one of the country’s oldest Royal British Legion branches has celebrated its 90th anniversary.
Yesterday saw the flag raised at the Havant branch in Brockhampton Road by chairman Dave Argue.
He was joined by a dozen other members as well as county chairman Bill Bates for the event.
Mr Argue, who served in the army and the navy, said: ‘We’re one of the oldest branches in the country.
‘The British Legion – as it was then – was set up in 1921 and this branch was set up in 1924.
‘The main aim of the Legion is to raise funds for ex-service veterans and their families.
‘But the social side is also very important.
‘It gives ex-service personnel a place to meet other, like-minded people.
‘Getting together is very good, especially for the older members.
‘We hold dinners and trips out. Soon we will be going to the annual army versus navy rugby match.
‘A lot of our 108 members are getting older and we would like to see more young blood.
‘I really hope that the younger generation will consider joining.’
Over the past year the branch has raised £1,000 through things such as collections, bingo, and raffles.
The money was donated to Mr Bates yesterday and will go to the county welfare fund.
Mr Bates said: ‘Each week the Royal British Legion spends £1.4m on its welfare programme.
‘We raise around £40m each year through the Poppy Appeal but still have a lot more to find.
‘So the £1,000 donated by the Havant branch will help.
‘That money will go towards serving service personnel, veterans, and their families.
‘For the older generation we tend to get a lot of requests for wheelchairs and alterations to the home. And for those still serving we provide things like washing machines and cookers.
‘For example, people get in touch with us when they leave married quarters and move into their own place.
‘Very often they have nothing to put in it so that’s where we step in.’
The Havant branch meets at 11.30am every third Thursday of each month.
Call Mr Argue on (023) 9279 8408 or 07941 350387 for more information.