Some of the iconic items out front of the Red Deer Legion have found new homes, but they aren’t done moving their memorabilia.
The Legion is in the midst of downsizing as it concludes a near two-year process of selling its 30,000 square foot building and three acres of land at the corner of Bremner Avenue and Molly Bannister Drive.
“You have to reimagine yourself these days,” said Bev Hanes, Legion president, citing declining membership as the main reason for the move.
On May 28, the Legion voted 83-6 to approve a 10-year lease. They will occupy a space about 11,000 square feet of the building, roughly one-third of what they used to be in.
As part of the downsizing, the Legion will not operate Molly B’s Lounge anymore and instead focus on being a private club.
“It’s doubled up on some of our expenses,” said Hanes. “It will give us a lot more leeway in some of what we want to do.”
The smaller Legion space will have a canteen, games room and a kitchen.
The Cormack Armoury took “almost all” of the Legion’s memorabilia, including the guns that used to be out front of the building. The propeller will head out to its new home in Penhold.
“We still have things out on the front lawn that will have to find new homes,” said Hanes. “Every day we’re moving things around here.
“We just need a new home for the anchor, the gun barrel and a few of the memorials.”
The Legion is also holding a garage sale this Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Aimed at getting rid of everything they no longer need such as fixtures and decorations.
“We don’t have too many choices,” said Hanes. “Revenue is drying up and we need to downsize. We just can’t keep a 30,000 square foot building when we’re getting older.
“It will work out for us. We’ll have to make it work.”
When the Legion moved into the building in 1981, there were more than 4,500 members. Current membership is at about 1,325 people.