Canadian Royal Purple in Sudbury return to in-person meetings

It was a weekend of fun and frivolity in Sudbury as the Canadian Royal Purple held its first in-person annual general meeting since the pandemic started. (Ian Campbell/CTV News)

There was a lot of fun and frivolity at the Lockerby Legion this weekend as members of the Canadian Royal Purple got together to celebrate their first in-person meeting since the pandemic began.

The group, which started as an offshoot of the Elks before it disbanded, is celebrating its 70th year and has raised thousands of dollars for local charities.

This weekend, they marked their AGM with visits from the national president and vice-president who were in Sudbury for the first time.

"The reconnection of our members is a wonderful thing and we have truly, truly missed being connected to them -- it just gives everybody a boost of energy to keep going," said president Barb Bambrick.

Bambrick said the pandemic gave them time to work on many things and grow as an organization.

"We've kept our organization together with as many as five Zoom meetings across Canada in one day, so for lots of service clubs this was a downer time, for us, we maintained our membership and in some cases even increased our membership," said vice-president Sandi Lougheed, who made the trip from Saskatchewan.

The Canadian Royal Purple has two lodges in northern Ontario, one in the Sudbury area and the other in Sault Ste. Marie.