ANAVETS Shoulder to Shoulder

July 2017

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NEWS FROM OUR UNITS • BRITISH COLUMBIA • ALBERTA • SASKATCHEWAN • MANITOBA • ONTARIO • QUEBEC • NEW BRUNSWICK • NOVA SCOTIA BRITISH COLUMBIA COMMAND 14 SHOULDER TO SHOULDER (This year 2017, marks the 65 anniversary of Matsqui Unit 315 receiving its Charter. What follows is brief history of the Unit and its coming into being. Doug Taylor (Snr) was the father of Grant Taylor our present President who has some 35 years of continuous ANAVETS service). HISTORY OF MATSQUI UNIT 315 by Douglas Taylor (Snr)., Chartered Member - March 14,1952 Following the First World War, a branch of the Great War Veterans was formed in Mount Lehman and met in the Mt. Lehman Orange Hall at the junction of Mt.Lehman and Taylor Roads. Veterans who had settled under the Soldiers Settlement Act formed the nucleus of the Group. About 1930 the Branch disbanded and the membership went to the Matsqui, Sumas, & Abbotsford Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. Prominent Members of the Great War Veterans Branch were: S. Leslie Brice (secretary WW1) J. Percy Carr (WW1) Fred Carter (Boer War & WW1) Cecil Gibson MM Murdock Gillis D.C.M. (WW 1) John Gray (WWl) James Simpson (WWl) Alf Tucker (WWl) West Matsqui Members remained active during the 30's and more so through the second World War. Fred Carter canvassed the whole west Matsqui area on foot during WW2, raising money for overseas servicemen. At the same time, Cecil Gibson canvassed city businesses in New Westminster and Vancouver. Between them they raised hundreds of dollars for the cause. A crisis in Mt. Lehman during the late 1940's changed the Veterans loyalties. Someone behind the scenes was advocating closing the Mt. Lehman Post Office and moving it to Clearbrook. This was violently opposed by the whole community and also the Veterans Group. The Veterans led by Fred Carter presented a resolution to the MSA (Matsqui, Sumas, Abbotsford) Canadian Legion asking support for the retention of the Mt. Lehman Post Office. The Legion refused and told the Mt.Lehman Veterans they were not interested in supporting them. This refusal infuriated the Mt. Lehman Veterans who returned to Mt. Lehman and sought the formation of an affiliation to a new Veterans Group. The WW1 Veterans felt that they had made a mistake by amalgamation of the Old Great War Veterans Association with the Canadian Legion who appeared to have only an interest in the downtown Abbotsford Village and no interest in West Matsqui. Veterans were solicited to obtain a Charter of the Army, Navy & Airforce Veterans in Canada the oldest Veterans organization in Canada (1840). Another item of note was our annual Remembrance Service at the Mt Lehman Junior School a Remembrance program produced and presented entirely by the students. Below is the card signed by all of the students, visiting family members and Veteran guests that was sent to our troops serving in Iraq together with a letter of thanks signed by the Joint Task Force Commander, Brigadier Shane Brennan. Other news from the Unit includes the presentation of a cheque from our Wednesday Coffee and Chat Hour Group in the amount of $1,611.00 to unit funds. The Coffee group presided over by Donna Kingman and Janet Andris form an active part within the unit bringing together not only members but local residents of the Mt Lehman community. President Grant Taylor taking office as Unit 315 President (2017)

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