|The Colour Party is made up of
two Colour Ensigns, both subalterns, consisting of a Senior Colour Ensign who carries the
Queen's Colour, with a Junior Colour Ensign carrying the Regimental Colour. The two
Colours are escorted by Senior NCOs whose function is to guard and protect the Colours.
The Calgary Highlanders continue to equip the Colour Escorts with Lee Enfield
Number 4 Mark I rifles, with spike bayonet. The three rifles were specially
presented to the unit, and while the Regiment re-equipped with the FN C1 assault rifle in
the 1960s and to the C7 assault rifle in the late 1980s, the Colour Party has continued to
use the older rifles, as well as having to perform the old style drill with its command of
Slope Arms rather than the modern Shoulder Arms.
The Colour Party also wears green dress coatees, patterned after
similar garb adopted by the British Army to replace the traditional scarlet doublet.
The Calgary Highlanders' pattern of coatee matches that worn by the Allied Regiment
of the British Army, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (Princess Louise's).
Also part of the Colour Party are two Colour
Orderlies who assist in casing and uncasing the Colours. They do not, however, go on
parade with the Colour Party.
|At right, a fine portrait of a Colour
Escort. Sergeant Carson, photographed at the Cathedral of the Redeemer sometime in
the 1990s, guards the Colours.
pattern of green coatee is shown, including the turnbacks on the tails, in the Regimental
facing colour of yellow. A red sash as worn by Infantry sergeants is also obvious,
as is the presentation plaque on the butt of the Lee Enfield Number 4 Mark I rifle.
On the command "Guard Colours" the
three Escorts face outwards and hold their weapons at the port arms as shown.
The Senior Colour Ensign visible behind him
is armed with a "claymore" or Scottish pattern broadsword, which is standard
issue for all Calgary Highlanders officers on formal parades. He wears a maroon
officers' sash and half plaid in Government Tartan.
The Colours in this photograph have been
situated at the entrance to the Cathedral of the Redeemer on St. Julien's Day. As
the Regiment files in to the church for the annual commemoration of the Battle of
Kitcheners' Wood, they have the opportunity to pay their respects to the Colours.
|Veterans and serving soldiers alike enter
the Cathedral. The two soldiers furthest right in green coatees are the Colour
Orderlies. The Senior Colour Ensign can be seen wearing two white shoulder belts;
over the right shoulder is worn the crossbelt for carrying the claymore (dress sword),
while over the left shoulder is worn the Colour sling.
Needless to say, guarding the Colours, or carrying the Colours
themselves in a strong wind, is physically demanding.
When on parade, the Colour Party always counter-marches so that the Queen's Colour
is always on the party's right hand side. The right hand side is always the senior
side of a formation on parade; when more than one unit is on parade, the senior unit or
sub-unit will fall in on the right, with the second-senior unit or sub-unit to their left,
and so on.
The Colour Party will form up at the head of
the Regiment if only one Guard is on parade, or in the centre of the unit if more than one
Guard is parading. The Colours are always marched on to parade after all the
officers have fallen in, and are the first ones to be dismissed from the parade, being
marched off seperately.
The Colour Party is marched on and off parade
to the tune All The Blue Bonnets Are Over The Border, which is considered one of
the Regiment's official March Past tunes.
The Colours may be displayed at official
dinners. When done so, they are marched in by the Colour Party, usually with a
single piper playing, and deposited in a special stand in the proximity of the head table.
At the end of the dinner, they are marched out again and returned to Regiment's
lines for safe keeping.
At right, the Colours are
displayed at a mess dinner sometime in the 1930s. Standing is Honourary Colonel R.B.
Highlanders Colour Party, 29 March 1940, during the last parade of the Colours before
depositing them at the Church of the Redeemer for safekeeping as part of the First
Battalion's preparations for leaving Calgary.
The Colour Escorts are armed
with the Short Magazine, Lee Enfield (SMLE) rifle with sword bayonet, the standard battle
rifle of the Canadian infantry from 1916 to 1943.
From left to right - Regimental
Sergeant Major E.V. Stanley, Major J.M. Taylor, Company Sergeant Major K. MacMillan, Major
D.G. MacLauchlan, and Company Sergeant Major G. Jones.
Highlanders Colour Party, 1984, photographed by MWO Heinz Winkel at the Jubilee Auditorium
From left to right - Lieutenant
Carsted, Sergeant Bruce Anderson, Sergeant Bruce Waterhouse, Lieutenant
Bruce Duggan, Sergeant Bob Glass.
Click image to enlarge.