The Royal Canadian Legion in Reserve Mines is back from oblivion.

In March, the branch didn't have enough members to pay its bills, or even to call a meeting.

Membership had fallen from 84 in 2007, to 21 at the end of 2011. They owed $20,000 to the Canada Revenue Agency, had a large outstanding bill from Atlantic Lottery, and the insurance on the building was unpaid.

"We had no choice but to close down the building, and suspend their charter," Jean Marie Deveaux, president of the Nova Scotia and Nunavut Command of the Legion, told the CBC in March.

That move was actually good for the branch, and for the community, said Jeremy Timmons one of the 52 new members who signed up.

"They came in here and really opened our eyes," he said. After they got over the disappointment of losing the branch, the community united, resolving to get the doors reopened.

Ted Martens is a district commander for the legion. He said the Command is going to mentor the new group, so they have the tools to bring the branch back to full status.

"My hope for Branch 2 is that it's going to come up better than ever before, at least with a hundred or so members," said Martens.

He said he's expecting a big celebration when the new members are sworn in next month.

Timmons said the group is hoping to expand the legion, to include a historical society and a computer site for members.

"I hope that other communities follow suit. We went from being made an example of, to being a model for success," he said.