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Last meeting for successful RBL branch

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: November 20, 2013

HAPPIER TIMES: The Camelford women's branch, which has received many awards throughout its time, has now closed.

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A BRANCH of the Royal British Legion in North Cornwall – which three years ago received a national honour – has closed down after 67 years.

Members of the Camelford Women's Section met for the last time on Wednesday to carry out the official closure, which involved the county secretary Margaret Harris accepting the books.

However, Boscastle Royal British Legion, which the Cornish Guardian reported last week as being due to close, may continue if people come forward to serve on the committee.

Chairman Bob Pethick said a number of people had come forward and so an emergency meeting is planned for Tuesday in the Methodist Schoolroom at 7.30pm.

A decision on the future of the branch has to be made by December 5.

The Camelford branch was opened following a meeting on January 23, 1946, which invited the women of Camelford to assist in the care of the widow and children of ex-servicemen.

There was great support from the meeting and as a result a committee was formed under the leadership of Madeline Pearse, of Tregoodwell. During the following years the women went on to raise large amounts of money for the cause.

Since 1988 £14,647 has been sent to the national headquarters and £2,943 to the county RBL.

This money has been raised mainly by branch members and the support they have received from the people of Camelford.

Over the years they have received 43 certificates in recognition of their efforts from both county and national headquarters in London.

In 2010 treasurer Margaret Shillaber, went to the national conference to be awarded a silver cup, the Ashenden Award, for the most money raised per member.

"There have been many names that spring to mind who have been instrumental in making it such a successful branch and we thank them all for their inspiration and leadership," said secretary Ethel Broad.

"Sadly we close – but we feel there are many women and children whom we have been able to help in some way.

"At the same time the members have had great comradeship and fellowship from each other.

"Members have been able to join the Lady Falmouth holding branch so their link with the Women's Section will continue."

Cameron Valentine, the secretary of the Camelford RBL, said they have both male and female members, and the chairman is his wife, Lesley Valentine.

He said they were looking for younger members and invited both men and women to their next meeting on December 5.

"Anyone is welcome to join, whether they have been in the services or are a civilian.

"The aim is to raise money for ex-service people and their families."

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