Swift Current's Royal Canadian Legion Branch 56 recently announced their official membership of the Museums Association of Saskatchewan (MAS).

A major step in its digitization program, becoming a member of the MAS allows Branch 56 a page on their website to help promote the new local museum. 

John Griffin, public relations officer for the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 56, said the process has been ongoing and is nowhere near finished, yet. 

"Our collection is quite extensive; thousands of photographs and hundreds of documents, that have to go one by one through each thing," he said. "It's a way for us to engage more with the community, engage more with educating the public, and especially our youth, about our veterans, and telling their stories through documents and artifacts. Because in a lot of cases our veterans are slowly, unfortunately leaving us. With the Second World War, we're getting down to single digits here in our community so, it's a way to carry on their legacy and make sure the next generation learns their stories and knows who these people were."


Goals of the Branch 56 Museum mainly focus on educating the community about local military history, as well as telling personal stories of local veterans. 

The collection itself is extensive and diverse, ranging from Air Force tests to a book with names of those who served with the 209th Battalion, to uniforms and shadowboxes of personal items. 


"It's that connection that some of those prominent figures may have handled these documents--or if they're the subject of that document, that could be their actual signature on that," Griffin added. "I think that really brings it home that these are actual people and it's kind of a window into their lives. I know through my work through as a genealogist and researching veterans, that they leave behind a lot about their lives. It's very interesting. You kind of get to know them as a person, almost."


Handling of the items varies from piece to piece; most books in the small library can be handled by the public (with Legion members present), but artifacts and documents are on case-by-case basis dependent on their condition and whether or not it has been digitized. 

The museum will be open year-round for folks to wander through the various displays of history, with a grand opening in the future.