Ladies Auxiliary Ontario Provincial Command Convention coming to Kingston

Royal Canadian Legion Ladies Auxiliary parade in Petawawa in 2016. Photo via the Ladies Auxiliary Ontario Command.

Early next month, the Ladies Auxiliary of the Royal Canadian Legion’s Ontario branches will celebrate their 59th Biennial Convention here in Kingston.

The Ladies Auxiliary holds these conventions every two years in order to make decisions that will help keep the organization viable for future years, according to Debbie Olmstead, President of the Ladies Auxiliary Ontario Command. “We amend bylaws and keep them current, for the betterment of the organization, and also conduct elections for a new slate of officers who will govern the organization for the next two-year term,” Olmstead told Kingstonist.

The Ontario Provincial Command Convention will begin on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Cross of Sacrifice Cenotaph on King Street at 11:30 a.m., which will feature local Silver Cross Mother, Reine Dawe.

After the wreath laying, the Kingston Tour Trolley will transport participants to Kingston Penitentiary, where a parade will fall out at 12:15 p.m. According to the Ladies Auxiliary, the parade will feature convention attendees in uniform, marching alongside local cadets to the sounds of the Rob Roy Pipe Band. The parade will end at the Portsmouth Olympic Harbour, where opening ceremonies will begin. This ceremony will include a candlelight tribute to Ladies Auxiliary members who have passed, commemorating their dedication and commitment to helping those in need.

When asked how many members might attend the convention this year, Olmstead shared that they expect up to 500 participants. “Senior officers will be arriving Thursday [Sept. 8, 2022]. Delegates will arrive late Friday and all-day Saturday, as registration takes place then. The official opening is Sunday, with the opening ceremony at 1 p.m.”

The Royal Canadian Legion was founded in November 1925, however, Veteran’s Welfare and Assistance has been carried on since 1916. During the 1914 to 1918 war years, as wounded Veterans returned home, women were asked to help with their recovery by visiting hospitals and sending parcels to hospitalized and to needy families. These ladies served the Veterans and their dependents, and became the unofficial Ladies Auxiliary, according to a media release. The Ontario Command currently has 223 Auxiliaries with 7,047 members.

Learn more about the Royal Canadian Legion’s Ladies Auxiliary on their website.

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