Wednesday, March 26, 2008

True Confession: I've Joined the Legion

[Lorraine writes] One thing about living up here is that sometimes you do things you never thought you'd ever do. Like eat raw seal and whale meat. Or get a gun license so you can go into the parks. Or have long discussions about the mechanics of running snowmobiles.

Or join the Legion.

Which I've done, to my own mild shock. When I was growing up, I associated the Legion with boozy, smokey buildings where old people drank and played darts. And poppies, of course.

The Legion here in Iqaluit is in a league all its own. It is "the" social hub of the community. It is one of the only places in the community where you can buy liquor (there are no liquor stores, and just a couple bars in town,and strict controls on bringing in liquor), and one of the few cheap eateries in town. Everyone belongs. (OK, just about everyone). Its the richest Legion in the country, supposedly posting seven figure profits every year (which may or may not be an Iqaluit myth -- I guess as a LEGION MEMBER, I'll find out....).

I've been there playing music a couple times (Christmas carols, Robbie Burns night) and go there sometimes with the guys I work with, for lunch or after work drinks. Its a happening place: three different bar areas (a 'quiet' lounge, a big pool hall area, and a big open bar area with stage). But everytime I go I have to be "signed in" by a member.

So I decided to bite the bullet and join, as a "social member". Me, with a pacifist background, joining the Legion. Life has its odd twists and turns. Next item on my 'to do' list: get my gun license. (In my Alberta youth I was a crack shot, but life in Toronto and southern Ontario for many years meant disavowing my gun skills if I didn't want to be considered a wingnut by my progressive lefty friends. But now it is time to crack out and hone those rifle skills again).


Matt, Kara and Hunter said...

Love that post! Definitely time to break out the guns.

Baby Hunter already has his first gun!

Way Way Up said...

I've only ever been in the Iqaluit Legion once, about 3 years ago. Great times.

Indigo said...

Very interesting. I remeber when we joined in 2002. Me the eternal optimist, pacifist and social lobbysit and my partner a draft dodger and hair to his behind. The then president came over to us our first night in the "lounge" (us sitting meekly and quietly by ourselves enjoying the night out) and asked who had signed us in. We had both joined the Legion as my father was a WW2 vet and my partners father a USWW2 vet and his maternal grandfather a WW1 Can vet. We told him this. It rather blew his untidy little socks off.

We certainly have had some enjoyable times there, especially when Pat was stil alive.