A day in Vancouver in November is often cold, wet and dark outside. Yes, you know you want to commemorate Remembrance Day. Here is an idea that will keep you warm and dry indoors.

Come to the Billy Bishop Legion in Kitsilano and you will meet real heroes. The Legion welcomes you to a day to commemorate those brave men and women who have served and fallen for our country.

If you haven’t felt the warmth of this place before, this Sunday is the best day. Join your neighbours here in Kits Point where you’ll feel like you are in a real English pub.

The day begins just before 11:00am by watching the Vancouver’s Remembrance Day Ceremony on television. Then, you can enjoy some food and drinks the rest of the day. The crowds for the day will include Canadian Armed Forces personnel, firefighters, police and dignitaries. About 3:00pm music for listening, singing and dancing starts and adults can party until about 11:00pm.

While you are at the Legion, you can see some artifacts to learn about our military history. Your kids can explore the rooms, while you sit back around the fireplace to enjoy a beer.

If you don’t make it the Billy on Sunday, the Legion welcomes you at other times.

The inside of this old building is a marvellous sight. The walls of the Billy are covered with over 100 images. Throughout the building (including the Kits Point Military Museum) are military badges, plaques and memorabilia donated by members and veterans, often in memory of lost comrades. 

Words like Spitfires, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, Air Force Prisoners of War Association, Vimy Ridge Memorial conjure up images of a past we honour every year on November 11th.

The Billy honours this past every day of the year.

This Legion started in 1929 as a club house for the local Meraloma athletes. The city seized the property a decade later as the Meralomas failed to pay their taxes during the Depression.  In 1945 a group of returning RCAF veterans started an Air Force Association and two years later bought the building.

The name, Billy Bishop, comes from the outstanding Canadian air force fighter pilot of World War I. His portrait is above the fireplace. When you take a look around you see many pictures of airplanes, some dating back to the early days of flight. Even the grate in the fireplace is related to flight: from an engine of probably a 1940’s era Avro Anson. There is a badge from the Dambusters of World War II fame who attacked dams in the Rhur valley with barrel-shaped bombs which bounced over the water before sinking to explode.

The Legion does not charge a fee for this Sunday, however donations to support veterans are encouraged.

Hope to see you there on Sunday.

Billy Bishop Branch 176 Royal Canadian Legion, 1407 Laburnam Street, billybishoplegion.org

Last modified: November 12, 2018

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