The Great War Veterans Association, founded in 1917 by Lillian Bilsky Freiman, was the first national organization for veterans and by 1919 it was the largest veterans’ organization in Canada. In 1925 the Dominion Veterans Alliance was created to unite the 15 organizations that existed to aid returning veterans in Canada.
The Canadian Legion was founded in Winnipeg, Manitoba in November 1925, known as the British Empire Service League (BESL). A special Act of Parliament incorporated the Canadian Legion of the British Empire Services League in July 1926. In 1960, Queen Elizabeth II granted the Legion royal patronage and it became “The Royal Canadian Legion”.
As wounded soldiers returned home during WWI (1914-1918), women were asked to help with their recovery by visiting them in hospitals, sending parcels to those hospitalized and many needy families. This dedicated band of women formed what is today “The Royal Canadian Legion Ladies’ Auxiliary”.
In 1927, 19 Auxiliaries came together to co-ordinate their efforts in helping the Canadian Legion. The Ladies’ Auxiliary to Pacific Command received their Charter on July 22, 1929.
The Ladies’ Auxiliary (LA) is a vital and integral part of the work the Legion provides to its Community. As major contributors to Legion branches, Ladies’ Auxiliaries provide financial and volunteer support to Legion programs. The Ladies’ Auxiliary is a non-profit organization operated separate from The Royal Canadian Legion (RCL) — — but together they thrive.
In 2003 the name changed from LA to Pacific Command to LA to BC Yukon Command. Today the LA has 66 branches with approximately 2600 members. Truly a dynamic group of woman.