The history of the Royal Canadian Legion dates back to the end of World War 1 when branches were formed to assist returning servicemen and their families.
According to the history of the Legion found on the website found at http://www.legion.ca/who-we-are/our-history/ there were 15 veterans groups and a number of regimental associations representing former service members in Canada at that time. Despite their common goal their efforts were fragmented and not as successful as was hoped.
The formation of the Dominion Veterans Alliance was formed in 1925, and the Legion was founded in November of that year in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
The newly formed organization was called The Canadian Legion of the British Empire Services league (BESL).
In July 1926, the Legion was incorporated by a special Act of Parliament and the Charter issued in July 1926.
The event of World War 11 meant the need for the Legion was even stronger and members were called upon to help not only veterans and returned service members, but also those serving abroad.
Today the Legions continue to stand strong and proud and its members are united with a common bond of helping, caring and supporting not only veterans and their families, but also the community at large.
Veteran Michael Jarmoluk said the Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 36 was first started in Rimbey by First World War veterans. Membership increased during the Second World War.
A new Legion Hall was built in 1951.
“It was a local initiative and many volunteers helped to build it,” he said. “Money was raised through bingos and shows.”
The Rimbey Ladies Auxiliary was formed in 1956.
“The Ladies Auxiliary was most helpful and a great asset to the Branch,” he said.
The Rimbey Legion was active in the community in those years raising money through shows and suppers and supporting not only for veterans, but community organizations such as minor hockey and cadets as well, he said.
With volunteer help a Cenotaph was constructed in 1975 and in 1985 an addition was added to the hall and the Legion continued to be an active entity in Rimbey.
Throughout the years membership has dwindled somewhat, said Jarmoluk.
“We encourage younger people to get involved,” he said.
Cpl. Tyler Hagel of the Rimbey RCMP is president of the Rimbey Legion and can often be seen wearing his distinguished red serge uniform while he represents the Legion at various community events.