Monthly Archives: January 2021

Legion Magazine – A Virtual Memorial Day Service

Our own branch was featured in the recent issue of the Legion Magazine for one of our virtual services.

Click here on on the image to enlarge.

For a PDF version, click legion-magazine_janfeb21.pdf

The service in question was the Commemoration Day/Memorial Day one we hosted on 01 July 2020. To view that service, click here.

Victory by chocolate

An item from the Legion Magazine.

Front Lines
Victory by chocolate

Victory by chocolate

Story by Stephen J. Thorne

Ah, chocolate. Milk, dark, sweet, semi-sweet—no matter. For soldiers in the field, it has for centuries been respite, fuel source, even currency that bought service, purchased lives, symbolized peace and goodwill, and enlisted hearts and minds.


On Sale - Save 50% on 2021 Wall Calendar
Military Milestones
Travels of a wounded soldier

Travels of a wounded soldier

Story by Sharon Adams

At noon on Jan. 17, 1917, a group of comrades were eating a lunch of bully beef and hardtack near Vimy, France, when their dugout was damaged by German shelling.

Their work was cut out for them. They needed a new dugout “so we will have a place for the night,” Private Harry Morris wrote home in a letter to his family, published online by the Canadian Letters and Images Project (


Canada's Great Naval Battles
This week in history
This week in history

January 28, 1986

Space Shuttle Challenger explodes after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
All seven astronauts on board are killed, including teacher Christa McAuliffe.


Home Equity - CHIP Reverse Mortgage
Legion Magazine

75 Years In The Making: Marines’ Memorial

An item from a fellow veterans organization in the Bay Area.

Marines' Memorial: 75 Years in the Making

As we approach the Diamond Anniversary of the Marines’ Memorial this November, we’re taking the time to reflect on the past 75 years. Through wars, recessions, civil unrest and, most recently, a worldwide pandemic, the Marines’ Memorial has stood resolute and unwavering in honor of all who have served.


The history of our nation and our Armed Forces are the lifeblood of this Living Memorial. Around every corner, in every hall, on every floor, our mission to Commemorate, Educate and Serve shines brightly.


To celebrate, we invite you to join us on this historical commemoration of your Club “Marines’ Memorial: 75 Years in the Making.” From now until November, you will receive monthly emails giving insight into a special part of the history of your Club. The stories told and the memories made under the roof at 609 Sutter are priceless. Thank you for an incredible 75 years!


For the first installment, we wanted to take you back (WAY BACK!) to before World War II and the need for a Living Memorial in San Francisco arose.  This building we know and love was something VERY different before our founding in 1946…

Women's Building

In 1923, the City and County Federation of Women’s Clubs decided to erect a building “at the Southwest corner of Sutter and Mason” and “designed as a club home for the women of the State.” Originally budgeted for $1,000,000, this building took a little more than 3 years to complete, finally costing $1,750,000 with a grand opening held on May 31, 1927.

The purpose of the San Francisco Women’s Club is very much the same as the Marines’ Memorial! The many rooms, auditoriums and dining facilities were for “lectures, forums and discussions of public interest.” Once opened, there was “not a woman in California but will find some features of interest to her…as an exclusive place to dine and entertain…offer personal contact with cultural ideas and people… (and) out-of-town women will find it a comfortable home, admirably situated in the heart of city life.”

First Plank

Women's Building

During World War II, the then-named Western Women’s Club became a part of The United States Naval Reserve (Women’s Reserve), better known as WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). The women of WAVES hosted many members of the United States Marine Corps through WWII until those same Marines purchased the building in early 1946.

Without the women who began the planning for this building in the Roaring 20’s, who knows what our modern-day Marines’ Memorial would look like! Take a look at some of the original newspaper articles about the women’s club below!  To see larger versions of these and other articles, visit our Marines’ Memorial Foundation Facebook page HERE.

Permit Issued

Edna Knight

Building is Finished


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Marines’ Memorial Association & Foundation

609 Sutter St.

San Francisco, CA 94102

Copyright © 2020, All rights reserved

Berkeley (and US) commit to international engagement: Indigenous arts workshop Thursday

A newsletter from one of our fellow Canadian organizations in the Bay Area.

Canadian Studies Announcements
In this issue:
  • Event next week: Social Diversity, Partisan Identity & the 2019 Canadian Election
  • Important travel update: Negative COVID test now required to enter the US
  • Berkeley unveils new “Principles of International Engagements”
  • US-Canada relations looking up – but challenges remain ahead
  • Last chance to see choral performance Messiah/Complex for free
  • Talk on Indigenous arts with Messiah/Complex co-director Reneltta Arluk
  • Affiliate event in French: “Le système d’immigration canadien”
Event Next Week
Social Diversity, Partisan Identities and the 2019 Canadian Election
February 2 | 12:30 p.m. | RSVP here
Join Professor Allison Harell as she explores the ways in which intergroup dynamics structure vote choice in Canada. Drawing on the 2019 Canadian Election Study, she focuses in particular on how partisan identities and political preferences are anchored in key social cleavages in Canada that structured the way in which the 2019 election campaign played out.
Allison Harell is a professor of political science at the Université du Québec à Montréal and holds the UQAM Research Chair in the Political Psychology of Social Solidarity. She is interested in how social diversity affects the political world, especially the ways in which prejudice influences public opinion formation. Her current research focuses on how intergroup relations influence support for both economic and political solidarity, as well as how intergroup perceptions spill over into electoral politics.
Travel Update: Negative COVID-19 Test Now Required to Enter US by Air
The United States Government has issued an order that as of tomorrow, January 26, all travellers over two year of age must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test when entering the country by air. The test must be taken within 72 hours of departure, and documentation must be provided before boarding. This order includes travellers who are merely transiting through the United States to another destination. Those authorized to remain in the United States are requested to comply with a 10-day quarantine. Learn more and read the full order here.
UC Berkeley Issues New “Principles of International Engagement”
The UC Berkeley Global Engagement Office has announced a new set of guiding principles that affirm the university’s “unequivocal commitment” to international collaboration and leadership. Under the new principles, the university continues to advocate the free exchange of ideas and people across national borders in a spirit of academic enquiry. The university also commits to creating a welcoming environment for cross-cultural exchange, and to fostering new partnerships and research agreements with international institutions.
The Canadian Studies Program welcomes these new principles, which directly align with our own values and aims.
US-Canada Relationship on Upswing – But Challenges Remain Ahead
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office issued an official statement last week congratulating Joseph Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States. The Prime Minister stressed the United States and Canada’s longstanding friendship and values and policy goals shared with the new administration. Both leaders seek a reset of relations that came under heavy strain in recent years, and Biden chose Trudeau for his first official call with a foreign leader. However, policy disagreements persist despite the good feelings – in their call, Trudeau expressed “disappointment” with Biden over the president’s decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline in one of his first executive actions. Nevertheless, both leaders agreed to meet next month to discuss ways to improve cross-border cooperation, particularly with regards to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, which both governments consider a “fundamental priority”.
Affiliate/External Events
Last Chance to Stream Messiah/Complex for Free
Ends January 31 | Stream here
Toronto-based opera collective Against the Grain Theater’s award-winning Messiah/Complex wraps up its virtual run this Sunday, January 31. Directed by Joel Ivany and Reneltta Arluk, it presents a fresh take on Handel’s classic Messiah that has garnered praise from critics – including our own reviewer! The performance is available to stream free through this weekend on the company’s website.
Ataramik (Always): A Conversation with Reneltta Arluk
January 28 | 3:00 p.m. PT / 12:00 p.m. ET | RSVP here
The Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University and the Scott Polar Research Institute at the University of Cambridge invite you to join their Arctic Environmental Humanities Workshop series, co-convened by Boston University’s Adriana Craciun (a past Canadian Studies colloquium speaker) and Cambridge’s Michael Bravo.
For Thursday’s workshop, they will be joined by Reneltta Arluk (Inuvialuit, Dene, Cree), the Director of Indigenous Arts at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and director of the Akpik Theatre. She was the first Inuk and Indigenous woman to direct at the Stratford Festival, where she won the 2017 Tyrone Guthrie – Derek F. Mitchell Artistic Director’s Award. She also co-directed the award-winning and innovative 2020 performance Messiah/Complex, which highlights Indigenous singers and languages of Canada.
Registration is required and free—once registered, you will receive a secure zoom link to hear the presentation and join the conversation afterwards. Learn more and RSVP here.
Conférence: “Le système d’immigration canadien”
February 3 | 4:30 p.m. PT | RSVP here
Note: This event will be conducted in French.
L’immigration a joué un rôle très important dans l’histoire et le développement du Canada en tant que pays. Dans ce programme virtuel, l’Alliance française de Berkeley accueillera deux experts pour mener une discussion sur le système d’immigration du Canada. Ils présenteront comment le système canadien se compare à celui des États-Unis, les avantages et les possibilités associés à l’immigration, ainsi que les défis potentiels.
Les panelistes seront Irene Bloemraad, une sociologue politique et directrice du Programme d’études canadiennes à l’Université de Californie à Berkeley, et Yves Beaulieu, le consul pour la politique étrangère et la diplomatie au consulat général du Canada à San Francisco.
Canadian Studies Program
213 Moses Hall #2308
Canadian Studies Program | Univ. of California, Berkeley, 213 Moses Hall #2308, Berkeley, CA 94720

Bass Drum Donated to a RCL Pipe Band in 1977

We recently received this request for information.  If any member have any details that they are able to share, please contact Paul Ritchie directly at mbb624-at-shaw-dot-ca.

I am writing to you on behalf of the Calgary Highlanders Regimental Museum and Archives.

To summarize a long story, we have a bass drum, which started life some time before 1917. The period before 1917 is described in a 1940 newspaper article but cannot be verified.

In 1917 through 1918, it was used by a Canadian Army band (17th Reserve Battalion). Following that, it was used by various bands in Alberta during the interwar period. It was given to the Calgary Highlanders in 1940 and used until approximately 1952. The next information I have is that the drum was donated to a Royal Canadian Legion pipe band by James P Gilsenan in 1977. Lastly, it was donated to the Calgary Highlanders by David Maisch on Labor Day weekend 1981. We have retained it since then.

I would like to discover more about the drum during the 1952 – 1977 period. Are there any Legion members who recall anything about this drum, the band it was donated to, the donor (James P Gilsenan) or the circumstances under which it was donated?

Enclosed is a rundown of the information I have on James Gilsenan.

Best regards

Attachment: Gilsenan, James P Life Events.pdf