The Royal Canadian Legion 277 (RCL 277), also known as the Diamond Head Branch, was established in 1974, following a merger of Legion branches within Squamish and at the old Woodfibre town site. With over 190 members, the Diamond Head Branch is a very active Legion chapter with a well-earned reputation for helping local veterans as well as volunteerism in the community.
While the Diamond Head Branch has always been invested in the community, their facility was in need of similar attention – particularly their Diamond Head Lounge where veterans and members often gather to socialize. Seeing the need for action, the Branch set out on a revitalization project in 2018 to update and improve their lounge.
“If people are paying for membership to our Branch, there should be value there. A lack of upkeep and an old, dated look are problems many Legion branches face. Our lounge had the energy of a hospital cafeteria,” said Russ Robertson, RCL 277 President.
Through the volunteer work of their membership, the Branch transformed their lounge into a vibrant and welcoming space. Walls were painted, a new bar top was installed, and the old cafeteria style tables were replaced with custom reclaimed wood tables that bear artwork honouring different aspects of Canada’s military history. In fact, the tables were built by Russ and his father, a long-time Legion member and a former millwright at the old Woodfibre pulp mill.
Through the Community Partnership Program (CPP), Woodfibre LNG was pleased to be able to support the Diamond Head Branch’s revitalization efforts. In the 2023 spring program intake, Woodfibre LNG supported the purchase of handicap accessible doors with automatic door opening buttons. Later in the fall of 2023, the Squamish Legion was awarded a second CPP grant to help them restore and replace flooring in their Diamond Head Lounge.
“I wanted our veterans to have a place where they can come and feel welcomed and safe. It’s a veterans’ place. It’s their place,” said Robertson, “We appreciate the support from Woodfibre LNG in helping us make that place for our members.”
The Community Partnership Program provides up to $5,000 to community and non-profit organizations involved in the following categories: sports and recreation, health and wellness, arts and culture, employment and skills training, and local search and rescue and marine safety organizations. Program intakes occur in the spring and fall.