The Okotoks Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion #291, was given its Charter on October 29, 2014. This opened the door to the Town of Okotoks veterans having a specific place to go and be with their comrades in an atmosphere of military camaraderie. Currently we are the guests of the Elks hall on Elizabeth Street, but are hoping to have a permanent home in the not too distant future.

FOUNDER

Malcolm Hughes

Founder

PAST PRESIDENTS

Malcolm Hughes

Jan 2023 - Jan 2024

John MacCormack

Jan 2021 - Jan 2022

Robert "Bob" McLeod

Jan 2015 - Jan 2021 / Jan 2022 - Jan 2023

Ralph Wilson

2014 - Jan 2015

MEET YOUR LEGION TEAM

Rick Oncescu

President

Bruce LeMessurier

1st Vice President
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Rob Calvert

2nd Vice President
J.Bentley2

John Bentley

3rd Vice President

Mandie Barker

Secretary

Brent Ball

Treasurer

Dave Miles

Sgt. at Arms

Ron England

Service Officer

Nancy Tonn

Poppy Chair

Malcolm Hughes

Membership Chair

Malcolm Hughes

Youth Chair

Dana Johnson

Chairman

Kurtis Sanheim

Chaplain

Additional Committees Information

Okotoks Legion Branch 291
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Malcolm Hughes

I was born and raised in an industrial and mining town in Yorkshire, England and my early years were spent during the Second World War.  Yorkshire had many Aerodromes, most of which were Bomber Command including those of Canada’s #6 Group.

My fascination with, and often the horror at the sights we saw were the seeds of my hope that I might serve in that same blue uniform as those men. I did so and served as a National Serviceman on a still classified operation called “Winkle.”

After National Service I attended University with a plan already in place to return to the service for an RAF career after my studies, but that never materialised, as I met and married Jenny without ever mentioning my “plan.” Years later, she overheard a conversation between myself and my best friend from school who had followed that path and she joined in with “you never told me, I would have loved it.”

Immigrating to Canada in 1966 with a family of three children, I joined the Legion in 1970 when I assumed my first Principalship. My Janitor was the Branch President. Moving often in Manitoba and subsequently in Alberta then BC., I belonged to more than a few Branches and while assuming many of the Branch Level roles I witnessed the changes that have come to our organisation. Elected to Zone Commander and Command Council in BC brought a wider appreciation of the work done by the Legion.

A Subsequent return to Alberta in 2005 brought immediate work at my new Branch as well as Deputy District Commander and later as Commander and Command Vice President.

The founding of our Branch in 2014 is the most significant contribution I have made during these 50 plus years of Membership and it is the thing of which I am most proud. We have a great team working to advance the Legion’s presence and the benefit we can provide not only to our Veterans but also the Community at Large.

John MacCormack

John was born and raised in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.  
He joined the Primary Reserves in Jun 1983 and shortly afterwards transferred to the Regular Force.  After almost 34 years he transferred back to the Primary Reserves.  He is currently still serving with 41 Service Battalion in Calgary as the Regimental Sergeant Major until May 2021.
During his career, he was posted to Germany, Calgary, England, Nova Scotia, Wainwright AB, and Calgary.
During those years he had the privilege of participating in UN or NATO missions in Bosnia, Croatia, Albania, Kosovo, Israel, Syria, Afghanistan, and Kuwait.
John has been a Legion member since 2008 in several Legions across Canada.  He has held positions of Sgt at Arms, Sports officer, and a VP in the Okotoks Legion before accepting the position of President.
Currently as well as working part time with the Primary Reserves as the RSM of 41 Service Battalion, he also works for the Corps of Commissionaires, Southern Alberta where he is the Division Operations Officer. 

Robert "Bob" McLeod

Bob grew up in Hampton, New Brunswick. He joined the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise’s) (M) in 1963 and then enrolled the regular force in 1966, becoming a member of RCEME.
He served in Borden, Lahr Germany, Egypt, England, two tours in NDHQ, two tours at the Land Engineering Test Establishment in Ottawa, (the second as Commanding Officer), Gagetown, and Shilo, retiring in 1995. On retirement he engaged in oil and diamond activities in Sudan and Guinea, consulted with PwC, served with UN missions in Kosovo and Sudan, with ATCO Frontec supporting the NATO forces in Kabul and Kandahar and in Haiti with ATCO Structures and Logistics.

Bob served as ATCO Structures and Logistics, Director of Warranty and Special Projects until retiring in 2014, and served as President of the Okotoks Legion Branch #291 from 2015 to 2021.

Bruce LeMessurier

Born and raised in Newfoundland. I served in the Canadian Armed Forces from 1970 to 1982. 

  1970-1973 “C” Company, 2 P.P.C.L.I. Winnipeg;   1973-1978 “D” Company, 2 Commando, Canadian Airborne Regt.;  1978-1981 “A” Company, CFRS Cornwallis;   1981-1982 “C” Company, 1 P.P.C.L.I. Calgary; 

Deployment: 6 Months:   1972-1973 Cyprus “A” Company 2 P.P.C.L.I;    1974 Cyprus “D’ Company CDN. AB. REGT.;    2010 KAF  Afghanistan. Civilian   

 My best years served were with the CDN. AB. REGT. With over 100 para jumps I was able to see a lot of the Canadian countryside, usually by foot and carrying a rucksack.   Some highlights were:  rappelling from a Huey at 100 feet in the Mojave Desert; Low level para descent, 650 feet, from a C130; Security for the 1974 Olympics and a para descent from a balloon at RAF Stn. Hullavington, England.

Went to England for a three week exercise. While there, the Turkish Army invaded Cyprus. As a quick reaction force we were sent to be part of the U.N. forces to man the Green Line in Nicosia. Finally arrived home after six and half months away.

 In 2010 I volunteered as a civilian to work in the Canadian gymnasium and Canada House in KAF, Afghanistan.

 I was a member of the Legion in Drumheller AB. High River and now Okotoks.

Rob Calvert

I served 30 plus years in various levels of the CF with the bulk of that service in the Regular CF (24 years) as a RCEME Weapons Tech. Married 52 years with 3 Kidults and 14 Grandchildren, my wife Linda and I are retired and very busy. Being a Veteran, I understand all too well, the needs of our Veterans and as a member of the Executive Council my goal is to continue the support to our Veterans, Branch Members and the Town of Okotoks. I’ve also pledged to support our area Cadet Corps and local Service Clubs on behalf of Branch 291.

John Bentley

Master Warrant Officer (Rtd) John Bentley 

Served with the 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry and the Royal Canadian Air Force. Completed several Peace Keeping tours overseas and was stationed in Turkey during the Gulf War. Completed just over 42 years service. Happily retired with better half “Terri” and a couple of cats.  Spare time is donated to R.C.L., flying\learning  Drones, and taking care of family. 

Mandie Barker

Mandie Barker is originally from the UK having emigrated in 2008.  She served in the Royal Air Force for almost 10 years and is a 4th generation veteran.  Her first 4 years in the RAF were in Communications and the last 6 in recruiting.

Mandie is Director of National Operations for a multinational Real Estate Company and also has her own business as a Wood burner in her spare time.  She has been Secretary of the Okotoks Legion for 7 of the 9 years that this branch has been in existence.  She is also a member of the Building Committee and holds various other roles in the Okotoks Legion.

Nancy Tonn

Nancy was born and raised in Victoria, BC other than 2 years residence in Trenton Air Force Base in Ontario. After graduation, she worked as a Clerk and Transcriber for the Provincial Archives, until moving to Nanaimo, BC. After taking time off to raise her two children to school age, Nancy returned to the workforce as a Receptionist and then Senior Secretary in the Administration Department of the Regional District of Nanaimo until retirement. Nancy has been a member of the Canadian Legion since 2010 in Nanaimo, Qualicum Beach, High River and Okotoks. She is looking forward to helping the Okotoks Branch 291 in any capacity she can.