Bienfait Legion History

Bienfait, Saskatchewan, Canada

Info from the 1955 History Book, and my notes

Bienfait Legion
B.E.S.L. (British Empire Service League)
Branch #169

British Empire Service League Crest

Bienfait Legion
photo courtesy Adele Trethart, nee Lischka

Legion Hall on Main St. ca early 1950's postcard
Sent from Alex Wilson Collection, by Margaret Cuddington, Apr 2011

Legion Ad from a mid 1950 Cook Book

Drawing of when it opened - - Drawing from 1955 view
Drawings of the Legion Hall from the 1955 History book

The Bienfait Legion was formed in October 1931.
The President of the Estevan Legion encouraged the ex-servicemen to form this Branch, after the riot in Sept 1931.

Meeting of Veterans in Bienfait Anglican Church Hall, ca 1930
This would have been the initial meeting of forming the Legion in Bienfait.
photo courtesy Ingrid Beahm

The first meetings were held twice monthly in the Ukrainian Library. Ex-Servicemen met in the Hawkinson Hall, now the Legion Hall. Meetings were also held in the Green Hall on Main st. , 4th lot south of Souris Ave, or Highway 18, on the east side. At the initial meeting:

  • Charles Locke, then Principal of the School, was elected President.
  • A. H. Cuddington, Treasurer,
  • Ken John Secretary,

With an Executive which included:

  • Prescott, Bembridge, Rawcliffe, Richardson, Philip, Dee, Enmark, Moffat, and Worral.
  • A. Redford of Weyburn, then Zone Representative, along with Tommy Douglas, were in charge of the initiation and installation Ceremonies, which admitted some forty veterans into the ranks of the Legion.
  • The Branch chose Art Graham as their Honourary Member.

I would think the Legion is on Lot 206, in this 1915 map above. It is set back by one empty corner lot in front. Back in 1915 this was the location of a General Store including hardware, with a flour warehouse behind it.

Photo courtesy Ingrid Beahm, Jan 2013

Ceremony of some sort, War Bonds?, Sept 6, 1944, inside Bienfait Legion. Robert's Revellers were in the back row, ready to perform.

Early in its history, the Branch purchased a large plot of ground in the Bienfait Cemetery and Ernie Philip, with the help of the members established the present Soldiers' Plot at which annually the Decoration Day services have been held. The Branch owns a cottage which was erected by volunteer help from the members and other people of the community for the widow of Robert Ellis, who died suddenly at his work. As money became available, improvements were made on the Legion Hall inside and out. Since the start of the late war, the Flag has flown continually from the Legion Hall and an honour roll inscribed by Wing Wong Jr. has been continually lit by neon lighting in the front window of the hall.
At all times, the services of the secretary has been available to ex-servicemen and their dependents and during the war, of course, to dependents of those serving. The Branch had the honour of having among its members the oldest Legionnaire in the province in the person of Arthur Nelson, a Riel rebellion veteran, who was acclaimed as such at a provincial convention in Saskatoon prior to his death.

The Branch took active part in post-war rehabilitation. The Branch welcomes all veterans within its ranks and prides itself upon conducting all its activities in a truly Democratic way. In addition to its social functions it is true the local ex-servicemen's parliament and lives up as closely as possible to those aims and objectives laid down in the Constitution. Which in the main are service, not for self but for those less fortunate, and fostering of loyalty to Queen and Country and the kindly ties of comradeship among those who have given a common service.

The Auxiliary was formed in May 1932
The first Vimy night event was held in 1932.
The Cairn in the front lawn was made from rock from the Taylorton Store.

War Veteran Quilt, now in Bienfait Legion ,This quilt was presented to the Bienfait Legion Auxiliary
l/r- Irene Pastachuk, Lorne Frank, and Ron Frank

It was won by J.C. Frank (Lorne & Ron's Father) in 1968. It had been in the Frank Family since then, they returned it to Bienfait in July 2000. It will be on display at the Bienfait Museum first, then the Bienfait Legion. The quilt was dedicated to War Veterans and their families in the Bienfait Area.


  • Last modified: 2019/01/18 17:32
  • by dlgent