The annual poppy collections and Remembrance Day parades in Kirkcaldy will continue, thanks to the public’s response to an appeal by the Press.
The Royal British Legion’s Kirkcaldy branch had feared that falling membership, coupled with the rising age of its remaining members could mean an end to the collections and parades, with only around 25 regular members remaining.
However following an appeal in the Press a few weeks ago the branch said it was happy that several new members had turned up at its recent meeting and several of its lapsed members had agreed to return to help out.
And Jim Paterson, long-serving secretary and treasurer of the branch said he was delighted with the response, although he stressed that there is always room for more people to become involved.
“We are delighted with the response from the article and we had one man who came along who lives in Kirkcaldy but is a member of the Edinburgh branch because he didn’t know there was a Kirkcaldy one. He is going to join us which is great.
“There was also a lady from Linktown who just read the appeal and decided she wanted to help out. She walked all the way up from her home to our meeting place at Charley’s in Templehall and we are very grateful to her for volunteering to help us. Of course we couldn’t let her walk back home again, so one of us gave her a lift!”
Mr Paterson said he had also been contacted by several former members who had let their memberships lapse but who were keen to become involved again.
“All in all it has put us in a much better position going into the future, although we would still love for more people to get on board. You don’t have to be a member of the forces, everyone can help out and take out a membership.”
Membership of the Royal British Legion currently costs £12 a year , but, following the closure of the branch’s premises in Bennochy Road during the 1980s, half of that membership fee is paid by the branch.
For that members get four magazines and a free Christmas lunch.
“I think that one of our problems has been that we no longer have premises since the former building was sold off as a nursing home, so we don’t have our own place to hold events. But we meet regularly in Charley’s and the owner, who is a former army chef, is really good to us,” said Jim.
“Two of our four committee members are now in their 80s, so the more members we can get on board the better it will be for the future of the branch.”
Anyone interested in joining can contact Jim on (01592) 568601.