Our History

                       (Updates are pending)

The History of the Royal Canadian Legion

The Great War Veterans Association, founded in 1917 by Lillian Freiman, was the first national organization for veterans. At the end of World War 1, there were a total of 15 Veterans groups and several regimental associations representing former service members in Canada. Despite their common goal – to help returned servicemen in need – their efforts were fragmented and largely unsuccessful. By 1919 the GWVA was the largest veterans’ organization in Canada. 

Early in 1925, an appeal for unity led to the formation of the Dominion Veterans Alliance. In November 1925, the Canadian Legion was founded in Winnipeg, Manitoba, as the Canadian Legion of the British Empire Services League. It was incorporated by special Act of Parliament, Charter issued in July 1926 and the British Empire Services League was incorporated by the same act. The Legion grew steadily through the 1930s and then expanded rapidly following World War II.

In 1960, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II granted The Canadian Legion royal patronage, and it became The Royal Canadian Legion.

The History of Windermere District #71

First charter was granted on July 22, 1919
Great War Veterans Association of Canada
Windermere Branch

First President, Harold Richardson and First Secretary, Cecil H Davidson


Second charter, December 1, 1926

Canadian Legion of the British Empire Service League
Windermere District (British Columbia No 71) Branch

Charter Members

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The Charter Members, they who founded the Canadian Legion in Invermere.
William Pennington, Frank Richardson, Arthur Ashworth, Percy Docking, Arthur Powell, Thomas Turner, Gordon Palmer, William Seaton, Frederic Young, Edwin Ede, Thomas Weir, Lewis Bell, John Powels, Ernest Ede, and Arthur Walker.

On December 19, 1960, Queen Elizabeth II gave her consent to use the prefix 'Royal', and the organization became known as 'The Royal Canadian Legion." The Act of Incorporation was later amended in 1961 to make the change official and the new name became,

The Royal Canadian Legion
Windermere District #71

Past Presidents

1919 F Richardson

1929 AA Ashworth

1930 1931 FF Coy

1932 JC Powles

1944 TN Weir

1945 1946 A Gordon

1947 1948 OF Young

1949 ME Tunnacliffe

1950 TN Weir

1951 G Palmason

1952 1953 EJ Zinkan

1954 1955 JT Frater

1956 1957 JG Lake

1958 1961 J Pietrofsky

1962 1963 R Bradshaw

1964 1965 WW Carlow

1966 OF Young

1967 B McConachie

1968 J Ladyka

1969 1970 GM Cartwright

1971 1972 AW Knight

1973 OF Young

1974 1975 C Cowles

1976 1977 RP Burke

1978 K Stanway

1979 1980 R Neratko

1981 1983 J Pietrsky

1984 1985 J Denby

1986 AW Knight

1987 1988 P Cope

1989 1990 L Bittorf

1991 E Godlien

1992 AW Knight

1993 1994 R Collier

1995 E Godlien

1996 1997 R Dominy

1998 R Hughes

1999 2000 J Taylor

2001 K Williams / M Hughes

2002 K Sky

2003 L Meadows

2004 2005 J Meadows

2006 2008 P Cope

2009 2011 R Jarrett

2012 R Cope

2013 2016 K Carlow

2017 2018 S Macneil

2018 T Gaul / MJA Hoofd


First located on the point between 7th and 6th avenue near the location of the present day Windermere Valley Museum. The first clubhouse was built in 1919 by the Great War Veterans Association. In 1955 the cabin was sold to the school district as an extra classroom.

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The Legion moved to a new building built in 1955, the present location on 13th street.

First addition was built in 1972 including a kitchen, larger washrooms, and an office.

Second addition, the Veterans Hall was added in medio1988.

The Patio in front of the Legion was constructed in 2022 and saw the first guests in 2023.

The Ladies Auxiliary

The Ladies’ Auxiliary originated during the First World War when women were asked to help wounded Veterans returning home, and to provide supports for their families. When The Royal Canadian Legion was established in 1926, these women were a welcomed addition at Legion Branches as they continued the tradition of volunteering to support needy ex-service personnel, and to enrich the programs and activities of the Branch.

Members of the Ladies’ Auxiliary support the aims and objects of The Royal Canadian Legion and today, they are a vital and integral part of the work of the Legion. Major contributors to the day-to-day life of Legion Branches, Ladies’ Auxiliaries provide financial and volunteer support to Legion programs.

The Windermere Ladies Auxillery first came together in February 1954. On  March 6, 1956 their charter was granted and they became a Ladies Auxillery of the Canadian Legion of the British Empire Service League, Windermere District (British Columbia No 71) Branch.

It is with grateful thanks to those ladies in the LA that our Legion was able to feed and entertain so many of our communities people!

On April 28, 2015 with the changes and evolution within the Legion at Dominion and Local levels, the Windermere District #71 Ladies Auxillery returned their Charter to the Dominion Command.