The Penticton ANAVETS is no more, and the clock is now ticking on any chance to restore it.
Sharon Goshko, president of the B.C. Command, said the decision to lift the Penticton unit’s charter was made after a meeting with the membership last weekend. Goshko said 71 members of the club turned out for a members meeting on Feb. 24, and 29 turned out for a follow-up meeting the next day.
“But by the end of the meeting only 12 were there,” said Goshko, explaining there wasn’t quite enough to oversee the club on a management committee, nor was anyone willing to volunteer as committee head. “And there has to be a provincial officer in charge of that, but there was no one available. The ones that were previous, were maligned so much that it just wasn’t feasible,” said Goshko
The Army Navy and Air Force Veterans Unit No. 97, on Brunswick Avenue in Penticton, first shut down at the end of September after the provincial command took control, removing the executive amid allegations of theft of cash and liquor. It reopened at the end of October, but was shut down again by the end of November.
Goshko said they are waiting on an official letter from the national Dominion Command confirming the decision. B.C. Command will hold the unit’s funds in trust for five years, unless a group comes forward with a business plan.
“We can’t touch it. It just sits there in a government-secured investment. That’s after all the bills have been paid, of course. Whatever is left over sits in the bank,” said Goshko.
After that five years, Goshko said there is no longer a requirement for B.C. Command to reconstitute the unit. And the Penticton unit’s funds can be distributed to other B.C. ANAVETS units in need.
“It is very sad this had to happen. We feel very bad about this,” said Goshko, adding a lot of misinformation about what has happened over the last few months with the club.
Goshko declined to be specific about what was misinformation but did say there had been accusations of theft, though that wasn’t the sole cause for closing the club.
“There were a lot of other circumstances that we found out later,” Goshko said. “There were two management committees put in to try and keep it going. Both of them were, again, maligned.”