Berwick branch of Legion set to be revived
THE Berwick branch of the Royal British Legion is to be revived following a meeting in the Drill Hall.
For 18 months it has been operating as a sub branch of Crookham but with volunteers accepting key positions and momentum building, Berwick will restart with 70 members of whom 50 per cent are in their late 60s or over.
Tom Fairfax, Crookham chairman, welcomed the move to revive Berwick and is to contact county secretary David Bell over the next step.
He explained how interest had dwindled after people who had served for decades decided they could not continue.
Three options were before the meeting - to revive the Berwick branch, to amalgamate with Crookham or dissolve the branch.
The latter, he felt, was a non-starter. Amalgamation could lead to the laying up of Berwick and Crookham standards and introducing a new one.
Emphasising the value of the Legion’s welfare work he said it was important to widen public knowledge of what the organisation did for ex-service personnel and their families.
The decision to operate as a sub branch with Crookham had worked well, but it had always been the hope that Berwick could revert to full branch status.
Berwick ran a very successful poppy appeal under the leadership of Ailsa Alsop and her team and they urgently needed two additional volunteers to cover ‘a staggering area’ extending to Belford.
“The Legion is a spearhead of the community. We are here to help,” he stressed. “A lot of its work is invisible but vital.”
Coun Brian Douglas, supporting the revival proposal, said Berwick had a great tradition as a garrison town and he could recall when 600 young soldiers trained at the barracks.
Claiming that many people were interested in the Legion, Michael Stewart emphasised the need to attract younger men and women to ensure sustainability for the future.
Legion membership was a clear message of support for the armed forces, said Mr Fairfax. He thought there was a willingness to revive the Berwick branch which was encouraging.
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Weather for Berwick-Upon-Tweed
Sunday 26 May 2013
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