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Men's Christmas Dinner
17 Dec 2005
Photos by 2Lt Gavin Mills


ribbonalberta100.gif (1287 bytes) Alberta Centennial Medal

At the Men's Christmas Dinner, three more Calgary Highlanders received the Alberta Centennial Medal from the Commanding Officer, Acting Private Tom Manley.  Congratulations to

Warrant Officer Gerald Downey
Sergeant Dennis Russell
Corporal Michael Dorosh

More information on the award is available at this link.

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WO Downey Sgt Russell Cpl Dorosh


Regimental Sergeant Major Flint Walters was presented with the official scroll for his promotion to Chief Warrant Officer.

There is a popular saying floating around the Army thanks to the Internet:

When you Commission something, you put it into service
When you Warrant something, you guarantee it will work!

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Congratulations to those soldiers who were present at the dinner to receive their promotions.  Regimental Sergeant Major, Acting Corporal Flint Walters, sends a hearty "well, there's always next Christmas" to those who were not present to receive their promotion.

Promoted at the dinner were

Master Corporal Cody Martin
Master Corporal Mark Nussbaumer
(marking the third national military force he has qualified for a leadership role in)
Corporal Sara Hein
Corporal Thompson

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MCpl Martin MCpl Nussbaumer Cpl Hein Cpl Thompson

Photos of the dinner are available at this link.

23 Nov 2005

From the Canadian Combat Camera site:

23 November 2005
Kandahar, Afghanistan

Master Corporal Mike Kotuk, from the 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (3 PPCLI), mans the machine gun from the turret of a G-Wagen while providing security cover in Kandahar,

Afghanistan. Members of 3 PPCLI serving with the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) stopped at various locations in Kandahar city to fill out questionnaires presented to a variety of Afghans about various issues.

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Photo By MCpl Robert Bottrill, Canadian Forces Combat Camera

The Canadian PRT is conducting operations in Kandahar, Afghanistan and has brought together representatives from the Canadian Forces, Foreign Affairs Canada (FAC), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). In an integrated Canadian effort, under Operation ARCHER, ROTO 0, the PRT will reinforce the authority of the Afghan government in and around Kandahar and help stabilize and rebuild the region. The PRT includes about 250 soldiers, drawn largely from Land Forces Western Area.

Master Corporal Kotuk was a long time Calgary Highlander before leaving for the Regular Force in 2005.


The Ladies Auxiliary reports that this year's Oktoberfest event was a success and passes on the following message:

"The Ladies Auxiliary would like to thank all who attended and helped with this event.  The fundraiser was a huge success.  We plan to make this an annual event".

Photo of the Oktoberfest event courtesy of the Ladies Auxiliary. From left to right:  Margaret Stewart, Maria Emslie, Helen McCumber, Shelley Russell, Renee Griffiths, and Dana Poland.

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Royal Assent Granted

The Royal Regiment of Scotland - 24 Nov 2005

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II granted Royal Assent to wide-sweeping changes in the Infantry Regiments of the British Army, including a drastic reformation of the Scottish Division.

The new Scottish Division will consist of one Regiment - The Royal Regiment of Scotland.  Changes will be complete in 2006.   The allied regiment of The Calgary Highlanders will become a one-battalion component of the new Regiment.  It is unclear at present what elements of dress and tradition will be retained (i.e. sporran pattern, tartan, glengarry pattern, etc.).   One single cap badge has been selected for the new Regiment, and individual battalions will be designated by coloured hackles behind the badge.

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Current Designation New Designation Short Title
1st Battalion The Royal Scots
(The Royal Regiment)
From 28 Mar 06 to 1 Aug 06 becomes
The Royal Scots Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland
then merges to become
The Royal Scots Borderers,
1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
1st Battalion The Royal Highland Fusiliers (Princess Margaret’s Own Glasgow and Ayrshire Regiment) The Royal Highland Fusiliers,
2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
1st Battalion
The King’s Own Scottish Borderers
From 28 Mar 06 to 1 Aug 06 becomes
The King’s Own Scottish Borderers Battalion,
The Royal Regiment of Scotland
then merges to become
The Royal Scots Borderers,
1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
1st Battalion The Black Watch
(Royal Highland Regiment)
The Black Watch,
3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland   
1st Battalion The Highlanders
(Seaforth, Gordons and Camerons)
The Highlanders,
4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
1st Battalion The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (Princess Louise’s)    The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders,
5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
52nd Lowland Regiment (Territorial Army) 52nd Lowland, 6th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (Territorial Army) 6 SCOTS
51st Highland Regiment (Territorial Army) 51st Highland, 7th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (Territorial Army) 7 SCOTS


PASSCHENDAELE movie to star Paul Gross

Actor Paul Gross, who starred in the most successful Canadian-produced television show on American TV, has secured 5.5 million dollars from the Alberta Government to film a movie about the battle of Passchendaele.

Gross, who was born to a Canadian soldier in Calgary, will portray his grandfather, Michael Dunne.  Filming will take place in Calgary and CFB Suffield.  According to posters at Gross has already visited the ranges at Suffield.  The total budget for the film will be $16-million and some filming will take place in Europe according to the Toronto Globe and Mail.

The movie is set to release, according to an article in the Calgary Sun, on Rememberance Day 2006.

The Tenth Battalion took part in the Third Battle of Ypres, fought around Passchendaele, but it is not known if the movie will depict the 10th or one of the three other Alberta battalions that fought in the battle.

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ribbonalberta100.gif (1287 bytes) Alberta Centennial Medal

On 5 November 2005, two Calgary Highlanders received the Alberta Centennial Medal from Lieutenant Governor Norman L. Kwong. Aide de Camp Captain Fiona Mclean and Second Lieutenant Gavin Mills were recognized by the Regiment.  Also presented with a medal was retired Major Dick Westbury.   More information on the award is available at this link.

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Last Post

Drum Major (ret.) William (Bill) Murray

From the published obituary:

William (Bill) Murray, beloved husband of Anna Murray, went home peacefully to his Lord and Saviour on Saturday, November 5, 2005, at the age of 89 years.  Bill was born and raised in Fort William, ON.  He served in the RCAF Military Police during World War Two and moved to Calgary in 1944 where he married Anna Campbell.  Bill was employed at the Provincial Land Titles office until his retirement.  He also enjoyed many years as Drum Major with the Calgary Highlanders Pipe Band.  Bill loved his retirement job as a Tour Director for Cardinal Bus Lines, conducting Senior's Tours throughout North America.  Bill was a long time member of Bethel Baptist Church and also attended First Baptist Church for many years.  Bill will be missed by his many family and friends. Besides his loving wife of sixty-one years, Bill will be greatly missed by his daughter Dorothy Carter; his brother Ian Murray; his sister-in-law Peggy Hauge; his nieces, Heather Andrews and Glenna Hauge; his nephews Rodney Murray, Richard Murray, Gordon Campbell and Keith Hauge.   Bill was predeceased by his mother, Wilhelmina; his father John; his sister Margaret; and his brother Murdock.

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Funeral services will be held at McInnis & Holloway's, Chapel of the Bells (2720 Centre Street North) on Wednesday, November 9, 2005, at 10:30 am with the Reverend Lorne Irwin, Presider. Graveside service to follow at Queen's Park Cemetery.  Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.  If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the charity of the donor's choice or to the First Baptist Church in Calgary.

Thank you to former Pipe Major Jim McWilliams and Everett Andrews for passing on the sad news.  Everett Andrews played bass drum for the 19th Medium Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery Pipes and Drums when Bill Murray was Drum Major there after leaving the Calgary Highlanders in the late 1950s.  Andrews recalls: 

I remember Bill leading the Calgary Highlanders in the Stampede Parades. Bill was so well known, that when the TV announcers used to announce the Band on television, they would call Bill by name, something like ... "Leading the Calgary Highlanders, Drum Major Bill Murray", and then they would remark on the way he handled the Mace. He was Fancy ... He looked like a Drum Major should, in my mind. I used to always watch for the Highlanders because they were such a class act with him out in front. But, beyond all this, he was also a very classy Gentleman, and I am pleased to have known him!

The Regiment offers its most sincere condolences to Bill Murray's family and friends.

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Last Post

K71216 Acting Corporal (ret.) Bill Powell

William James Kershaw Powell joined the Canadian Army in 1941 hoping to go overseas with the artillery.  By early 1944 he was still in Canada, though he had earned the three chevrons and gun badges of a Sergeant (see photo at right).   Eager to serve his country, he decided that in order to get to the fighting, he would have to leave the artillery and join the infantry.  Whether or not the tough training in Alberta at an Infantry Training Centre ever caused him to reconsider his decision, in early September Powell joined the Calgary Highlanders in the field. Powell initially became platoon runner to Lieutenant Alex Keller who had won the Military Medal at Dieppe as a sergeant with the Cameron Highlanders of Winnipeg (Keller would also be awarded a Military Cross for serving at Hoogerheide as a Calgary Highlander officer.)  Powell served with Number Twelve Platoon for several weeks, during the fighting around Dunkirk, the drive across Belgium, and the fighting around the Albert Canal. 

Keller made Powell a Section Commander with an acting rank of Corporal (which in 1944 was a rank with much more authority than it holds today in the post-Unification army).  Powell led his section through the fighting at the neck of the South Beveland peninsula, and his "B" Company were the first Highlanders to try and cross the Walcheren Causeway. 

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Powell remained with the company, being Left Out of Battle (LOB) only once, for three days, in his time at the front.  Powell has left behind a memoir of his service, and his wife has graciously granted permission to the webmaster to reproduce parts of it on this site.   In his memoir, Powell recalled that

In our outfit - the Calgary Highlanders, as I have pointed out, the rifle companies suffered most of the casualties.  I have concluded that it was impossible for any soldier who landed with the Battalion, about a month after "D-Day", to survive to the end of the War without getting killed or wounded.  I discussed this with Percy DeWolf, who was wounded three times...he agreed that it was impossible.

Powell's turn came on 21 December 1944 when he was wounded, effectively putting an end to his war service.  In his memoir he confesses to the same self-doubts that haunt all soldiers about to go into action, and downplays the fact that for four months he served through some of the hardest fighting the Regiment saw during the war, not only being able to endure it but being selected for a leadership position by the Calgary Highlander officer who held the most decorations for bravery .

What isn't downplayed in the memoir is Powell's obvious pride at being a Calgary Highlander, which he carried with him the remaining 61 years of his life.  The document includes photos of recent reunions, including a shot of Powell with three other equally proud Calgary Highlander veterans at Mewata Armouries in April 2005. 

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Bill Powell's official obituary was published on 1 October 2005 by the Duncan News Leader and Pictorial Duncan.

Bill was born in Kings Daughters Hospital, Duncan, BC on February 6, 1922 and passed away peacefully on October 1, 2005 surrounded by his family. Bill is survived by his wife Dot of nearly 56 years, son Brian, daughter Diane (Michael) Currie, daughter Donna Gill, daughter Carol (Kevin) Lundstrom, son Barry, son Craig (Monique). Sixteen grandchildren, Rosanne, David, Justin, Cara, Claire, Danny, Danielle, Owen, Kaley, Carmen, Robin, Tasha, Emma, Kai, Rain, and Sydney. Three great grandchildren, Evan, Travis, Jordon and many nieces and nephews. His brothers Doug Armstrong, John (Pat) Powell, Ted (Diana) Powell, sister Alice (Mark) Trueman.
Predeceased by his sister Marg and grandchild Eric Lundstrom.

Bill was a Calgary Highlander overseas during WWII. He served in the infantry on the front lines, contributing to the liberation of Europe and was wounded in action. He joined Scouting in 1934 and remained an active member. He also had a strong connection with the Duncan United Church especially enjoying the companionship of the AOTS Men’s group. Bill worked as a carpenter for 43 years until age 67. During his retirement years Bill enjoyed nothing better than spending time with family & friends. Traveling and spending several months every year RV touring with is wife Dot. He was a caring and loving man who will be missed by his wife, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, friends and all those who knew him. A Celebration of Life was held on October 5, 2005 at 2 pm at the Duncan United Church.

The Regiment extends its sincere condolences to his family and friends at this time.

The Battle of Trafalgar

Under Admiral Horatio Nelson, the Royal Navy defeated the French and Spanish fleets off this cape on the southwest coast of Spain, northwest of the Strait of Gibraltar, in 1805.  The 200th Anniversary of the event was marked by the Officer's Mess of Her Majesty's Canadian Ship Tecumseh, one of several reserve units in the Calgary military garrison.

At right, above, former CO Lieutenant Colonel Lee Villiger with a companion clad in what would appear to be the 19th Century equivalent of Naval Combat Dress.

At right, below, Deputy Commanding Officer, Major Mike Vernon (left) and Regimental Major, Major Kyle Dorcas, explain to the photographer why taking unflattering photos of senior officers can be detrimental to one's career.  Photos courtesy of Second Lieutenant Gavin Mills.

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The Battle of Trafalgar, fought on 21 October 1805, was part of the War of the Third Coalition assembled by Britain against France and was the most significant naval engagement of the Napoleonic Wars.  Twenty-seven ships of the Royal Navy sortied against an allied French and Spanish fleet of 33 ships of the line west of the Cape, destroying 22 for a loss of none. Admiral Lord Nelson died late in the battle, having ensured his place as Britain's greatest naval hero.

After the battle, the Royal Navy remained unchallenged as the world's foremost naval power for almost 100 years and the rise of Imperial Germany.

HMCS Tecumseh's dinner was just one of many Trafalgar 200 commemorations worldwide.

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Joined in Holy Matrimony

Captain Kevin S. "Winnie" Winfield, CD
and Lieutenant Hope Holst
1 October 2005

Captain Kevin S. Winfield, CD, commander of the Military Police Detachment at Camp Wainwright, married Lieutenant Hope Holst at the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Wainwright followed by a reception at Royal Canadian Legion Branch 29.  Captain Winfield was formerly an infantryman and later supply technician with The Calgary Highlanders for many years; he met the now-Mrs. Winfield in Wainwright, where she is employed as a military chaplain.

Lieutenant Holst was given away by Albert Huffman.  Several serving and former Calgary Highlanders were at the ceremony; in addition to those photographed below, Wallace McNish, formerly a corporal with the Regiment, served as an Usher.

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Back Row (L-R): Corporal Michael Dorosh (still serving), Captain Kevin Winfield, Sergeant David Dirom (formerly of the Calgary Highlanders Unit Medical Section and now Operations and Training NCO for Canadian Forces Base Suffield Medical Centre)
Front Row: Captain Bernadette Myslicki (formerly a Master Corporal with the Pipes and Drums, now Base Personnel Selection Officer for Camp Wainwright), Sergeant Dennis Russell (still serving), Mrs. Shelley Russell (Calgary Highlanders Ladies Auxiliary)


CO's Parade - 14 Sep 2005

ribboncd1.gif (1433 bytes) Canadian Forces Decoration

The Crown recognized Sergeant Jason Calvert for twelve years of faithful and honourable service with the Canadian Armed Forces; the medal was presented by Commanding Officer Tom Manley.

Clan of the Gallant Canadians

For continuing service to the Regiment, Corporal Steve Welsh (pictured below) and Corporal Jamie Moreau were awarded the insignia of the Clan of the Gallant Canadians in the rank of Henchman.  This marks a second award of the insignia in the rank of Henchman for Corporal Moreau. 

Advancing with Purpose
2005-2006 Training Year Begins

The Calgary Highlanders kicked off a new training year on September 7th with an AAG that went smoothly; many newly qualified soldiers were on the ground and ready to begin the year's training program.  The Calgary Highlanders, in concert with the Army as a whole, is returning to fundamentals and will concentrate on individual training this year.  The Regiment has returned to a one-subunit structure to facilitate this.  Individual soldier skills, leadership and other qualification courses will be run throughout the year.

The Army is restructuring from a highly mechanized force training to fight the Soviet Union on the North German Plain to a more flexible organization based on the concept of task forces - mission specific groupings of subunits.  The goal is to have company, battery or squadron sized units of various combat and support arms able to deploy to trouble spots and fight the "three-block war", or that is to say, face challenges across the spectrum of armed conflict, including high-intensity (warfighting) operations, counter-insurgency or irregular warfare, and of course humanitarian aid and peace enforcement.

The Reserve Force is being called upon increasingly to assist the Regular Force with its tasks around the world; Reserve units are stepping into the breach more and more and looking forward to a day when they can deploy as formed units.

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Corporal Steve Welsh, glad to be back to work; writing memos to his wife all summer just wasn't the same.  Corporal Welsh participated in a battlefield tour of Ortona, Italy, and will be sharing his photos soon.
Photo by Lt Gavin Mills 

31 Aug 2005
Master Warrant Officer Bob Besse
Sergeant Michelle Smith (nee Fernie)

Congratulations to two long serving Calgary Highlanders on their recent promotions.  Master Warrant Officer Besse (pictured at right, below, while a Master Corporal some time in the late 1970s/early 1980s) takes over as Company Sergeant Major of "A" Company in the new training year - the focus of which will be individual training.  Both promotions were made in a brief COs parade at the Arrival Group (AAG) for officers, warrant officers and senior NCOs. 

Amazingly enough, the weapon in the photo is a breach loader - photo courtesy Ken Clements, copied from the original stone carving.

On Display
The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth - The Calgary Exhibition and Stampede
8 - 17 July 2005

As part of the Canadian Forces display at the Calgary Stampede, The Calgary Highlanders are supervising the small arms exhibit, under the +15 walkway between the Corral and the Saddledome.  On display are most of the weapons found in a dismounted rifle platoon, including the C7A1 assault rifle, C9 light machine gun, C6 general purpose machine gun, and Carl Gustav 84mm Medium Anti-Armour Weapon.  The display runs daily throughout the Stampede from 0900 hours to 2200 hours; anyone and everyone is invited to come pick up the weapons or ask questions about recruiting or general questions about life in a Militia infantry unit.

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Under the big top - Captain Easton and Warrant Officer Gerald Downey at the Calgary Highlanders' weapons stand.

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Corporal Dorosh, Corporal Welsh, and Corporal Ross McVicar from the North Saskatchewan Regiment
about to be flanked by a Screaming Fantasian infantryman.

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Douglas, a prospective Calgary Highlander recruit, shows his little sister Latisha (and her friend) how to pick up the C9.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

The Regiment is grateful to Calgarians from all walks of life, Canadian citizens, and foreign travellers who show such interest and enthusiasm when visiting our display.  As a public service, here are some replies to the more commonly asked questions and stated comments we have received in years past at this venue.

  1. Yes, they are real weapons.

  2. Yes, it is heavier/lighter than you probably thought it would be. 

  3. No, we didn't bring any bullets.

  4. Yes, we have also heard positive things about "the good old Bren Gun (BAR, M60, MG42, etc.)", and No, this isn't one of them.

  5. No, we don't use the AK-47.  But sometimes our enemies do.

  6. No, we have never "died in the war."

  7. No, you can't buy one.  Automatic weapons are Prohibited in Canada for sale to the public.

  8. Yes, you could try "gopher hunting" with the C9, but at 1100 rounds per minute you might find it a tad expensive.

  9. Yes, the Carl Gustav would probably provide a satisfying result to a moose chase.

  10. Yes, we really do have to carry these everywhere we go.

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Camouflage face painting and washable tattoos are available, and all ages can don
a flak vest, tactical vest, and helmet and be photographed with a replica C7 rifle.

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The Carl Gustav may not be loaded, but...

Greetings from an Argyll
27 May 2005

The webmaster received this email from Archie Mac Laine, who graciously gave his permission for it to be reprinted here.

                     My name is Archie Mac Laine, I was viewing your website when I came across a photo of Bruce Waterhouse, I was saddened to read that he has passed away. I knew him as a young man when he came to Scotland to serve in The 1st Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.  I served 27 years in The Argylls. I was born 4.5 miles from the original Calgary on The Isle Of Mull.  When I told Bruce about this, he went and visited it.

                    On a lighter note I was pleased to see a photo of Pipe Major Willy Grieve, an old friend from The 1st Bn. Although retired now, if he still visits your unit and you happen to see him, please give him my regards.

                    I might at some time in the future visit The Calgary Highlanders, I am at the moment fairly crippled, the result of falling 80ft down an elevator shaft. but I'm improving and will probably make it up to Calgary.

Yours in comradeship

Archie Mac Laine

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Archie Mac Laine photos; image at right is thumbnailed, click to enlarge.

Royal Visit - 25 May 2005

The Colonel-in-Chief, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, ended a week-long visit to Saskatchewan and Alberta with a brief stopover in Calgary on Wednesday, 25 May 2005.  As Brigade RSM Kent Griffiths reported to the Calgary Sun the next day, Her Majesty made a visit to Calgary a priority in order to inspect "her" Regiments.  The Queen was in Canada to help celebrate the centennial anniversary of Alberta and Saskatchewan joining Confederation in 1905.   When the commanding officers and regimental sergeants major of both the King's Own Calgary Regiment and the Calgary Highlanders reported on the status of the units to Her Majesty in 2004 at Buckingham Palace, it was noted that her planned visit would not include a stop in Calgary.  According to RSM Griffiths, her response was "that won't do."

After a week of festivities, Her Majesty's last official act - conducted at the tail end of a gala Civic festival at the Saddledome before a sold out crowd - was to inspect a Guard of Honour of 100 men divided into two guards; one from the King's Own, the other from the Highlanders - both of whom have privilege of having Her Majesty serve as Colonel-in-Chief, an honorary appointment described in full in the Appointments section of this website.  The Regimental Pipes and Drums performed with the Band of the King's Own Calgary Regiment, augmented with the Band of the Loyal Edmonton Regiment (4 PPCLI). 

The Guard of Honour was commanded by Major Rick Coates of the KOCR, with Calgary Highlanders Master Warrant Officer Emmett Kelly serving as the Guard Sergeant Major.  Many hours of practice went into fine tuning the drill for this event.  The Queen's final act of the day was to inspect the Old Guard, including veterans of the Second World War, Korean War, and Peacekeeping missions since 1945.

Photos to be made available soon.

The Queen Elizabeth II Atrium

While the 50 man contingent of the Guard of Honour, with the Pipes and Drums, paraded at the civic ceremony at the Saddledome, the Officers, Warrant Officers, and Senior NCOs of the Regiment congregated at the Museum of the Regiment, where Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II sat for photos, toured the PPCLI Gallery, and officially dedicated the atrium as the "Queen Elizabeth II Atrium".   Her Majesty had officially opened the Museum in 1990.

Photo at right shows the dedication plaque; several officers of the Regiment are visible, including Captain Meades, Captain Clapperton, Major Dorcas, and Captain Owens.

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CBC Photo

Calgary Highlanders Ladies Auxiliary Scholarship - Warrant Officer Afflick

The Calgary Highlander's Ladies Auxilary is pleased to announce the  recipient of the 2005 Calgary Highlanders Ladies Auxiliary $1000 Scholarship is Warrant Officer Terry Afflick.  WO Afflick is near completion of his EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) Certificate at the Alberta College of First Aid & EMS Training.  He has been with the Calgary Highlanders for 15 years and has served on several operational tours to areas of the Balkans.  More info on the Auxiliary, and this scholarship, located by clicking here.

"Old Betsy" at the Canadian War Museum

"Old Betsy" was one of six original six-pounder (57mm) anti-tank guns delivered to the Calgary Highlanders in the United Kingdom in 1943.   During the campaign in NW Europe, the other five guns were knocked out by enemy action and replaced.  Betsy herself was captured by the enemy, only to be recaptured by the Highlanders shortly thereafter.  Betsy fired 1200 rounds at the enemy, out of 1500 during her career, and also had the distinction of firing the last shot of the war by the Calgary Highlanders while on active service.  She survived the war and was returned to Canada - unfortunately not to her Regiment, but to storage at the Canadian War Museum.

Full details of Old Betsy's colourful history can be found by clicking here.

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Photo by Corporal Michael Dorosh

This well-loved soldier of the Regiment now sits in the LeBreton Gallery of the new Canadian War Museum - on "display" on two flat tires, with not a single marking, placard or any designation describing who she is.   She sits amidst German ordnance, none of which bear any kind of explanatory or descriptive markers.

The webmaster is unable to verify for certain that this gun even is "Old Betsy".  It is known that Old Betsy is on inventory at the Canadian War Museum.  Why she is not on display with suitable photographs documenting the many interesting stories associated with her is a mystery.  The new Canadian War Museum, opened in May 2005, was immediately the subject of some controversy; a Korean War exhibit details the number of cases of venereal disease among Canadian soldiers, while another art exhibit focusses on a war crime commited by a Canadian soldier in Somalia.  It is unknown why a true Calgary Highlander like "Old Betsy" is left to sit and rust in anonymity.

The Canadian War Museum can be contacted at

Victory in Europe - 8 May 1945

Calgary Highlanders participated in at least three different commemorations of the 60th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe.  Corporal Patton was part of an international contingent of Canadian Forces soldiers to travel to Europe for the many parades and activities there.  The Regiment participated at ceremonies in Alberta, details of which are hopefully forthcoming to the webmaster.   And the Heritage Section provided two re-enactors to the national encampment for To Stand On Guard, which lent support to both the grand opening of the new Canadian War Museum, as well as the National VE Day Commemoration and parade in Ottawa.

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Corporal Michael Dorosh and re-enactor Mister Russ Benneweis, along with other historical re-enactors in WW II period uniform, march behind a column of period military vehicles transporting WW II veterans to the opening of the new Canadian War Museum on Sunday, 8 May 2005 in Ottawa.  The Heritage Section also participated in a period living history encampment on 6 and 7 May, to which some 2500 Ottawa area students and residents, as well as veterans, visited Second World War field bivouacs, interacted with uniformed soldiers, and witnessed a simulated platoon attack on German positions supported by armour, mortars and artillery.  Photo courtesy Drummer Jocelynn Benner

2 April 2005

Lieutenant Colonel F. Lee Villiger, CD, was granted the rank of Toshach in the Clan of the Gallant Canadians, elevated from his previous rank of Clansman.  The presentation was made by Lieutenant Colonel (retired) J. Lynn Moffatt, OMM, CD, Regimental Secretary, and Honorary Colonel Bob Gibson.  The presentation was made at his Change of Command dinner.

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Promoted and Appointed

Congratulations to Lieutenant-Colonel Tom Manley, CD, who assumed command of The Calgary Highlanders on Saturday, 2 April 2005.  Lieutenant Colonel Manley's biography can be found on the current appointments page.  Good luck to Lieutenant Colonel Lee Villiger, CD, who assumes new duties at the headquarters of 41 Canadian Brigade Group, as the G9.  Photos and details of the parade can be found under Photos and Articles.

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As is custom, the Change of Command Parade was preceded on the Friday night by a Change of Command Dinner in the Officers' Mess.  Colonel Gludo, Commander of 41 Canadian Brigade Group, promoted Deputy Commanding Officer Major Tom Manley to Lieutenant Colonel in anticipation of the parade.  Beside Lieutenant Colonel Manley is the outgoing Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Lee Villiger, and the Honourary Colonel, Bob Gibson.  Photo by 2Lt Mills


As is the custom, the various messes of the Calgary Highlanders presented outgoing CO Lieutenant Colonel Villiger with tokens of esteem, which were reciprocated by the CO; photos and details will follow shortly.

Lieutenant Colonel Villiger also generously recognized the contributions of several members of the Regimental Family with handsome plaques.

Warrant Officer Bob Besse - a long serving WO and instructor in the Regiment who has done yeoman work in molding new soldiers, both with Militia Training Detachment Calgary, and recently as Company Sergeant Major of "B" Company, the training subunit of the Regiment.

Edana Venker - a former Master Corporal with the Regiment, "Eddie" Venker has been instrumental in running the Regimental Kit Shop as well as providing ongoing support to the Regimental Secretary.

Drum Major Jim Stewart

Pipe Major Chris Penney

Drum Sergeant Brian Woodward

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The webmaster extends his personal thank you to Lieutenant Colonel Villiger for the thoughtfulness and generosity displayed in presenting these plaques.

Richer for the Experience?

Congratulations to the very lucky Second Lieutenant Gavin Mills, for correctly determining the length of both speeches by the incoming and outgoing COs on parade; the mess was very happy to accept the 114 dollars raised by the pool.  A senior member of Headquarters Company was heard to grumble that "being the CO's speech writer has its advantages."  Second Lieutenant Mills was unable to confirm or deny reports that the fix was in.  We enjoyed the drinks in any event, Sir.


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European Security and Defence Policy Service Medal

Captain Fiona McLean, CD, ADC

Captain Fiona McLean has returned to Canada as of March 2005; photo at right shows the award presentation in February at which Lieutenant Colonel T.M. Datchko, Royal Canadian Dragoons and at that time Commander of Task Force Balkans (comprising Operation Bronze and Operation Boreas), invested Captain McLean with the ESDP Medal.  The ceremony took place at Springfield Hall, Banja Luka Metal Factory, Bosnia.

More information on this medal can be found under Honours and Awards on this website, on the page regarding NATO missions (soldiers on Operation Boreas also qualified for the NATO Non-Article 5 Medal).

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Major (Retired) Ernest Bitcon Hetherington

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Erny Hetherington was born in 1922 on the Sarcee (T'suu Tina) agency near Calgary.  In 1938, he enlisted in the Calgary Highlanders and served overseas with the battalion, being wounded on the 20th of July 1944 as a corporal.  He returned to Canada in 1945, with his wife Cissie whom he would be with for 63 years.  He stayed with the Regiment after the war, being commissioned and retiring as a major in 1972.

In civilian life, he joined the Calgary Police Service in 1945 as a street patrolman, and retired as an Inspector in 1976.  From his official obituary:

Perhaps his greatest legacy as a Police Officer was being the founding Commander of the Calgary Police Tactical Section. This section included the Tactical Team, Bomb Squad and Search and Rescue Team. After retiring, he spent many "Happy Hours" around the campfire with the over-the-hill gang and Fridays golfing with the Police Vets. He also spent many hours volunteering with the Calgary Association of Credit Unions and the Museum of the Regiments. Erny will be lovingly remembered by his beloved wife, Cissie; sons Bob (Linda), Don (Rene), and daughter Beth; grandchildren, Rob, Mike, Kyla, Kathy, Dean, Brett, KatieSarah; and his babies, great-grandchildren, Danauca and Cameron; as well as his brother Jim and numerous relatives and friends. Funeral Services will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY'S Chapel of the Bells (2720 Centre Street North) on Wednesday, March 9, 2005 at 2:30 p.m. Forward condolences through If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Alzheimer Society of Calgary, No. 201, 222 - 58 Avenue S.W., Calgary, AB T2H 2S3 (Telephone 403-290-0110). In living memory of Ernest Hetherington, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Chapel of the Bells, 2720 CENTRE STREET NORTH, CALGARY. Telephone: 403-276-2296.

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Erny Hetherington as a Captain, sometime in the 1960s.  His decorations include the 1939-45 Star, France-Germany Star, the Defence Medal, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with overseas clasp, War Medal 1939-45, and the Canadian Efficiency Medal, forerunner of the CD.  Calgary Highlanders Photo

The Regiment expresses deep and sincere regret at the loss of this distinguished soldier, policeman, community member and family man.

CO's Parade
Wednesday, 2 March 2005


ribboncd1.gif (1433 bytes) Clasp to the Canadian Forces Decoration

The clasp to the Canadian Forces Decoration, recognizing at least 22 years of good conduct and service to the Crown, was awarded to two warrant officers on parade.

Regimental Sergeant Major Flint Walters, CD
Warrant Officer GW Kennedy, CD

Chief Warrant Officer Walters is a long serving Calgary Highlander and has been in the appointment of Regimental Sergeant Major since 2004.

Warrant Officer Kennedy is the Ops and Training Warrant, posted as Regular Support Staff from the Princess Patrcia's Canadian Light Infantry.   His clasp is awarded as he approaches his 29th year of service in the Canadian Armed Forces.

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At left, Regimental Sergeant Major Walters admires his newly issued clasp.

Above, Warrant Officer Kennedy and the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Villiger.


Corporal Taylor

Congratulations to Corporal Taylor on his promotion.

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Clearing Out

Master Corporal Mike Kotuk

Master Corporal Mike Kotuk is leaving the Calgary Highlanders after nine years of service, and changes components to join the Third Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. 

Master Corporal Kotuk has proven to be one of many memorable characters among the junior ranks.  It is unfortunate many of the stories one could tell to illustrate his character are not repeatable in public forum, however, the Regiment recognizes that he was a dedicated NCO and first class athlete who has represented the Calgary Highlanders honourably on many occasions in international venues.  His most recent exploit was the Patagonia Expedition Race in Chile.

Good luck to now-Private Kotuk as he embarks on an exciting new phase of his military career.

February 2005

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Specialist Gerrit Kobes
Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 161st Infantry Regiment
Washington Army National Guard

The Calgary Highlanders looked south with anxiety in April 2004 when the 1st Battalion, 161st Infantry Regiment, a National Guard unit from Washington State, deployed to Iraq for combat operations.   The Regiment has had a relationship with the 161st since the 1950s.

Specialist Gerrit Kobes was presented the Silver Star by the commander of the First United States Cavalry Division at Forward Operating Base Honor in Baghdad, Iraq.  The 23 year old medic (who in civilian life worked for a wood-stove company) was assigned temporarily to a California unit attached to the First Cav's Task Force Steel Dragon in Baghdad.  On 3 November 2004, two platoons of Company B, 1st Battalion, 160th Infantry Regiment were assigned to ferry Iraqi soldiers and equiment to Fallujah.  Kobes was acting as a medical specialist in the force, when they came under enemy fire.  Kobes exposed himself to this enemy fire in order to treat wounded soldiers.

In July 2004, Kobes had previously been decorated for bravery under fire, when he was awarded an Army Commendation Medal with V for Valor device representing a combat award.

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The Silver Star was instituted on 9 Jul 1918 by the Congress of the United States, and is awarded for each Citation received by US Army personnel for gallantry in action, not sufficient to warrant the Medal of Honor or the Distinguished Service Cross.  On 8 August 1932 the decoration was revised by Congress and awarded for "Gallantry in Action Against an Opposing Armed Force."

More information on the Regiment's relationship with the 1/161 can be found by clicking here.  Specialist Gerrit Kobes carries on a tradition of bravery among the regiment's medical personnel dating back to 1945 when Technician Fourth Grade Laverne Parrish was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously during the fighting on Luzon, the Phillipines.

Last Post
February 2005

Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) DK Robertson, CD

As a Major, DK Robertson served with the Intelligence staff of General Montgomery's 21st Army Group in June 1944,and during the Northwest Europe campaign he served in command appointments and staff assignments with various formations. On 18 May 1946 he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and commanded the Calgary Highlanders until 1948. He left the Regiment for the Regular Force, where he served for 28 years, including service with the Queen's Own Rifles.  He passed away in February 2005, more details will be made available shortly.

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2 Feb 2005

Tactical Vest (TV)

With little fanfare, the Calgary Highlanders lined up excitedly for the initial issue of the new Tactical Vest (TV for short) that is replacing the 1982 Pattern web gear throughout the Canadian Army.  The new vest is part of the ongoing Clothe the Soldier project that is revitalizing and modernizing the clothing and personal equipment of the Canadian soldier, from socks and underwear to load bearing equipment and everything in between.

The new TV is designed to carry everything the infantryman needs to fight and survive on the battlefield, with special pouches to accommodate Mag-Lite flashlights, smoke grenades, maps, rations, rifle and machinegun ammunition, fragmentation grenades, and of course, the very symbol of the Infantry trade - the Bayonet.

The vest is issued in the same camouflage (Canadian Disrupt Pattern (Temperate Woodland), or CADPAT (TW)) as the issue combat uniform that the Regiment has worn as a unit for the last year.

The TV has received mixed reviews throughout the Army, but is universally hailed as a vast improvement over the 1982 Pattern gear.  Canadian soldiers have been notoriously harsh critics of their equipment, and new patterns have been developed at regular intervals; Calgary Highlanders through their history have worn 1908, 1914, 1937, 1951 and 1964 Pattern equipment before the adoption of the 1982 equipment.  All previous designs had been "web gear" style, with a waistbelt and braces - the new vest is very much like a hunter's vest, and is modelled after similar TVs in use by armies around the world, as well as tactical police units and other military/paramilitary organizations.

Under the watchful eye of Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant Dudgeon, a full issue was made to "A" Company, "B" Company and Regimental Headquarters personnel.

The Clothe the Soldier project continues to evolve, and the Regiment will be seeing more new kit as it becomes available.   For more info see

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January 2005

Congratulations to Warrant Officer Michael Smith who was promoted in January 2005.  The presentation was made by Lieutenant General R.J. Hillier, the Chief of the Land Staff, shorty before General Hillier's appointment as Chief of Defence Staff.

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