The smell of paint and the sound of masking tape tearing fill the air.
Twenty-five crew members from HMCS Regina, armed with rollers, brushes and buckets of paint, have each claimed a section of the Royal Canadian Legion Prince Edward Branch No. 91’s games room and bar area. It is a Wednesday afternoon and the navy personnel haven’t just brought their business here, they have brought their elbow grease, volunteering in what Legion branch first vice-president Norm Scott called an example of veterans helping veterans.
“I can’t express in words how deeply appreciated (they) are for what they’re doing,” he said. “For us to paint what they are painting today, it would probably take us a month.”
The non-profit organization’s 2,000-square-foot games room and 300-sq.-ft. bar are getting a facelift, as the volunteers use up approximately seven gallons of brown and white paint donated by Dulux Paint.
“I just wanted to give back and do something,” said Petty Officer Second Class Julie Cooper. “I think the Legion is a wonderful place for the community. I don’t think enough people utilize it, because it has a reputation as being just for military, where that is not the case at all.”
Cooper helped rally the troops in an attempt to get some people to come out and help. To her delight, more than two dozen people signed up right away and after approximately five hours on the job, they were done.
“Lots of people wanted to volunteer,” she said. “They all want to be a part of the community as well, and several of them have said ‘this is wonderful.’ This is a really good way to integrate and a feel-good project.”
Visitors are invited to stop in at the Legion at 761 Station Ave. in Langford to check out the new look.