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Mercer family helps Legion find a new home in Wheatley

With the quick swipe of a pen, the deal between the Mercer family and Branch 324 Royal Canadian Legion closed last week, marking new beginnings for the Wheatley Legion and a bright future.

The late Jack and Carolyn Mercer were supporters of the community and their family couldn’t have picked a better buyer for the two lots they owned in uptown Wheatley.

The Talbot Street West lots — which are side-by-side and total 135 feet wide by 165 feet deep — will be used to build a new Legion after the 2021 explosion left the previous building and location unsafe.

The Municipality of Chatham-Kent purchased the former Legion property on Erie Street North and proceeds from that sale were used toward the lot purchases from the Mercers.

In addition, the Mercer family also donated $25,000 to the Legion in honour of their parents.

“This is a significant and meaningful event for our community, honouring the legacy of our parents Jack and Carolyn Mercer and contributing to the rebuilding and strengthening of Wheatley,” said Penny (Mercer) Loxton.

The family gathered near the site along with Legion executive members to officially usher in the Legion’s ownership on Sunday, June 30.

According to Branch 324 President Dick Whittle, there’s still a ways to go before shovels are in the ground. He said that they are in the preliminary planning stages and awaiting the proper approvals, permits and site plan requirements from the municipality.

“We have a preliminary drawing, so we have lots to do before we can break ground,” he said.

Whittle said he was grateful to the Mercers for their commitment to the community and grateful to the community for their support while everything gets sorted out.

The lots are currently used for municipal parking and also the location of the Horticultural Society building. 

“Today, we gather not only to honour the legacy of our parents but also to celebrate their unwavering dedication to our community,” said Susan (Mercer) Dinsmore. “They instilled in us values of compassion, generosity, and a profound sense of duty towards others. Our parents were pillars of strength and kindness, always ready to lend a helping hand to those in need.”

This week’s
online edition

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

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