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Bugle call to save Beaminster Royal British Legion from closure
Beaminster’s Royal British Legion is on its knees due to apathy and a clash of peronalities.
But, in a last ditch effort to save the branch from closure an extraordinary meeting has been called to see if the will is there to rescue it.
All 39 members of the branch have been sent letters and organisers want as many people as possible to come.
Ex-serviceman and former Beaminster Remembrance Parade marshall Douglas Beazer said: “I think the problem was a bit of both – apathy and politics.”
That culminated in the town not having a Remembrance Day parade for the first time in 17 years. Mr Beazer suggested a meeting to let members and people of the town decide if there was a future for the RBL.
He said: “I think most people would be very sad if there wasn’t a branch here but it does need a minimum of four officials –president, chairman, secretary and treasurer.
“This is the crunch meeting.”
He said squabbling between members and nobody stepping up to take committee jobs were both responsible for the crisis.
Mr Beazer was a mechanical engineer in Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers for 25 years.
He added: “So I would like to see it survive. I hope the meeting will be successful because I think it is important for the town.
“I think a lot of people would think it shameful if we didn’t have a parade in the town. To me as an ex-serviceman I think it helps a nation remember the sacrifices people made in the two great wars so we can enjoy the freedom we do today.
“We should never forget that. I think it is important and I really would like to see it survive.”
He said members do not have to be ex-members of the armed services to join.
Mr Beazer’s brother John is also keen to keep the branch and thought it could become more of a social club, not just hold quarterly meetings.
He said: “It would be nice to revitalise it and attract younger people.
Last year two ‘crisis’ meetings were held in the town but were so poorly attended that then chairman Kevin Bullock and his father committee member David Bullock decided to call it a day.
David Bullock said: “We said we would not have any more to do with it.”
Mr Bullock, a RBL member since the 1950s until his resignation last year, said: “It is a good organisation but if people are not interested and you can’t get a chairman, secretary, or treasurer then you are up against a brick wall.”
The meeting, which will be attended by county officials, is in the Upper Room at the Red Lion, on March 20 at 7.30pm.
Any non-members who wish to attend will have to pay the annual subscription of £14.