In line with Legion branches countrywide, the Nairn branch held a short ceremony to mark Legion Scotland’s 100th Anniversary in June. Chairman Jon Brookes laid a wreath, accompanied by a number of committee members.

 The next day, Saturday 19th June, the branch’s refurbished Centenary Lounge was opened, named in recognition of this important milestone in the history of the Royal British Legion Scotland. National President Lieutenant General Alistair Irwin attended the opening ceremony.

 Introduced by Chairman Jon Brookes, Branch President Lt Col Bob Towns provided some historical background.

 “The Nairn branch has another 15 years to go before its 100th birthday,” he said. “It started in 1936, with the Earl of Leven and Melville as president and Colonel R.F. Wallace as branch chairman, and has witnessed many changes. It played a big part after WW2, raising funds to add the names of those from Nairn and District to our fine war memorial.

 “Appointment holders and committee members throughout the years have worked tirelessly to keep this important branch going. Just before my time, Garnet Main and Zanne Mackie started the process of getting a then ailing Nairn branch on the road to recovery. Subsequent chairman and committee members, through their grit, determination and hard work, have kept us going and improved matters considerably.

 “The Nairn branch is an important cog in the local community, from providing a hall for several organisations through to feeding Nairn County and their opponents after home matches courtesy of our resident chef, Duncan Shearer. We keep the war memorial and surrounding garden in good shape and the bar is where all the local news circulates, allowing us to keep our ear to the ground and look after those in need. Welfare, one- to- one chats and visits are extremely important. During the past year, Garnet carried out 342 welfare calls, 4 hospital visits, 86 home visits and nine shopping trips for those isolating. I’d like to see more local veterans visit and use the premises, as problems identified at an early stage may stop a tragedy later.”

 Lt Col Towns named and thanked all the team involved, before detailing the work done to refurbish the lounge.

 Unveiling a plaque to declare the Centenary Lounge officially open, General Irwin congratulated the branch on their work renovating a wonderful room. "It’s a statement of confidence the Legion now has, which 15 years ago would not have been the case. The endeavours of branches like this gives me confidence that the Legion will continue to have a role providing welfare and comradeship. You have taken advantage of Covid and I congratulate you."

 Guests for the opening ceremony included Lord Lieutenant Mr George Asher, Provost Laurie Fraser, Vice Lieutenant Mr Scott Gordon, Area Chairman David Hannah and Area Secretary Chris McInnes. Prior to the departure of the national president, the Armed Forces flag was raised in readiness for Armed Forces Week. 

 Meanwhile at the southern end of the country the Hawick Branch marked the 100-year anniversary of Royal British Legion Scotland with a specially created bench, gifted to the town of Hawick. The bench – which features inset poppies – was unveiled on Saturday 24 July by Honorary Provost Watson McAteer.

We congratulate our branches throughout Scotland for their tremendous efforts in their communities. 'Service not Self'.