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Getting to know the Tillsonburg Military History Club

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Jason Pankratz - Tillsonburg Legion

The Tillsonburg Military History Club was formed in 2007 by Robin Barker-James and a handful of individuals who were interested in learning more about the past and military history.

Since then the club has been a driving force in our town with its ‘Week of Remembrance’. This week has been centred on the club’s interest, not only in military history, but also a mandate of remembrance.

Through its relationship with different community hubs and clubs it has produced: a display of Remembrance (art, monuments and artifacts) at the Station Art Centre, a historical artifact display in The Town Centre mall, and dances, dinners and displays at our Branch 153.

What makes the Tillsonburg Military History Club unique is that it is the only official community-based military history club in all of Canada. And it is part of our town and run by our community members!

What also makes the club special is that anyone can be a part of it. It gathers together people who know a lot or little about history and especially military history. It doesn’t matter what type of time period or engagement. The topics are vast and you may want to learn more or add to the group. This jovial, warm and inviting group of people are always looking to add to their ranks. The club meets on the last Tuesday of each month at our Legion Branch 153 at 7 p.m.

The Legion is proud to be the gathering place of this club, which seems ideally fitting. The club has also been a standard of support during November’s time of Remembrance. They created a special brochure titled “Tillsonburg Remembers” and distributed nearly 1,000. They were also instrumental, collaborating with the Tillsonburg Rotary Club, in initiating, researching and financing the list of Tillsonburg’s Fallen during WWI and WWII that can be found on the Tillsonburg Cenotaph.

Like all service clubs, they are looking to advertise to increase their membership. Membership is open to all! It doesn’t matter what gender, age or amount of historical or military knowledge you have. It is a great club that offers something different. If you have any questions about the club and are interested in coming to a meeting, contact Justin Carpani, the club’s president at justincarpani@hotmail.ca. You can also view the club’s website at www.militaryhistoryclub.ca.

Our Branch also wants to remind you that there are some upcoming events. You can buy tickets now at the Legion for a dance being held on Friday, December 16. The tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door, featuring Back to the Fifties! This is an association with Tillsonburg’s Christmas Fest.

The Legion will also be holding its annual New Year’s Day President’s Levee. The Legion is open to everyone to come celebrate the New Year on January 1st from noon to 5. Bring some friends, snacks and enjoy the camaraderie.

Let this New Year be one of emerging peace, political and governmental wisdom, remembrance and continual support for our Veterans and those in the service. Make an effort to connect and reconnect with people who are important to you and who you can learn from. Consider becoming a member of the Legion and the Military History Club and be active in our community.

On behalf of the Legion Executive and its membership, we wish you all a safe and happy Christmas and New Year. 

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