D-DAY FOR LEGION

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ALMOST 400 members will decide the future of Coleraine Royal British Legion Club at an extraordinary general meeting this Wednesday evening.

The Branch Committee wrote to more than 390 of its members to invite them to the crucial meeting which will be held at its Beresford Avenue premises.

Members will also be joined by Legion District representatives.

Coleraine British Legion Secretary, John Clanaghan said: “The financial state of the club will be presented with members and then a straight vote will be taken about whether they wish to keep it open.”

With the club in dire financial straits members of the committee recently met with a British Legion representative from England to discuss a way forward.

However McClanaghan could not speculate on what would happen if members voted to keep the club running.

“That’s the million dollar question. We will just have to wait and see. In England Legion clubs are closing on a regular basis.”

A decision to close the premises was taken at a committee meeting but this was reversed a couple of days later amid new hopes it could be saved.

Chairman Nigel Law - himself a member for 32 years - told the Times last month:

“Members are just not supporting us as much as they used to. We have overheads and bills we cannot pay.

“A couple of months ago we looked at the situation but it’s clear that we cannot sustain staying open the way things are.”

“The younger generation are not using the club any more and some of the older members can’t get there any longer,” he said.

“The bottom line is that our bills are starting to gather up. We are beating our heads against a brick wall.

“The club has been here for more than 70 years and it is very sad,” he said.

“But if we can’t fill the place, we can’t keep the place going.”