by Jim Morrison
with files from Kevin Woodhouse
With their lease set to expire in September 2016, the Dorval Royal Canadian Legion Branch 245 has to find a new meeting place that can provide a community hall for up to 150 people that also has a kitchen.
Aeroports de Montreal (ADM) announced last year that the company will be taking over the land which has the Legion, and the Dorval municipal golf course which sits adjacent in order to augment its security services with two new proposed structures and a parking lot on the expansive green space.
With the Legion slated to move and with a limited budget, members are creatively finding ways to raise funds for a new meeting hall that included a pig roast held this past Saturday.
The event coordinated by Legion members, Norm Emard, Mike Pouponneau, and Colin Hay was their way of raising capital for Branch # 245, for their eventual move.
“We are working with the ADM in finding a piece of property which can support what we have presently. The ADM pays all our hydro and electric which is a huge benefit. We pay a slight rent, but very manageable in suiting our budget,” Barbara Cunningham-Stokes, President of the Legion, told The Suburban.
The building’s unique features could accommodate up to 150 people, a full kitchen, and a bar area servicing 190 active members.
“As an administration, we are working closely on this file,” Dorval Mayor Edgar Rouleau told The Suburban. “Because the federal government no longer subsidizes legions, it is a challenge for members to raise all of the funds for operating costs.
“With wars taking place all over the world, it is important that our veterans who return from duty have a place to call their own when they come back,” Rouleau said.
“With the lease ending on December 31st of this year, we are still working to find an affordable alternative for our veterans who have done so much for this country,” said the mayor.
“The ADM have offered a new piece of land off Sources, to rent for $1 per year for the next 40 years. The big issue is constructing a new building, which can cost up to $500,000.00. Nothing is finalized as of now, but we need events such as the pig roast in generating capital,” said Cunningham-Stokes.
“I did this for the first time last year, and realized it was a great thing to do for the Legion,Emard said.
“It took us nine hours to slow cook the pork. I love preparing food for others, while enjoying the friendship of the members,” furthered by organizer, Mike Pouponneau.
Corn on the cob, baked potato, and salad were all included in the $15.00 cost for the dinner.
“We sold 120 tickets, and I couldn’t be happier,” a beaming Cunningham-Stokes exclaimed.
Aéroports de Montréal is a private, not-for-profit and financially independent corporation responsible for the management, operation and development of Montréal–Trudeau and Montréal–Mirabel international airports.
The Royal Canadian Legion; Branch 245 is located at 245 Jean-Marie Landry-Dorval, Quebec, H4Y 1E1 Facebook: Royal Canadian Legion 245 – Dorval Quebec