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Timmins Legion moves into new space

Poppy Campaign off to slow start
2017-11-10 Timmins Legion MH
Timmins Legion Branch 88 president Bill Pigeon and vice president Andrea Villeneuve with an historical newspaper article documenting the Algonquin Regiment members killed in the Second World War. Maija Hoggett/TimminsToday

Timmins Legion Branch 88 has a place to call home again.

The organization recently moved into a new space at the corner of Mountjoy Street South and Commercial Avenue.

“It shows that we are here for the community. We are open and ready to serve,” said Andrea Villeneuve, Branch 88 vice president.

The Timmins Legion opened in 1947 on Algonquin Boulevard next to McDonald’s and later moved into the LaRonde Cultural Centre. The organization was housed there for 12 years until there was a fire in the building in November 2015.

In the new location, the volunteers have office spaces as well as an open area in the front for people to meet.

While they are still unpacking boxes, the walls are already lined with memorabilia – from historical photographs to plaques honouring past presidents.

Anyone with medals or other interesting items to donate are welcome to do so.

“A lot of people don’t know what to do with medals…donate them and we’ll display them,” said Villeneuve.

With Remembrance Day tomorrow, they are also amid the annual Poppy Campaign.

“The poppy campaign seems to be slower than last year, but we want to make a goal of $25,000…we should make it,” said Pigeon.

The money raised during the campaign goes into a special poppy fund.

Last year, Pigeon said they donated $10,000 to the Timmins and District Hospital Foundation. The branch also has five beds at the Golden Manor for veterans and their family.

Pigeon has been a member of the legion for four decades.

When he joined, he remembers taking part in Friday night socials and special events for July 1.

“The legion is a very good organization, they had a lot of events,” he said.

The branch is still very active today.

Pigeon’s motto is that they’re there when people ask them.

Throughout the year they also have events for Legion Week, a special ceremony in June at the cemetery, and on Mother’s Day they deliver flowers to veteran’s wives.

A point of pride for Pigeon is that the branch doesn’t have paid staff and is run solely by volunteers.

For more information on the Timmins Legion Branch 88, call 705-264-5811.