Sidney’s veterans’ organizatin helps mark anniversary

ANAVETS branch opens doors to the public Sunday at 1 p.m.

As a world-wide organization, the Army Navy and Air Force Veterans in Canada (ANAVETS) is marking its 175th anniversary this month — and the Sidney branch is joining in on celebrating the occasion.

John Gill, public relations chair for Sidney Unit 302, says the local ladies auxiliary at the branch reached its 65th anniversary this year. Sidney’s ANAVETS unit, overall, is closer to 75 years old, he said.

The organization, Gill said, got its start in Canada.

According to ANAVETS itself, “a charter was given in 1840 by Queen Victoria to create a unit in Montreal. It is felt that units existed well before that time, perhaps as early as the Conquest of New France in the seventeen hundreds.

“The Association derives its name from those remnants of British and French colonial regiments which were left in Canada when their regiments returned to Britain or France following their tours of duty protecting the colonies.”

ANAVETS is hailed as Canada’s oldest veterans’ association.

On Nov. 15, the Sidney unit holds its general meeting at 11 a.m. and opens their doors to the public at around 1 p.m.

Gill said they plan on having birthday cake at around 2 p.m., followed by raffles and draws through the afternoon.

He added the unit will be making donations to the Sidney Lions Food Bank, youth groups and Saanich Peninsula Hospital. A member for 27 years, Gill said it’ll “be a fun day.”

For more details, contact the local ANAVETS unit at 250-656-2051 or email: info@unit302.ca.