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Legion Supports Commonwealth Veterans in the Caribbean

Feb 16, 2016

OTTAWA, ON, April 7th 2015 – As a member of the Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League (RCEL), The Royal Canadian Legion helps support Veterans and ex-service members of the Commonwealth and former Commonwealth countries.

“Our donations to the RCEL Commonwealth Veterans in the Caribbean are making a difference and I am pleased with our Legion members who give generously every year to the RCEL and help us support our Commonwealth Veterans in the Caribbean,” says Dominion President of The Royal Canadian legion, Tom Eagles.

Formed in 1921 as the British Empire Services League, in 1958 it became the British Commonwealth Ex-Services League (BCEL) and in 2002 dropped the word British from its title. The word Royal was added in 2003.

It is a union of 56 ex-service organizations, from 47 Commonwealth and former Commonwealth countries, that promotes the welfare of Commonwealth Veterans and their dependents while helping them to meet their own charitable objectives.

In 1966, The Royal Canadian Legion made a commitment to the RCEL to coordinate and assist the member organizations in the Caribbean area. Having made the commitment, and using donations from Legion branches, the RCEL Welfare Fund was established.

The fund is administered by the Legion’s RCEL (Canada) Committee and assists Veterans in 16 countries in the Caribbean region. In 2015 we will be providing individual assistance to approximately 110 destitute War Veterans and 110 Veterans’ widows. The Legion provides each Veteran with a grant of $1,080 Cdn and each widow with a grant of $540 Cdn.

But the fund can also be used to help provide; medical and administrative grants, adequate housing for those in need, poppy materials to assist in poppy campaigns at the local level, and support to the organizations in managing the affairs of their Veterans. Clothing, eyeglasses and surplus medical equipment are also collected for shipment to those in need.

The frequency of tropical storms, hurricanes and natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions, and the resulting devastation, also calls for the allocation of emergency funds to help Veterans. Funds used annually in all efforts in the most recent years total approximately $300,000 per year.

The Legion also works in cooperation with the Canadian International Development Agency, the Canadian Forces, the Salvation Army and other agencies to deliver services to Caribbean Veterans, and advocates for them through approaches to local and national governments.

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For further information please contact Bruce Poulin at Dominion Command, at (613) 591-3335 ext. 241 or by cell at (613) 292-8760 or