On November 9 Okanagan Falls Legion #227 is celebrating their 65th Anniversary. The branch first received their charter November 12, 1947. Fifteen veterans were charter members and their meetings were held in the local hardware store and then in the Womens Institure Hall.
As membership grew property was purchased in 1951 close to the south end of Skaha Lake beach where a building was erected, mainly by members and volunteer labor. For a number of years the new branch endured some financially bad years but held auctions, prizes and dances to raise funds.
In 1963 this building was sold and a new hall erected on lots offered by the first President Bill Edge. Assisted by a grant from the B.C. government a two story building was added and officially opened in 1972. The hall boasts a sports floor, with the second floor used for meetings and social events, then there is the lounge operated entirely by volunteers. The branch now has a membership of approximately 520.
Activities include meat draws every Friday and Saturday, pancake breakfasts, entertainment by well-known local bands, suppers, cribbage, shuffleboard, darts, pool, golf matches and any other activity the membership wishes. Every Sunday afternoon there is horse racing and other entertainment.
The ladies Auxiliary received its charter in 1948 with 20 members and now has a membership of 44. The auxiliary has always supported the branch from the very beginning both financially and in all branch activities and events. Both the branch and the LA support youth in the community with donations, bursaries, youth sport activities, local hospitals and veteran hospitals. Funds are obtained from meat draws, LA catering and bingos.
For our 60th anniversary permission was obtained for Twelfth Street outside the legion building to be re-named Veterans Way.
The branch will be celebrating on Nov. 9 with a veterans lunch for all veterans (guests $5), with cake and entertainment for everyone. In the evening following the meat draw, at 6:30 p.m. will be supper and entertainment by Buzz Byer.