Pre 1929 Highlights

1917 – The Great War Veterans Association (GWVA) formed .
1918 – Merritton became a town.
1919 – The Great War ended after five years of warfare.
1920 – Town of Merritton unveiled a War Monument.
1925 – GWVA amalgamated with over sixty other veterans groups to become the Canadian Legion of the British Empire Service League (BESL).
1928 Nov 8th – Town Hall – First Meeting of the returned soldiers to hold a service and parade for Armistice’s day. On a motion by Clark and McDonald it was decided that all should wear a poppy.
1928 Nov 15th – Town Hall – It is unanimously agreed to form a Branch in Merritton.
1930’s – During the Depression the Branch raised over $3,000 [$48, 138.87 today] for the relief of families in town, over 80% going to non-members.

1930-48 Highlights

1934 – LCBO made veteran organizations eligible for a liquor license. The Merritton Branch unanimously agreed to remain dry.
1939 Nov 30th – Merritton Branch Ladies Auxiliary Formed.
1940 May 5th – The New Club House Official opened.

1940 – A Veteran Guard was formed in Merritton by members of the Branch to assist the firefighters and guard vital points in the region.
1941-1944 – Canteen opened at the Club in the Basement.
1942 – Mr. Munson (the barber in town) started to collect photos of the “Merritton Boys” who were going overseas and displayed them in his front store window.
1944 Jun 13th – HMCS MERRITTONIA was launched in Quebec City. During the Second World War the Branch raised over $3,000[$51,186.56 today] for the comfort of soldiers overseas.
1948 – The Town of Merritton with 3, 700 residents had over 600 men who served in two World Wars.
1948 – The Beret was adopted as Legion Headdress.

1950-68 Highlights

1950 – A Legion convention adopted the standard uniform worn today. Membership was extended to Overseas Conscripts.
1958 – The portion of the name “British Empire Service League” was dropped, the organization just became the Canadian Legion.
1960 – The Queen granted the use of the name Royal Canadian Legion. The HMCS Merrittonia Bell that had been hung in the Merritton Library now passed on to the Branch following the amalgamation and the closure of the lib rary. The St. Catharines Standard informed the Branch that “due to complaints from other organizations such as the YMCA” that they would be ceasing to run the column “Legion Jottings” which was a special column with news and information on branch
1961 – The Legion adopted a new badge despite the membership being split.

1964-1965 – The Legion got drawn into the debate about the new Canadian Flag. The Government went ahead with the proposal despite opposition. It would be a few years before many members came around to accepting the new flag and many branches were slow to fly the new flag .

1970-88 Highlights

1970’s & 80’s – The exterior was clad in vinyl siding .
1972 – Membership extended to Armed Forces Personnel and RCMP. Early Bird membership campaign introduced.
1974 – Associate Membership extended to Sons and Daughters of members.
1978 – Membership was extended to all wartime conscripts as well as voting rights to Associates. All remaining First World War members of the Merritton Branch were made Life Members, in total 10.
1979 – A key card system was installed on the canteen door. Also a building fund was again started at the Branch.
1982 – Membership extended to spouses, widows and widowers. The Branch started selling Nevada Tickets
1983 – The Merritton Cenotaph was cast and resurfaced by the City of St. Catharines.

1984 – Was the High-water mark for membership overall for the R.C.L with 602,489 members (488,541 Ordinary and 113,948 Fraternal Affiliates).
1986 – The Poppy Campaign locally extended to a two week period.

1990-08 Highlights

1991 – Invited to the Armistice Dinner was the four remaining widows of WWI soldiers Maggie Wilson, Mary Halton, Mabel Tucker and Else Purdy.
1992 – Membership was extended to the grandchildren. The Branch purchased 14 Hasting St. tore it down and enlarged to backyard.
1994 – Membership extended to include siblings of eligible ordinary membership. Associates and Affiliates for the first time outnumbered Ordinary members.
2005-2006 – The back stairs were added from the Games Room to the outside backyard. Smoking is now banned inside all facilities including private clubs. The NHS presented a certificate of appreciation for donating $50,000 since they began keeping track.
2007 – Patio added
2008 – Garage Built

2012 – Elevator added to the building with wheel chair access basement ground level and Hall.