s all about – getting the kids involved,” added Sgt.-at-Arms George Neilson.
Giovanetti and Neilson were at the president’s levee, a New Year’s Day tradition at the legion, when legionnaires and visitors are invited to drop in, enjoy food and refreshments, meet the executive and learn more about the role of the Royal Canadian Legion in Bradford.
There is one thing that legion Branch 521 still has on its Christmas wish list: a trailer, which will be parked at the legion to provide a base of operations and storage for the new air cadet squadron.
Giovanetti said he has been unable to find a suitable trailer and is now reaching out to the community for help, hoping someone can offer something suitable.
The Bradford legion is located at 115 Back St. in Bradford. For more information, call 905-775-5025 or see bradfordlegion521.community.
The year just past was a busy one, and “we’re going to be even more hopping" in 2019, and said Giovanetti.