[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).