‘We will keep the traditions alive’: A look at the new home of the Fort Garry Legion

Taking the memories of the past and giving them a modern twist – that is what the new Legion on Pembina Highway hopes to do as it prepares for its grand opening.

After 75 years, the Fort Garry Legion on Pembina Highway has found a new home.

Paul McCluskey, president of the Fort Garry Legion Branch 90, said they had been in the old building at 1125 Pembina Highway since 1947.

“Everything was starting to break down at once and it was just back-to-back mechanical failures,” he said.

A basement flood, which wiped out a new furnace and wrecked pool tables and other equipment, prompted the Legion to make a move. After a long wait, McCluskey said they are putting the finishing touches on the brand-new home for the Legion at 762 Pembina Highway.

“We were hoping to open earlier than we did, but again the pandemic hit the supply route a lot so it was hard to get some of the supplies in on time,” he said.

But it was worth the wait, as the new building has some much-needed upgrades. It features a new bar, and modern amenities including gender-neutral bathrooms. The building itself is much brighter and is more accessible as it is a single storey.

Despite the modernization, McCluskey said it is still honouring the Legion’s past.

“We will keep the traditions alive,” he said. “Nothing is changing, we just got better.”

He said the Legion will host multiple favourites such as cribbage nights, shuffle-board leagues, and trivia contests.

“People love that, they have a great time. We do some weird stuff there,” he said with a hearty laugh. “But you have to come out and try it.”

McCluskey said the new building is also open to younger generations. He invited them to learn more about what the Legion stands for.

“Come on in, talk to us. We will tell you a little bit of the history, why we are here – our main purpose is here to help veterans.”

The Legion is hosting an invite-only grand opening on Saturday featuring some live music and an outside beer garden on Sunday. 

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