The Whalley Legion has moved into a building that once housed the Tokachi Japanese Restaurant at 10767 King George Blvd. (Photo: Google Maps)

Bureaucracy leaves Whalley Legion members thirsty

Legion’s new location needs liquor licence, despite being down street from former digs

The old Whalley Legion building has been torn down to make way for the $66-million Legion Veterans Village, but it seems the group’s temporary home is a bit too far for its liquor license to transfer.

“We were half a block too far or something like that,” explained Tony Moore, president of the Whalley Legion Branch 229.

“I can’t resume until I actually get a stamped license from them, even though I just had to pay for the license at the old place. I have a license for that (old) property, but I can’t serve a beer where I’m at now,” he said, with the exception of a few events for which the legion has received “special event” licenses for the day.

“We have our regular older veterans that come in everyday, they come everyday, knock on the door if they see my vehicle or other vehicles out there, they’ll say ‘Are we open yet?’ I say, ‘Well you can come in have a cup of coffee.’ It’s a bit of a senior centre for the older guys.”

The Whalley Legion has moved into a building that once housed the Tokachi Japanese Restaurant at 10767 King George Blvd. as it waits for the Veterans Village to be built.

The new space is about a third of the size of the Whalley Legion’s longtime home, at 13525 106th Ave., where it operated since 1948.

READ ALSO: Whalley Legion finds new, temporary home as ‘Veterans Village’ built in Surrey

SEE MORE: ‘Goodbye legion 229’: Demolition of Whalley Legion building begins

Moore told the Now-Leader he contacted Surrey-Whalley MLA Bruce Ralston and other politicians to get help in speeding things up in licensing the new location and was told it could take as long as nine months as “there’s a big line-up.”

There didn’t seem to be much traction, however, said Moore.

“I said, ‘For God’s sake, we’re only moving a block and a half down the street.”

But “just five minutes” before he spoke to the Now-Leader on Tuesday, Moore said a liquor inspector called and is set to be at the site on Thursday (July 18) to do a final inspection.

“But everybody’s been fantastic,” said Moore. “It was just the bureaucracy at the liquor department. We’re veterans, we’ve been 60 years with the same license at the same place, and there’s all this rigmarole to see if the neighbourhood wants us. Everybody’s behind us, I just laugh.”

Moore praised the City of Surrey for “pushing through” their end, and said “if we get this license in the next few days, even Victoria came to the plate in the end.”

The legion stopped serving alcohol in its old building on April 21 and Moore is hopeful the new license will be approved by July 22.

“That’ll be three months from the day we stopped serving,” he noted.

READ MORE: Surrey Veterans Village groundbreaking ‘monumental’

homelessphoto

(Rendering of the planned Legions Veterans Village. Submitted photo)

Meantime, Moore said the Veterans Village project is moving ahead. With the old Whalley Legion building now demolished, digging is set to begin.

The project was initiated by the Royal Canadian Legion BC/Yukon Command (BC/Yukon Command), the Whalley Legion Branch 229, and the Lark Group. It will be Canada’s first Centre of Excellence for veterans and first responders that focuses on post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mental health.

It will also be an “Innovation Centre for Rehabilitation,” offering clinical rehabilitation services, research and the delivery of health care programs, services and trauma counseling for PTSD and mental health, which includes advanced evidence-based services and programming in health, science and engineering, including innovations in robotics, assistive devices and technologies for injured veterans and first responders.

And, of course, it will house the Whalley Legion.

Moore said the project will be a “real game-changer,” not only for veterans, but also for the wider Whalley community.



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Amy on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lord Tweedsmuir tops Tamanawis in all-cat fight for Surrey RCMP Classic title

Panthers’ Jaeden Reid was named MVP at all-Surrey boys tournament

Surrey students donate 2,000 pairs of socks

Initiative part of the Leo Club program

Surrey hosts grand-opening ceremony of North Surrey arena complex

‘Accessible’ facility features three sheets of ice

Trade to hometown team a ‘blessing in disguise’ for Surrey Eagles defenceman

Kieran O’Hearn gets to play in front of family, who live just minutes from South Surrey Arena

White Rock solid waste open house scheduled

Event to take place next month

After cashing in on QB gambles, Chiefs and 49ers to clash in Super Bowl

KC beats Tennessee, San Francisco dispatches Green Bay to reach NFL title game

VIDEO: SPCA and RCMP remove several animals, including pig, at private animal rescue in Langley

Home at 5500 block of 216th Street has undergone multiple seizures over the past five years

How to beat Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year

Multiple factors can play a role in seasonal depression, says Fraser Health psychiatrist

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

Vancouver police probe second homicide in less than 24 hours

Woman was found dead in her Gastown home

Most Read