Dear Fellow Guardsmen Summer, 2012
To all those for whom 2012 marks their 80th birthday, we hope you had a very happy birthday; for those whose birthday is yet to come, we hope yours is as merry as can be, and may you all have many more.
Errata. In the previous newsletter we advised of the passing of William Terrance Walker. This was not the case; it was his wife
Ruth Walker who is deceased. In the same newsletter we reported the death of A.J. “Butch” MacDonald, also an error.
We send our deepest apologies to the Walker and MacDonald families for any pain, discomfort or anguish which we caused at such a stressful time. John Barclay, editor.
We send our condolences to the families, friends and comrades of the following members of the Regimental Family whose passing has occurred since December of last year.
Eileen Allan (widow of Tony Allan), Beverly Bruce “Bev” Butler,
Vincent “Jim” Campagna, Dennis Michael Eldridge, Ken Hollingbury, John Frederick Hunt, W. C. “Bill” MacIver, Malcolm Francis MacLachlan, Lloyd G. “Sam” Meckbach, Joseph Gerard Plaude Meloche, Joseph Alfred Michaud, Francis Joseph “Dickie” Moore, George Edward “Skip” Nash, Philip Ormond, Margaret Pardy (wife of Donald Pardy), Barbara Rowley (widow of Roger Rowley), Joyce Rye (wife of Doug Rye), Erno Sebestyen, Harold “Dougie” Slade, Ruth Walker ( wife of Bill Walker), James Barry Worth and Nancy Zinck (wife of Ken Zinck ).
“ At the going down of the sun….and in the morning, we will remember them.”
A Mari Usque ad Mare
As always, we thank our correspondents from all over the world, for making this editor’s job so much easier by supplying content for this newsletter.
Whether a change of address, a notice of passage of just a “hello”, your views and news are most welcome.
Tony Allan, Bob Bertuzzi, Terry Dexter, Bob Chasten, Paddy Weedle, Anne Sebestyen, Chuck McCabe, Mary George, Pete Davis, Don Miller, Doug Rye, George Deschamps, Pat Campagna, Wilma Murphy, Don MacKinnon, Bob McMinn, Glen Miller and Jim Laurie.
We extend our sympathies to long-time correspondents Steve and Kit Brodsky, and their entire family, on the loss of their beloved grandson Liam.
Patrick Stapleton learned to play the tuba at an early age in a “band musical family” and started his musical career in Newfoundland first playing in the Holy Cross high - school band.
From there he was able to garner a position in the 166th Regiment Band followed by a spot in the Royal Newfoundland Regiment’s Band. Of course, his father was
Bandmaster of both of the latter units.
In April, 1957, Patrick joined the Canadian Army and played in the Guards Band for 11 Years. He remembers one time, in Petawawa, when the Guards were getting ready for the Trooping of the Colours, the CO of the parade was having trouble giving commands over the sound of the Band. The RSM said, “Sir, when you hear the band play piano, you can give the command “Left Form!”. The band played a very soft ‘piano’ but there was no “Left Form!”. The RSM halted the troops and marched over to the CO saying, “Sir, did you not hear the band play softly?”
“ Oh yes”, said the CO, “ but I didn’t see the piano.”
In 1969, Patrick was transferred to the Central Band in Ottawa, a name change which took place shortly after his arrival. He has many good and some ‘not so good’ memories of his time in the service.
In 1993, he retired and now lives in Ottawa with his wife of two years. He is a member of two different bands, the OCC Band and the Centralaires Concert Band. He really enjoys being with his grandchildren and traveling.
Robert Bertuzzi, Band Correspondent
BLAST FROM THE PAST
The Pipes and Drums of the 2nd Battalion
By CAPTAIN S. T. CAMPBELL
The Pipes and Drums of ' the 2nd Battalion are rapidly .becoming well-known in piping circles in Canada. While they have yet to celebrate their second birthday they have played in three provinces, in eight communities and in three Army Camps, The authority for the formation of a. pipe .band within the Battalion establishment was received in February 1954. AHQ was immediately requested to produce a Pipe Major.
In mid-March, Pipe Major A. M. Cairns r~ported to the Battalion and was ordered to form a band. Pipe Major Cairns was Pipe Major of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada at the time of enlistment.
The Pipe Major set off on a recruiting tour of Militia pipe bands in the Command. As a result of this tour two Drummers, Freeman and Bennett, were enlisted and posted to the Battalion, and in a matter of weeks the Pipes and Drums, all three of them, were playing for the first recruit passing out parade.
A dozen volunteers from the recruit company had in the meantime begun the first basic music course and were hard at work learning to read music and count time.
An urgent request to AHQ through the Command Inspector of Bands in July 1954 resulted in the temporary issue of six sets of used pipes and a few old drums. By September six student pipers had graduated to exercises on the bagpipe and the drum section under the direction of Drummer Freeman was well on its way to understanding rudimentary drumming.
October saw the Pipes and Drums parading with instruments on Commanding Officers' parades. At this time the band could play two tunes, 'Scotland the Brave' and 'The Skye Boat Song'.
Progress during the winter months was good and in May 1955 the Pipes and Drums played their first retreat on the parade ground.. The spring of 1955 was also marked by the first public appearances of Canadian Guards pipers and drummers. The first engagement was to play for the Petawawa branch of the Canadian Legion and this was followed a week later by a parade with the Cobden branch of the Legion. At Gagetown that year piquet pipers were mounted for the first time and the band made two outside appearances, one at the Polio Hospital in Fredericton, NB and the other at the Protestant Children's Orphanage in St John.
Another first- for the young band in this period was their visit to the Games at Antigonish NS, where L/Cpl Perette won first prize in the amateur march competition.. In August a much improved band returned to Camp Petawawa. Purchase of kilts for the pipers of the Battalion was delayed for some months in 1955 while authority was sought for the distinctive regimental pleating of the Royal Stewart tartan.
Authority for the pleating was finally obtained in October and by November Thomas GoI:don and Sons of Edinburgh had completed the shipment of twelve kilts.
The outfitting of pipers and drummers
in full dress has progressed little since
then except for the purchase in Decem-
ber 1955 of two sets of piper's full dress
to equip the Pipe Major and Pipe Cor-
poral for appearance at Mess functions.
ll1e full dress of pipers follows closely
that worn by the Scots Guards, with the
exception of the pleating of the kilts, the
hackle on the feather bonnet and the
sporran, which is of regimental pattern.
The kilt is pleated to show the dark
colours of the tartan across the back and
gives the effect of two horizontal bands
of colour instead of the usual perpendicular white stripes seen in other Royal Stewart kilts.
The hackle is of regimental colours,
white over red. The sporran is of white
horsehair bearing four short black tails
arranged in diamond pattern.
All mounts are of plain silver for
pipers and heavily chased silver in the
case of the Pipe Major. The belt plate,
plaid brooch, sporran cantle, dirk and
Sgean Dhu all bear the regimental star.
The bonnet badge, as authorized at present consists of the regimental star enclosed in a Scottish belt inscribed with the regimental title. However, the Battalion has recommended that this badge be replaced with a regimental star in which the metals have been reversed.
The dress of drummers will conform to that of drummers in the regimental
band and in the corps of drums of other battalions.
The Pipes and Drums were equipped jn late 1955 with new pipes and at the same time the dance team, planned from the outset, became a reality. The dancers
made their debut at a mixed dinner at the Officers' Mess in early December
when they performed the foursome reel and the sword dance for Battalion officers and their ladies.
That the Pipes and Drums have come of age is well demonstrated by the fact that they have travelled more than 3000 miles and performed in five different Ontario communities in the first three months of 1956.
The foregoing is an excerpt from the first issue of “The Canadian Guardsman”, Summer, 1956. Capt Scott Campbell (now deceased ) was a piper himself.
Greetings to all our fellow Guardsmen! Things are quiet in Petawawa this summer, but many members are looking forward to the Atlantic Reunion in Bathurst. Our Annual General Meeting will be held in November, however a firm date has not yet been set.
President Ambrose Dwyer and Executive, Petawawa Branch.
Again this year we anxiously look forward to the Atlantic Reunion and greeting the many people from across Canada who attend our annual birthday. It will be a time to enjoy the camaraderie with the men and their wives of the Regimental Family, as they make a specific trip for this event, or just come as part of a Maritime vacation. We look forward to seeing each and every one of you.
Dan and Wilma Murphy ( Committee co-chairs) advise that plans are well ahead of schedule, with a great response from the registrations which were sent out.
This year, the Reunion will be held at the Herman J. Goodman Legion, in Bathurst, N. B. A block of rooms has been reserved at the Lakeview Inn, a block away from the Legion, but the rooms are filling up fast so get your bookings in soon! There are several other motels in the area and nothing is too far away.
For information, the kit shop will be available prior to the AGM on Saturday and at the farewell breakfast on Sunday. Also for information, please be advised that our good Colonel Gregg now resides in the Veterans’ Hospital in Halifax. If you are down that way I am sure he would be more than pleased to see each and every one of you.
Have a safe trip as you travel down to the Reunion - we certainly look forward to seeing you all.
Marion Dexter for Dan and Wilma Murphy.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM)
The Association AGM will be held in Ottawa on Saturday, 13 October, 2012.
The meeting will take place at the Fox and Feather pub, ( upstairs ) at 1100 hours.
Dress for this meeting is Regimental Blazer and tie, no medals required.
The Board of Directors will meet on Thursday, 6 Sept, 1100 hrs. ( F&F )
VETERAN TO VETERAN
When a Veteran leaves the ‘job’ and retires to another life of work many are jealous, some are pleased and others, those of us have already retired, wonder if he knows what he is leaving behind?
We already know that:
- all the camaraderie will remain as a longing for those past times,
- in the military life there is a fellowship which lasts long after the uniforms are
hung up in the back of the closet, and
- even if he throws the uniforms away, he will “wear” them with every step and
every breath that remain in his life.
We know the very bearing of the man speaks of what he was and, in his heart , still is. These are the burdens of the job. He will still look at people suspiciously, still see what others do not see or choose to ignore. He will always look at the
Military World with a respect for what it does.
Never think for one moment you have escaped from that life. You have only escaped the ‘Job’ and merely left Active Duty. So what I wish for you is that for however long ago you eased into retirement, you have never forgotten for one moment that you are still a member of the greatest fraternity in the world.
You have made many friends in civilian life, both before, during and after your service. They do compare, but in different ways: Civilian friends (CF) - Veteran Friends (VF) - some examples.
CF - Have never seen you cry. VF - Have cried with you
CF - Have shared a few experiences. VF - Have shared a lifetime of experiences no civilian could ever dream of.
CF - Get upset if you’re too busy to talk to them for a week.
VF - Are glad to see you after years and will carry on the conversation you were having the last time you met
A Veteran, on Active duty or retired, Regular Force or Reserves, has served one hitch or 30 years, is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank cheque made payable to the Government of Canada for an amount of, “up to and including my life”.
From one Veteran to another, it’s an honour to be in your company.
Thanks to Ian Inrig for sending this to us for inclusion in the newsletter. (JB)
Members of the Foot Guards Association and the Canadian Guards Regimental Association, some 40 in all, attended the 2nd annual joint luncheon on Wednesday, May 9. Organized by Larry Lomas, GGFG, and Al Johnston of our Association, the meal provided an opportunity for all ranks to get together at the Army Ottawa Officers’ Mess for “gustation, libation and conversation” - AKA - “eat, drink and be merry!”
The usual suspects attended, including our President Ian Douglas from down Brighton way. But there were members one hadn’t seen for years; Joe McNulty is still going strong and telling tall tales, Al Klassen came up from Kingston and Bob Partridge, from closer to Ottawa, to renew old acquaintances.
As Al Johnston said on another occasion, “ I didn’t know I had so many OLD friends!” - witness to the longevity of the spirit of our short-lived Regiment.
A 3rd gathering is in the works for next year.
After a career of almost 50 years serving Canadians in many civilian and military situations, CWO (ret) Guy Parent became Canada’s second Veterans Ombudsman, fittingly on November 11, 2010. He is both Ombudsman and the special advisor to the Minister of Veterans Affairs.
The Office is currently working on on a number of issues pertaining to the adjudication process, mental health, long term care and the New Veterans Charter. He is also following the work of the Department’s attempt to reduce red tape and improve front-line delivery of programs and services.
More information about the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman is available on its web site at www.ombudsman-veterans.gc.ca - by phone (toll free) at
1-877-330-4343, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
( excerpted from FSNA “ON GUARD” summer 2012 edition. Ed )
On Tuesday, 19 June, 2012, we held a Regimental farewell for one of our most respected members, William Charles “Bill” MacIver.
Bill’s most enduring quality was the sharp mind he brought to organizing and administering our ’national’ reunions. Quietly behind the scenes, Bill drew the committees together and kept our noses to the grindstone - the ’eminence gris’ of the Association. The 2009, 50th Anniversary of the First Guard Mount, was, in Bill’s words, “to be revenue neutral”! He was somewhat abashed, when we ’totted up’ all the ’ins’ and ‘outs’, to find that we had a $10 profit.
Talk about a standard of excellence!
A Mari Usque ad Mare
A Regiment Worthy of Its Hire
A Mari Usque ad Mare