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1949 - 1953 (Creation)
- Royal Canadian Legion Dr. Fred Starr Branch 76
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The Canadian Legion of the British Empire Service League Branch 76 received its charter on December 2, 1926. The inaugural meeting was held in the Great War Veteran’s Association (GWVA) Hall in Sudbury, Ontario. The GWVA disbanded shortly after the formation of the Legion with the goal of the new association to include all veterans in a national organization to help meet their needs, educate the public, remember those who gave their lives in service and help promote world peace.
The Legion was first located in the basement of the old post office on the corner of Elm Street and Durham Street in Sudbury, Ontario and became known as “the Dugout.” In the 1930’s a soup kitchen was added and clothing was also made available to those in need.
By 1948, the Branch officially opened the Canadian Legion Memorial Hall on the corner of College Street and Frood Road in Sudbury, Ontario. The land was donated by William Edge Mason and the building was built with the intention of creating a permanent memorial for those who lost their lives for their country and also to serve as a recreational and cultural centre.
After the Legion relocated, they decided to create a Book of Remembrance to record the names of the citizens of the Sudbury area who lost their lives during both world wars. The names were researched by Branch 76’s Honour Roll Committee and the names in the book were written and illuminated with red maple leaves by Roy Barnes. The pedestal to house and display the book was built by Arthur Irvine. The Book of Remembrance was dedicated on November 11, 1949. The Korean War list was later added in the back of the book.
In 1954 the Legion worked with the City of Sudbury in a joint project to construct a Cenotaph in Memorial Park. In 1957, the Memorial Park Cenotaph was dedicated to the soldiers from the Sudbury area who lost their lives during the First, Second and Korean Wars.
In 1956, the Legion changed its name to the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 76. In 1965, Memorial Hall was sold to the United Steelworkers of America Local 6500. The Legion temporarily moved to the annex building of the former Central Public School on Minto Street until they were able to move into their new hall on Weller Street on October 19, 1973. It was at this time the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 76 changed its name to Royal Canadian Legion Dr. Fred Starr Branch 76.
On December 17, 1981, the Legion’s Memorial Plaque, Book of Remembrance and Colours were all moved to Civic Square, now known as Tom Davies Square. The Book of Remembrance remains in a glass case in the main public area at Tom Davies Square where the pages are turned on regular basis to remember the lost soldiers.
Branch 76 continues today to serve Veterans, their families and communities and to promote remembrance.
Former Presidents for Branch 76 include;
E. D. Wilkins 1926-1927
Jules J. Ferry 1928-1929
R. H. Hall 1930
W. Coupar 1931-1932
Dr. N. F. Downe 1933-1936, 1948
T. S. Wilson 1937
R. A. McKinnon 1938
Willis R. Moon 1939-1941
Dr. Fred A. E. Starr 1942-1943, 1949
J. W. McCluskey 1944 (part of year)
F. J. Birbeck 1944
J. E. Newstead 1945
J. H. Strain 1946
W. Bill Allan 1947
Nick Kyrzakos 1950
E. K. Ned Brunton 1951
S. A. H. Cressey 1952-1953
T. G. Moore 1954
W. E. Edwards 1955, 1957
D. Higgins 1956, 1959
Moe Ironstone 1958
E. J. White 1960
C. Bates 1961-1962
J. L. Ross 1963
I. A. Young 1964
A. MacLean 1965
R. Morgan 1966
H. A. Guillet 1967
C. T. Black 1968
Colin Bates 1969 (part of year)
H. L. Williams 1969-1970
C. L. Taylor 1971
R. J. Williams 1972-1973
J. Mira 1973
Carl Cowden 1974
J. L. Doyle 1975-1976
L. A. Mills 1977-1978
W. Elson 1979-1980
E. D. Schroeder 1981-1982
Lloyd G. C. Taylor 1983-1984
Robert W. McKee 1985
Edith L. Beaudry 1986-1987
Stan Smith 1988
George R. Verge 1989-1990
Bernard MacDonald 1991
Robin L. McInall 1992-1993
Gary Costello 1994-1995, 2003-2004
Robert McLay 1996-1997
Alex Killah 1998-2000
Marjorie Thibault 2001-2002, 2005-2006
Ron Robitaille 2007-2009
John Cram 2010
Michel Beaudry 2011-2012
Dave Petrynchyn 2013-2015
Jim Young 2016-2017, 2018 (part of year)
Bruce McNab 2017-2018
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To learn more about Fred Starr, see https://www.archeion.ca/starr-frederick-albert-evan.
To learn more about Roy Barnes, see https://www.archeion.ca/barnes-roy-chalmers.
To learn more about Branch 76, see "Sudbury Legion Membership to Reach 100 Mark," Sudbury Star, December 15, 1926, p. 8, "Sudbury Meeting for First Time at War Heroes' Shrine," Sudbury Star, August 18, 1928, p. 1, "Honor Roll," Sudbury Star, October 9, 1948, p. 15, "Book of Remembrance is Dedicated," Sudbury Star, November 12, 1949, p. 1 & 16, "Sudbury Legion Signs Contract for New Building," Sudbury Star, May 25, 1973, p. 3, "Sudbury Branch in Post Office Basement," Sudbury Star, December 3, 1986, p. 3, "Sudbury's Branch 76 Celebrates 60 Years," Sudbury Star, December 3, 1986, p. 1, "Close to $50,000 Raised for Legion Renovations," Sudbury Star, May 3, 1990, p. 6 and "Legion Branch 76 Celebrates 70 Years," Sudbury Star, December 28, 1996, p. A7.
During the late 1920's, the former Town of Sudbury constructed a Cenotaph on the corner of Lorne Street and Elm Street (155 Elm Street West). It was dedicated on August 20, 1928 by General A. H. Bell. This Cenotaph was the site for Remembrance Day services for many years and is still maintained by Branch 76.