History

        In 1919 many new veterans associations were formed throughout Canada.  In Hamilton there were branches of the Great War Veterans Association,  the Grand Army United Veterans’ Association, the Discharged Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Federation and several others.  In 1920, the Great War Veterans’ Association, Hamilton Branch divided to form the Central Hamilton and East Hamilton branches.  In November of 1925, the Great War Veterans’ Association amalgamated with several other associations, a convention was held in Winnipeg and the Canadian Legion of the British Empire Service League was formed. The Legion was then incorporated in 1926.  The British Empire Service League was a coalition of Veterans’ associations in Britain, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand founded in 1921.  In 1960, Royal consent was given to add the “Royal”designation to the name, making it the Royal Canadian Legion.

Branch 58 received its charter in 1927.  Members met at Edinburgh Hall on Ottawa St. and in a store at Balmoral and Barton Streets.  The City of Hamilton donated a building lot at the corner of Barton St. and Agnes St. Members raised the money to  build the new hall, which opened in 1930.  The building was named “Earl Haig Memorial Hall” after the British Field Marshall.   In 1955 an addition was added to the building to accommodate the influx of World War II veterans.  Another addition was built in 1967 to make the club more open to Ladies.  In 1973, the building was totally destroyed by fire and the current hall was built.  It opened in 1974.  Since the old building was larger than what would have been allowed under the current L.L.B.O. parking requirements, the new building could only be the same size as the old one, “Grandfathered.”  Eventually, two houses on Barton St. were purchased and torn down for additional parking and the large hall and offices were built.  Ironically, the L.L.B.O. eventually saw the flaw in their logic and removed the condition.  If it is illegal to drink and drive, why do you have to have parking spaces to open a bar?