Reserve Mines legion closes again despite new members
No word on whether legion will close permanently
The Royal Canadian Legion in Reserve Mines in Cape Breton has shut down again, despite swearing in 22 new members within the last year.
The building on Main Street was locked up last week, and marks the second time the legion has run into trouble.
In March 2012, the legion was shut down by the Nova Scotia/Nunavut Command of the Royal Canadian Legion, which is in charge of legions in the province. At the time, officials said the Reserve Mines legion did not have enough money or members to continue.
In August, the branch reopened and 22 people were sworn in as new members. It was hoped they would provide a fresh start for branch.
George MacDonald, a councillor for the area, said a local committee has been trying to keep the legion open but it's been a struggle.
"They worked on fundraising and so on and I think what's happened is it's been a tough job and I believe they decided last week to unofficially close the doors until the head office made a final decision," said MacDonald.
He said fundraising to keep community groups going is becoming more difficult.
"We have the fire department, the seniors, pensioners, we have the legion, they're all trying to fundraise to keep their doors open and it's a tough, tough go," MacDonald said.
"I think that even with the new members, they've had a tough time raising the funds to pay the bills and they've faced the dilemma in the past few months to raise enough funds to keep the organization open."
Mike MacDougall, the legion's zone commander for the Glace Bay area, said legions are important in small communities.
"We are the face of the Royal Canadian Legion, we are the face of the military we represent the fallen. The legion in the community is also a gathering place for communities," said MacDougall.
Jean Marie Deveaux, the president of the Nova Scotia/Nunavut Command of the Royal Canadian Legion, said no final decision has been made about the Reserve Mines legion.
Deveaux will meet with local officials in the next few days at her office in Dartmouth to get an update.