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Wasaga Beach to celebrate opening of New Royal Canadian Legion Branch

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For decades, the Town of Wasaga Beach has been left without its Royal Canadian Legion Branch, but that's all set to change.

This weekend, the Town will celebrate the launch of its new branch, the first to be created in Ontario in 19 years.

The idea was that of retired military veteran Marc Séguin, who moved to Wasaga Beach in 2012 while posted at CFB Borden.

Séguin retired in 2015 and thought it strange that a town the size of Wasaga Beach had no legion, so he decided to put out feelers online, making it his mission over the last few years.

"Last year after the mayor was elected, I came, I approached him and said, 'I don't want to bother you right now. I know your hands are full, but I will approach you after Remembrance Day to talk to you about a legion in the community,'" Séguin said. "Council was supportive, the mayor was extremely supportive, and then we started the process from there."

After much paperwork, Wasaga Beach Royal Canadian Legion Branch 645 was created.

Discussions are still underway with the Town to determine a location, Séguin said, but according to the Town's mayor, it's only a matter of time.

"Wasaga Beach was originally built and founded because of the troops coming from Base Borden," said Mayor Brian Smith. "That's where it all started. "There's a lot of history here with the military in Wasaga Beach, so it's a natural fit."

Séguin's vision for the new branch focuses on youth. He intends to attract younger veterans and their families into the fold, which he feels has been a challenge for the Royal Canadian Legion.

"It is gratifying to know that local veterans and community members understand the Legion's mission and want to be part of it, and also want to help us modernize and offer new and innovative ways to serve our Veterans, their families and communities," reads a statement from Bruce Julian, Dominion President of The Royal Canadian Legion. "On behalf of Dominion Command, I wish the new Wasaga Beach branch great success."

On Sunday, the new Wasaga Beach Legion and the Town will hold a celebration for the community to attend.

Séguin added that he hopes to secure and open a location by June.

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