New Year's Day Levees: A Military & Civilian Tradition

A New Year’s Day tradition bringing military and civilian neighbours together in the Valley will return tomorrow to the Royal Canadian Legion halls in Pembroke and Petawawa, and the Pembroke Armouries. 

Pembroke Legion branch president Stan Halliday says the New Year’s Day levees, with entertainment, refreshments and socializing will be held at staggered times tomorrow to offer people a chance to attend all three if they choose.

"We open up our doors and invite the community in", Halliday told Star 96.7.

"This year, the Pembroke Armouries are having theirs from 11:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., the Petawawa Legion Branch 517 will start at 12 noon, and the Pembroke Legion Branch 72 will start at 2 o'clock", Halliday said.

Halliday says it’s heartening to see membership at the Legion is on the way back up again after a decline in recent years, with Branch 72 in Pembroke now having over 500 members.

"Years ago, we had 1200 members, but things change with veterans getting older", he admitted.

"It's nice to see their families and associate members staying involved".

Halliday says Legion hall bookings are also on the increase again, following a quieter period in recent years.