Platinum Jubilee celebrations

In addition to Women’s Section Vice President Annie Ogilvy being among the Jubilee Honours recipients, there were Jubilee celebrations in Women’s Section branches all over Scotland. Among those joining the festivities were Stonehaven, which hosted a tea party; Cockenzie and Port Seton held a fundraising party; and Dingwall turned out to a local street party.

Founder’s Day

President Lady Raina Haig, along with Vice Chair Sheila Elrick, attended Founder’s Day on 19 June at Dryburgh Abbey. This event was to honour and commemorate the life of RBLS founder Field Marshall Earl Haig. Lady Haig laid a wreath on behalf of the Women’s Section. 

Annual Conference

President Lady Raina Haig, Chair Lil Davidson and Vice Chair Sheila Elrick were invited to attend this year’s Annual Conference on 20 May in Perth. During the event, the three representatives spent time with Trustees Keenon Hawkins, David Hannah and Graeme Handsley.

For all attendees it was one of the first opportunities for cross-organisation, networking and reflection since the start of the pandemic.

A recently uncovered message from the past, annotated by President Lady Raina Haig

In 1920, RBLS Founder Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig wrote a letter to The Times, which was published on Remembrance Sunday: 

“Today we honour the dead. Let us not forget the living: to both, we owe a duty. To the gallant dead that by heedless action we may not imperil the inheritance they have handed on to us. To the living that they may be allowed to share freely in that great inheritance.”

In the 1920s, Remembrance Sunday was known as ‘Obligation Day’. People honoured the dead, and they were also asked to remember the needs of living ex-servicemen, and to provide practical help, with so many desperately in need of shelter, jobs, friendship.

Over 100 years on, it is we who have the duty to ensure that veterans can partake freely in our shared inheritance.  Our family of charities exist to protect veterans and their dependants who are in need.

Today, the Equality Act 2010 exists to protect disabled people, and many other groups. This law obliges us to remember that disabled veterans and other disabled people need to be able to participate fully in Legion Scotland events and activities, including as volunteers. Disabled people who want to volunteer need to work out and discuss their access requirements. Head Office, branch and club officers need to proactively adapt, in order to ensure that disabled veterans, members and supporters can access and fully contribute to our activities.  

I am writing this in the hope that more disabled people will find the confidence and encouragement to participate in Legion activities, including as volunteers, and that they get the right support to do so safely.