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‘Unique gesture’ for beaming future

In just about three hours, the Royal Canadian Legion Mohawk Branch 219 was furnished with a bright new look.

DNE Resources, an energy consulting firm, took on the initiative to replace the lights throughout the legion’s building with LED bulbs donated by Arani Lighting.

“They came in – a whole bunch of them, about 20-25 people – and changed all the light bulbs throughout the building,” said Peter “Pitt” Jacobs, manager of the Legion branch.

The goal of this lighting project is to cut back on energy consumption while cutting down costs for the building. 

They got the ball rolling on the project when Donna Deer, who works for DNE, suggested the legion in Kahnawake to be the recipient of the company’s donation. 

The idea to update the lighting wasn’t a new one. The legion had begun replacing some of the bulbs in their most commonly used areas, but couldn’t carry on due to a lack of funds for the upfront investment, according to Ray Deer, president of Mohawk Branch 219. 

“If it wasn’t for the cost, we would have continued,” he explained. “We did a little bit during the pandemic, what we could afford.” With the legion being closed during most of the pandemic and unable to generate any funds, they had to put a halt to their plans. 

“There are quite a few lights in this building,” said Deer, estimating the team of workers changed 100 bulbs easily. “I guess when we get our first couple of Hydro bills, we’ll see what the difference is.”

Aside from conserving energy, LEDs are also meant to have a longer lifespan compared to other bulbs. “We never had that type of initiative or donation in the past,” said Deer. 

He said the Legion was very pleased to welcome “such a unique gesture,” seeing that it was a long-time objective they could finally cross off their to-do list. 

Although Deer said the installation and benefits of new lighting is something under the radar for many, it still marks a significant improvement to the atmosphere and quality of the building.

The donation came right in time, just a few months before the legion hosts celebrations for its 70th anniversary.

“As far as the veterans who will be here are concerned, we’re more than happy,” he said. “Since we’re getting our aging population here, we need to have better lights so we can see where we’re going and what we’re doing,” joked Deer. 

“We’ll see in the long run what it saves us,” said Deer.

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