Wayne Mortimore (left) and Doug Tanner (centre) are leading the charge save the Aldergrove legion by renting out the hall. (Ryan Uytdewilligen/Aldergrove Star)

Wayne Mortimore (left) and Doug Tanner (centre) are leading the charge save the Aldergrove legion by renting out the hall. (Ryan Uytdewilligen/Aldergrove Star)

Aldergrove legion looking for renters to utilize empty hall

Without steady funds coming in, members are hoping more usage will help solve financial woes

Aldergrove Legion branch #265 has room for rent.

Adjacent to the lounge is a 2,000 square-foot hall typically used for club meetings, ceremonies, and larger celebrations at the legion.

COVID-19 had put regular legion activities on hold while the number of people actually using the facility dropped significantly because of event postponements.

Doug Tanner, a member leading a committee to bring in more funding, plainly explained that the local branch is simply trying to stay alive.

“We don’t want to go under, but we’re running out of money,” Tanner said.

Cash raised through poppy sales is specially allotted for Veterans while funding doled out by the Royal Canadian Legion throughout the past year-and-a-half was for operations only.

“A lot of people don’t know but we always offer up our space free for charities. And we’re handing out 20 to 30 thousand dollars each year helping organizations, but lately we’ve had to say no,” he explained.

READ MORE: Final phase of $14 million federal support fund rolls out to legion branches

Tanner initially thought the hall could be used as space for a local daycare. He even had a professional and licensed person ready and willing to rent the space, but, as it stands now, the legion’s zone does now allow for daycare use.

“We can get it rezoned, but Township council told us that would take a year to a year-and-a-half to do. That would be too late. Why so much red tape? I don’t get why they aren’t able to make that process faster to help save the legion,” Tanner said.

Equipped with a kitchenette, refrigeration, tables, chairs, washrooms, and hardwood flooring, the committee has opened up the hall to anyone who would like to use it.

The space even has it’s open entrance, meaning no one would have to go through the kitchen, lounge or office, to get to it.

“We have to rent it out to somebody, there’s no other choice,” Tanner assured.

Committee member Wayne Mortimore said that ideally the renter would use the space five-days-a-week.

“Whether is a sports group or a club, we’re open to anything,” Mortimore said. “If anyone wants that space 24/7, were open to that too.”

The committee acknowledged that some fundraisers like trivia nights and meat draws are back at the lounge, but without a renter, funds raised won’t be enough to keep the century-old branch going.

Anyone interested in renting out the space at 26607 Fraser Highway can call Mortimore at 604-530-4563 or email wmort@shaw.ca


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