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Thirty two ex-servicemen of World War I who felt that the spirit of comradeship, the close and kindly ties of active service should be continued, met in the Forest Town Hall in August 1929. They applied to become a component part of the British Empire Service Legion and were given a charter, Number 176 of the Canadian Legion on June 25, 1930.
The Officers elected at the first meeting were:
Other members accepting the charter:
The first club rooms of the branch were located in the Maylor Block where meetings were held twice monthly for approximately fourteen years.
At this time the Legion wholly supported the needy and disabled veterans by personal contributions. In order to raise money for the local benevolent purposes, numerous plays were staged in the surrounding districts. Euchre parties, sponsored by the Legion were the highlight of those days.
On October 19, 1933, the Legion formed a Guard of Honour at the station in Forest for the Earl of Bessborough.
October 8, 1938, saw the Legion participating in the International Ceremonies at the official opening of the Blue Water Bridge linking Canada and the United States.
On June 7, 1039, the branch formed a Guard of Honour at Wellington Barracks in London, Ontario for the tour of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Members joined on to Glencoe to act as Guards the following day.
Due to difficulties in obtaining proper recognition, assistance and consideration from the Canadian Government for returning ex-servicemen, the older members decided that the condition should not prevail for our sons and daughters returning from Service in the Second World War. They made it their duty to try and secure for them, a permanent place where they could see that all families concerned with those who had served should be assisted by both the Government and community. This was made possible by the Bank of Montreal in Forest giving them the opportunity to purchase an adequate establishment from them for their needs. At a piece much below market value the Legion purchased the building in 1944. Voluntary work by members transformed this former bank into the beautiful Legion rooms of today.
Each November 11, the Legion has a Remembrance Day parade to the cenotaph for the laying of wreaths. Then Church Services provided by the Forest Ministerial Association and followed by a banquet.
The Legion has been very active in Church parades and the Forest Branch has also sponsored minor sports and public speaking contests.
As a Branch of the Canadian Legion, we are here to serve our town and community at all times.
Branch 176, 58 Albert St., Forest, Ontario N0N 1J0