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Renovations breathe life into legion


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Charlottetown Legion president John Yeo shows Environment Minister Richard Brown around the newly renovated Clover Club.

The president of the Charlottetown Legion calls it Prince Edward Island's largest dance floor.

John Yeo said Tuesday the place is going to be rockin' on July 1 when the legion celebrates the completion of extensive renovations with an open house from 1-3 p.m.

They've even added a disco ball.

"It's making a comeback,'' Yeo joked.

The total cost of the upgrades is $87,000. The Island Community Fund contributed $60,000 to the project. Renovations include new lighting, a security system, bathroom facilities and tables and chairs.

"We're working right now on the kitchen and when we're finished of that it will be one of the top kitchens on the Island,'' Yeo said. "And this is the largest dance floor on the Island. For the older generation, it's going to take them back to the days of the Rollaway with the hardwood.''

Yeo was referring to the infamous nightclub in Charlottetown that eventually became known as the Showboat. The building burned down several years ago.

"The Clover Club (legion's dance club) has been given a complete facelift. The walls have been reinforced with jip rock and painted (and there is) new siding.''

In addition to that, the bar has been gutted and renovated.

"The whole area, except for the hardwood floor, has been completely redone. New tiles in the ceiling, new chandelier, new lighting, a glow ball and a new sound system.''

It's the first time in the building's history such extensive renovations have taken place. The Charlottetown Legion was constructed and opened in 1963.

Environment Minister Richard Brown was on hand Tuesday to check out the new and improved legion.

"It brings back a lot of old memories,'' Brown said. "Legions are great places and that's one of the reasons why the Government of Prince Edward Island has contributed to renovating legions right across P.E.I.''

Beyond the service they have provided over the years to veterans, Brown said the number of benefit dances held at various legions is a testimony to how important they are to communities.

"That is directly helping families in crisis and in need. Legions come forward (to help) and they have helped a lot of families on P.E.I. They are great meeting places.''

Yeo said membership is starting to rebound. There are 407 members at Branch No. 1 now, an increase of about 50 over the past year and the executive is hoping that sprucing the place up creates even more interest.

"It was due time,'' Yeo said, referring to the renovations. "It probably should have happened long ago but we're no exception to any other legion on the Island - the finances just weren't there.''

 

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