31 December, 2015
DEAR FELLOW GUARDSMEN
One of the best things about this job is that I get to know, through your correspondence, many people whom I have never met. One of the worst things about this job is that every issue of this Newsletter contains notices of the death of many of those whom I have come to know and many of whom were friends of long standing.
In the Spring of 1955, when I came to the lst Battalion, one of the first Guardsmen I met was “JAS” Haley. Over the years, JAS and I had the chance to work together on many matters, especially from 1984 when I joined the Guards Association to work on the 1985 Reunion.
Through all of these past 60 years, John Armand Scott “JAS” Haley was a true Guardsman; a gentle man with a delightful sense of humour and many talents which he graciously shared with us all. I will miss him. John Barclay
Our sympathy and condolences go out to the family, friends and comrades of the following Guards Family members whose passing has occurred since December, 2014.
Joseph Albani, William George Bartlett, Basil Phillip Bayers, John Blatz, Elsie Bonderud (wife of Bob Bonderud), Gerry Botting, Mathew Joseph Brumsey, Raye Vernor Clark, Jack Coghill - official piper to the Association, Irene Coghill (wife of Jack Coghill), Morris “Dewey” Dewitt, James Edward “Jim” Dwyer, Wayne Faulkenham, Alan Peter Foley, Flora Garnhum (wife of Jack Garnhum), Joseph Ulric “Rick” George, Marguerite Joyce “Marg” Gormley (wife of Carl Gormley), John Armand Scott “JAS” Haley, John Cecil Hughes, John Ronald Job, Wain King, Tony Larkin, J. Louis LeBlanc, Louise Mary Leblanc (wife of Fred LeBlanc), Anita Myles (widow of Bob Myles), Robert David “Bob” Partridge, Joe Pelisek, James “Jim” Purcell, Albert “Bert” Rajotte, Doug Ray, Joseph Stephen Sanipas, Alex Roy Sarson, Boyd Shears, Derek Sheldrake (Guards Band), Marilyn Elizabeth Simpson (wife of George Simpson), Henry Thiessen, Len Thomas, Don “Whip” Watson, Bill White, Joseph “Joe” Arthur White, Lawrence Robert “Woody” Woodward.
“Sweet is the memory of absent friends. Like the mellow rays of departing sun, it falls tenderly, yet sadly, on the heart.” (Washington Irving - U.S. poet)
This section is dedicated to those of you who have communicated with the executive, some of which has been sent on to me to share with the entire Regimental Family. Here are two such, one through ’snail mail’ and the other via e-mail .
From Ernie Martin. President and sole member of the Progresso, Guatemala, Branch of the Canadian Guards Association. Meetings are held every day and the newsletter, once it arrives, is shared with one and all in attendance and toasts are made.
“ Hi. Surprised by this archaic form of communication? At my advanced age, (80+), I was able to remember how this thing works. The reason is that my computer is in the “Body and Fender” shop, again. I kid you not - down here, apparently, if you can fix anything you can fix everything!
Life continues to be kind to me as I have now recovered from the serious illness in 2013. One week each month I go to the beach. I alternate between the Pacific - black volcanic sand with surf, and the Atlantic - white sand and calm waters. Best of all? NO SNOW! NO BELOW ZERO!
The family who “works” for me keeps me going. There are three girls, ages 14, 10 and 2 and one boy aged 9. The girls have adopted me as their “ Grandfather” and I am the boy’s Godfather (churched and all). His ambition is to become an officer in his nation’s army … we shall see. I make sure that three of the four go to school by buying them books and school uniforms and paying their tuition.
Please give my very best wishes to everyone, stay well and enjoy life. As they roared out at Corunna, “UP GUARDS AND AT ‘EM!” Ernie “
Ernie. I have deciphered your abominable chicken scratch as best I can. Once a Guardsman, always a Guardsman! A Mari Usque ad Mare. John.
FINANCIAL REPORT - 2015
The audited Report showed that the finances of the Association are in reasonable shape. As of 31 August, 2015, the Assets consisted of cash in the bank of $15,954.93 and BMO investments of $7,500 for a total of $23,454.93. As decided at the 2014 AGM, the Association is no longer collecting membership dues, thus the cash Assets will steadily decrease until reaching zero by 31 December, 2018.
From Joan Olinik: Joan is the widow of Mervin Olinik who was a member of the “Guards Help” Committee for several years. Joan is also a very active volunteer at the Perley Rideau Veterans Health Centre as the ‘Family Member’ of the Veteran Residents’ Council. She recently completed arrangements for Mervin’s burial in the National Military Cemetery here in Ottawa. What follows is an excerpted version of Joan’s e-mail of thanks to Ian Douglas (inter alia)…….
…….“Dear Ian: 1 December, 2015
I want to thank you for the thoughtful obituary that you wrote for my dear Merv’s “Celebration of Life” service. I want you to know that my children and I really appreciated your kindness and help to put the information together for us…the Obituary was used in the Ottawa Citizen and as an insert into the bulletin at the service along with his Guards picture.
Merv loved his Guards Family and, although he served in several branches of the Canadian Forces, his heart was always grateful to that family. At his funeral the Guards flag was used and his Guards hat, cap badge and his “Guards” picture were on display.
The summer before he passed, our kids took us to Picton. We had a wonderful weekend: Merv and all of us visited the Base….he was so proud to tour us around and show us all of the old buildings and what they were used for…he showed us where his room was and shared stories of his buddies. We had a wonderful day reliving all his great memories…..Picton held a special place in his heart as well.
We also went to the lake on the top of the mountain and the motel where we spent our honeymoon over 49 years before…..and down into town to the Legion where we met people who knew Guardsmen who still lived in the area….. there were many bouts of laughter around the table that day. The Guards Family was always a part of our lives and it was a wonderful weekend that we will not forget.
This past year has had many firsts and many ups and downs and we want you to know how much we appreciated your kindness, and that of the many friends from the Guards Association who shared their thoughts and memories with us.
A sincere “Thank You” to all of the Guards Family, whose support helped our family get through our difficult and sad time. God bless you all. Joan and family.
I want to thank Joan for allowing us to print this excerpted version of her letter.
There are only three issues remaining but not many events to provide fodder for this newsletter. Your help is requested. Please put pen to paper and supply your tired old editor short stories of laughter, love, victory or not, or just a little rant you want to get out of your system. The words “short” and “little” are paramount - please. (JB)
Due to lack of space, the full reports of the Petawawa and Atlantic Branches are not published here but may be found on the Guards website. It was a quiet year for both organizations, but both had exceptional events: The Petawawa barbecue in July and the Atlantic Reunion in October. Both the branches enjoy good membership levels and are looking forward to the challenges ahead.
From Bob Bertuzzi
Wayne Richardson hails from New Brunswick. He served in his first band with the Royal New Brunswick Regiment (Reserves) for some four years. He followed that with a three-year posting to the Guards Band, and when the Guards Band folded he was transferred to the Armed Forces Central Band in Ottawa. The well traveled reed player went then to the Norad Band in Colorado for few years, then came back home to the RCR Band. He went on a Director of Music Course and finished his service as a CPO 1 with the Stadacona Band.
Wayne’s memories of the Guards Band were, “It was a great first Regular Forces Band to be a part of and I had a great group of friends working with me. It was the sharpest band on parade of all the bands in which I served.” Many former Guards members became Chief Warrant Officers and (all) were very good leaders, without exception. Among those he includes Brian Williams, Tony Vangogh and Bob Michaux. Ron MacCallum and Gerry Klassen became Commanding Officers and Gerry later became a good Supervisor of Music.
In 1999, after 38 years in the military, Wayne retired to New Brunswick where he conducted the River Singers and many other choirs - both church and secular. He still plays the piano but no longer plays the clarinet and enjoys keeping in touch with3 former Guards Band players such as Ian Turnbull and Gerry Klassen. (BB)
TRANSFER OF 2ND BATTALION COLOURS
(excerpted from Gerry Wharton’s report to the recent AGM)
There was some confusion as to which Colours were transferred. During their existence, both the 1st and 2nd Battalions received two stands of Colours. The one being transferred was the 2nd Bn’s first stand, which was laid up in Notre Dame Basilica in Ottawa, on 24 August, 1969. On 31 August, 1969, The lst Bn’s were laid up In Christ Church Cathedral, Ottawa, where they remain today.
The second stand of both the 1st and 2nd Battalions’ Colours, together with the two Commanding Officers’ Colours and the twelve Company Colours were placed in safe keeping in Government House in July, 1970, where they remain prominently displayed.
In November, 2013, the Association was advised that the Basilica was no longer able to ensure the proper safety and security of the 2nd Bn’s Colours and asked that we consider alternate arrangements. We started a review of options for their transfer and by December, 2014, when the Basilica gave final clearance for their removal, we commenced planning for a ceremony at Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa. The time and date selected was 1400 on 15 July, 2015. Adjacent to the Hall of Colours is a large room “The Sacred Space”, where the ceremony was to take place. It has a large piece of the Canadian Shield at its centre on which the Colours were laid prior to our Ceremony.
After the singing of “O Canada”, led by John Barclay, the ceremony began with the Colours being taken up from the stone by the Basilica representative, LGen Rick Evraire, and handed over to the Association President, Ian Douglas; he in turn handed them over to two young Guardsmen from the GGFG and CGG. Led by Piper Fred Alderman and followed by three former 2nd Bn members, Tom Murphy, Jack Kinney and Norman McBride, who had served under those Colours, the party moved to the Hall of Colours where they were placed in their brackets. Once that had been completed, the over 50 members and families of the Association were asked to move to the reception room. Light refreshments were served and attendees were able to take pictures of the now mounted Colours. After a time, Ian Douglas made a short, sincere, address of welcome and “thank you” to all those who were involved in the Ceremony, including the Beechwood and DND staff who voluntarily assisted in considerable numbers, and Gerry Wharton, the creator of the very simple, but moving, ceremony.
The two Colours in the ‘Sacred Space’ at the beginning of the Ceremony
2nd Battalion The Canadian Guards - Queen’s and Regimental Colours
19 July, 2015
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - 17 OCTOBER, 2015
The AGM was held at the Legion, Branch 618 in Stittsville, with a quorum of 15 members in attendance. After the Regimental Prayer (Gerry Wharton), and the reading of the Roll of Honour (John Barclay), Association President Ian Douglas welcomed those present. He reflected on his 14 years as President saying, “ It has been an enjoyable time with such a fine group and especially the comradeship I have experienced at Branch Reunions.” He added that after the reading of the Roll of Honour he felt saddened by the number of so many good friends and fellow Guardsmen who have passed away.
After the minutes of the 2014 AGM were read (Al Johnston) and adopted, Ian went on to say, “What was not mentioned in the minutes was the great success of the Atlantic Branch Reunion both in the terms of a large turnout and comradeship, and they are commended for a well organized event. Not to be outdone, the Pembroke/Petawawa Branch held a very successful barbecue in June, which I attended. Again, the turnout was excellent and many old stories were told.”
He noted that there were two major decisions made at the 2014 AGM: the cessation of dues collection effective 31 August, 2014; and the winding down of the Association by 31 December, 2018, which make it necessary for some detailed planning. This will be discussed under “New Business”.
Membership chairman JAS Haley was unable to attend the meeting but filed his report with the Secretary Treasurer, to wit: There are now 579 members on the mailing list. Much mail continues to be returned because members are not providing forwarding addresses when they move.
Norman McBride reported that in October, 2013, the Museum had been robbed of a number of badges and other artifacts held in a drawer. Although some items were returned anonymously, the MP investigation had been fruitless. Steps have been taken to improve security.
Norm has been working with the Museum staff identify and itemize the Guards Collection and this inventory, (with photos), when completed, will be available to the Association. The Museum staff reported that visits were up this year, which included tours both military and community. The President thanked Norman for all his hard work on behalf of the Association and, added that he will address the ‘long term care’ of the Collection under “New Business”.
Guards Help chair Percy Price was attending the Atlantic Branch Reunion so his report was read by the Secretary/Treasurer. “ Percy deals with two or three cases a month. The calls are mostly, “what do I do?” or “what documents do I need?” for a variety of matters. Percy stated that he would be watching if anything changes with VAC after the election and, “Notwithstanding the winding down of the National Association, I will continue to help Guardsmen as long as I am able.”
Gerry Heffernan’s report noted that the website has been operating for 12 years and that the domain name www.canadianguards.ca is paid up until 22 October, 2019. The hosting fee is paid every year. Since opening the face book pages there have been over 300 visitors. The Association also has a “closed” Canadian Guards Association “Guards Net” which currently has 77 members. The JAS Haley “Guardsnet” no longer operates but part of its function is filled by face book. Gerry has been working with the Executive to develop a plan for website operations post December 2018.
John Barclay reported that the 2014 Newsletter (Published in January 2015) was mailed to 550 addressees, but about 15 were returned, marked with a, “no longer at this address” sticker. He further stated that he would continue the newsletter in some form post 2018 and is looking at ways of continuing to get it out to our members.
The President began the discussions of “New Business” by reiterating that the National Association will cease operations on 31 December, 2018. It was agreed that a final Reunion and parade be held in 2018 as this marks the 65th anniversary of the raising of the Regiment. It has been suggested that 12-14 or 19-21 October, 2018 would be suitable dates for such a event and, as Home Station, Petawawa should be the place. Norm McBride said it will be discussed at the 4 Dec Branch meeting, and the feasibility of support from CFB Petawawa and 3RCR will be explored.
The President stated that the National Executive will actively assist in all aspects of the planning, financing and execution of the event. The secretary/treasurer suggested that holding the 2016 AGM in Petawawa may facilitate the development of the plan. This will be discussed with the Branch executive.
Insofar as The Museum is concerned, the President stated that informal discussions with the RCR Executive indicate that the Guards Collection will be looked after post 2018.
The Secretary/Treasurer reported that with over $23,000 in cash and GICs and annual expenses of about $4,500, the Association will be able to function until
31 Dec, 2018. Regarding dispersal of any money remaining, he noted that the Executive had received several ideas over the years but suggested that the amount of money remaining would be insufficient to support any ongoing legacy or trust. It was further concluded that due to the huge number of National Charities it would be difficult to choose just one.
A donation to the Museum was considered but deemed unnecessary now. Norm McBride suggested that the ‘Collection’ needs a new mannequin, and we would be unlikely to get help from CFB Petawawa. Much discussion ensued and finally a motion to provide up to $2,000 to the Museum to purchase a mannequin was put before the AGM and CARRRIED.
The meeting returned to the discussion of dispersal of the remaining funds and it was suggested that, as both the Atlantic and Petawawa branches will continue to function post 2018, sharing the funds between the two branches would be appropriate. It was decided to discuss this matter at the 2016 AGM in Petawawa.
The President announced that John Armand Scott “JAS” Haley had been appointed an Honourary Life Member of the Association for his over 40 years membership in the Association, most of which time he served on the Executive.
His citation read in part, “ He has maintained the membership records and prepared detailed annual reports showing numbers, location and membership status. ‘JAS’ maintained and expanded a list of e-mail addresses -The Guardsnet-which became the method of spreading the latest news between issues of the Newsletter. During his tenure, ‘JAS’ carried out all his duties with good humour and extremely high standards. He, at all times, exemplified the best qualities of a Guardsman.” His framed citation was presented to him at his home by Howard Pierce and Al Johnston on 5 November, 2015.
Re-election of the Board of Directors took place and all nominees were elected by acclamation. They are: John Barclay, Henry Campbell (Petawawa), Dave DeClerq, Ian Douglas, Terry Dexter (Atlantic), Ambrose Dwyer (Petawawa), JAS Haley, Gerry Heffernan, Al Johnston, Norman McBride (Petawawa), Howard Pierce, Percy Price and Gerry Wharton. The executive remains unchanged.
Finally, Myles Gregg was appointed Auditor for 2016.
Our Secretary/Treasurer, Al Johnston, has done an incredible job in both capacities. I think that this is because he pays attention to details, to wit: Canada Post advised that our annual fee for our post box, $194.00, is due. Since we stopped collecting fees, our post has been 99% junk mail. Ergo, why have a Post Box? Al has cancelled the post box, effective 1 December, 2015, Mail will be forwarded for 4 months. Our e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org : Our new ‘snail mail’ address is:
CANADIAN GUARDS ASSOCIATION
50 Vanhurst Place
Ottawa Ontario, K1V 9Z7
A MARI USQUE AD MARE