The history of the Legion began on July 17, 1919 when a meeting was held in order to form the Tignish Branch of the Great War Veterans Association. Gerald McCarthy was appointed Interm chairman and Frank Richard as secretary.
On September 24, 1919 the Provincial Command of the Great War Association formed in Charlottetown. The branch involved Charlottetown, Summerside, Alberton, Montague, O'Leary, Souris, Georgetown and Tignish. There were 800-900 members.
The Tignish Branch held their meetings in Veteran's homes in the beginning, or the Canadian Mutual Benefit Association Hall when they had large functions. This building was located on Church Street directly across from the Post Office.
Tignish Branch No. 6 formed after the British Empire League was born in Winnipeg. By 1926 the Tignish Branch also catered to Veteran's from St. Louis, Miminegash, Elsmdale, and Alberton.
The Tignish Legion officially decided that they needed their own building in 1945 when the Veteran's from WWII began coming home. The Canadian Mutual Benefit Association Hall was available at that time for a total of $800.00. They raised this money by selling shares for $25.00 each, and they insured the building for $1,000.00. By 1946 they had a proud total of 185 members. In 1951 a memorial for those loved ones who did not return home from overseas in WWI and WWII was placed in front of the previous day Convent.
On June 25, 1952 tragedy hit the Legion. The Legion caught on fire, along with the hotel located next door. The fire burned the two almost to the ground causing many records and information to be lost. Thankfully there were no injuries caused from the fire.
The Legion got right to work after the fire and started to rebuild. They purchased a lot from Hoeard Haper. They then hired Hubert Gaudet as their contractor and rebuilt for a total of $32,000.00. The Legion officially reopened on February 3, 1953. This new building did wonderful. Things got so busy that in 1971 John Furlong was hired as the first manager of the Legion.
However, on July 20, 1981 disaster hit the Legion once again when another fire started! The fire began at 3:15am and burnt the new Legion right to the ground causing them to lose their beloved home and every piece of information and records they had stored inside.
Even though this was the second fire the Legion had seen, they did not let this get them down. On September 23, 1981 a fund drive began and the new Legion was able to be rebuilt in the same location in no time. They built a two story 60' * 100' building. They officially reopened on September 25, 1982, and the new resturant following shortly after opening in June 1983.
Previous and present presidents of the Tignish Legion include the following:
- Jack A'hearn. - Reg Eldershaw.
- Claude Kinch. - Roy Doucette.
- Foster Skerry - Hubert Handrahan.
- J. Peter Gaudet. - Clovis Doucette.
- Allison MacIntosh. - Alfred Smith.
- Roy McLeod. - Aubin Richard.
- Junior Myrick. - Clarence Wedge.
- Hector Buote. - Arthur DesRoche.
- Russell Perry. - William Gaudet.
- Walter Bernard. - Ronald McKinnon.
- William Handrahan. - Russell Gallant. (Present)
For more great history and detailed information please visit the following article found on our Digital Collections page: http://vre2.upei.ca/cap/fedora/repository/cap:1753/-/Tignish%20Legion%20Branch%20No.6