The Royal Legion Branch 56 is inviting folks to experience their new museum this Remembrance Day.
Opened up early this year, the Legion Museum features artifacts and photographs pertaining and relating to Swift Current and area veterans.
Things like WWI and WWII uniforms, munitions, replicas, and other pieces of history can be found in the lower half of the Legion Hall in downtown Swift Current. By stepping down the stairs into the museum, folks can enter into a small glimpse of the past of the men and women who served Canada.
Running the museum is the Public Relations Officer and Museum Coordinator, John Griffin. He is encouraging people to come learn about these brave souls and the battles they fought to ensure global security and Canada her freedom.
"A lot of the collection that's down here has been here long before I became a member," said Griffin. "Coming here as a boy, my dad would bring me and I would just be enamoured with the uniforms on the walls, and the stuff on display."
Anyone who comes by can request a tour of the museum, or they can wander through at their own leisure. They can see different displays, like the various uniforms that have been donated and put on display.
There is also a key piece of interest for those particularly enamoured with naval history. The HMCS Swift Current, named for the City of Swift Current, was a mine-sweeping ship in the Canadian Navy back during WWII. It was sold to Turkey after the war where it spent its remaining years serving in the same role before eventually being scrapped.
While the ship itself is gone, a model of the HMCS ship remains in the museum.
Constructed by Leading Steward Bob Hewitson, a member of the Royal Canadian Volunteer Reserve out of B.C., it was donated to the Swift Current Local Legion Branch 56 to include in their collection. Featuring a full set of rigging, lights, and other smaller details, it is an accurate depiction of the naval vessel.
"The other piece that we have from the HMCS Swift Current is the dog collar," shared Griffin. "Which belonged to the ship's mascot, Winnie, who was a British bulldog."
One of the most central parts of the museum's display is the room devoted to the 209th Battalion. A WWI regiment based out of Swift Current, this section has a massive collection of photos, artifacts, and documents related to the 209th. Here folks will find uniforms, official documents, newspaper clippings, and even some of the very instruments that they would have played in their marches.
"Many of [the artifacts] have been donated by individuals who have served or their families," said Griffin. "That's usually how artifacts come in."
Lastly, for those wishing to put names and faces to the stories, they can find three displays dedicated to showing the many men and women from Swift Current in the service in photographs.
Many of these are from WWII, with some being newer, and some being older. Each one is of a man or woman who dedicated themselves to Canada and her ideals.
Folks looking to book a tour can do so on the Legion's website, or by phining the Legion Hall offices. The Museum is open Monday to Thursday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This Saturday for Remembrance Day, they invite everyone to stop by and experience their collection of artifacts, dedicated to the veterans who served.
"I think everyone takes a little bit different away from it," said Griffin. "It's a very personal thing. I would hope that when they come down here, they get a sense of what individuals did and how they served and sacrificed so much for Canada."
In response to Canada's Online News Act and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) removing access to local news from their platforms, Swift Current Online encourages you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this page and downloading the Swift Current Online app.