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Vernon Eagles hall closing, leaving legion without a home

The Vernon Legion has until March 31 to vacate the 25th Avenue hall
The Fraternal Order of Eagles hall on 25th Avenue in Vernon is closing, and the Vernon Legion has until March 31, 2023 to vacate the building. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Vernon’s Fraternal Order of Eagles hall is closing, leaving the local legion scrambling to find a new home.

Vernon Royal Canadian Legion treasurer and office administrator Sandra Patterson told The Morning Star that the legion has been given until March 31 to vacate the 25th Avenue building.

“We’ve been frantically running around getting some things put in place,” she said.

The legion has secured storage space from The Morning Star to house their poppy campaign materials, while Okanagan Health and Fitness has offered to store the legion’s office equipment.

Now all that’s needed is an office space to continue the legion’s operations.

“We’re looking for generosity from the community. We don’t have a lot of income coming in because we’re not hosting meat draws, dinners or anything like that,” Patterson said. “The best scenario would be an organization out there that through the generosity of their hearts (would) give us an office area and be able to be big enough to house our office and all of our supplies.”

Patterson said a space about 20 feet by 20 feet would be big enough to accommodate the legion. Anyone who has an office space they’d be willing to offer can contact Patterson at 250-558-8318.

“The community is very giving, so we’re hopeful. We’re definitely hoping for a response,” said Bill Balcaen, past president of the legion.

The legion looks after local veterans, helping them navigate Veterans Affairs Canada to access benefits. It’s also an organization that routinely gives back to the community, using funds raised from weekly Saturday meat draws to support local causes.

“This legion has been in operation for 95 years now, and we hope to keep going,” said Patterson.

The legion was renting the office space in the basement of the Eagles hall for $325 per month.

The Fraternal Order of Eagles did not respond to several requests for comment prior to the publication of this story.

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Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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