It’s almost back to business as usual now that the Penticton branch of the Royal Canadian Legion has formed a new, bare-bones executive.
Members on Monday elected three executives by acclamation and another three were appointed by incoming president Murray Grandy. He and two others were elected to their posts back on Nov. 19, but a second round of voting was required to fill out the roster.
“Just barely squeaked it in, but at least they can operate,” said Ed Findlater, under whose trusteeship the branch was placed after the former 12-member executive was terminated.
B.C.-Yukon Command turfed the group in May after issues cropped up with liquor and gaming licences, and concerns were raised about the branch not following Legion bylaws.
Findlater will remain on as trustee until Dec. 31. and the new executive’s mandate begins Jan. 1, although it doesn’t look like Legion higher-ups will be ready to let go at that point.
“Really from a financial oversight (standpoint), the trusteeship’s not going to come off right away because you’ve got a rookie executive in there now and we’re not going to let them flail on their own. We’re going to help them,” said Inga Kruse, executive director of B.C.-Yukon Command.
“Trusteeship is a protection mechanism, but it’s also a coaching and assistance mechanism for people,” she said, adding local control will be handed back when the executive is ready to take over for real.
Members were told at the November meeting that the branch was at risk of closing if an executive couldn’t be formed at Monday’s get-together. Kruse said with the key position of treasurer now filled, command is satisfied with the “near-complete” executive.
“We’re just so happy that we’ve stabilized the branch in Penticton because we don’t want that community to lose that branch,” she said.
Findlater said he was pleased with the “good turnout” of 77 people who showed up to Monday’s meeting, although at least three more members of the executive committee will have to be elected at the next meeting in January.
Grandy, the president-elect, said he’s taking a hands-off approach until his mandate begins Jan. 1. However, the members to whom he’s spoken seem keen on the Legion’s future and its ability to fill out the executive.
“They’re optimistic and they figure we’ll get people,” Grandy said.
Grandy is the only new executive to be elected to his position. Elected by acclamation that same night were secretary Al McNeil and first vice-president Ed Begg.
Monday’s meeting saw the election of treasurer Bill Wennington and executive committee members Bob Sudbury and Marina Ashley, all by acclamation. The president then appointed sergeant-at-arms Bill Wood, padre John Briscall and service officer Bill Bowen.