Sandhurst - December 2006
Captain Peter J. Boyle, the
Company 2 i/c of Headquarters Company, was invited to attend the
graduation of Prince William from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. In
addition to photos of the parade, Captain Boyle was able to photograph the
Book of Remembrance in the Academy's Chapel. Every Commonwealth officer
killed in action during the Second World War is listed in the book; the
Calgary Highlanders' page was photographed by Captain Boyle.
Cadet William Arthur Philip Louis Wales, as Prince William is officially
known, was Commissioned into The Blue and Royals (Royal Horse Guards and
1st Dragoons) to serve as Cornet Wales with his Regiment at Combermere
Barracks near Windsor Castle.
(L to R) Capt Peter Boyle (The Calgary Highlanders), LT Brian Pitkin
(32 MP PL), Capt Samuel Billich (The Queen's York Rangers) attending
a reception after the parade at the Officer's Mess.
Men's Christmas Dinner - 16 December 2006
After the Battle of the Scheldt in 1944, The Calgary
Highlanders went into static positions in the Nijmegen Salient. The annual tradition
of turkey dinner provided by the Honorary Colonel was maintained even in the forward line.
Captain Bill Lyster, shown in the steel helmet at right eating Christmas
dinner, was a company commander. If his face appears grim, it is no doubt because he spent
time on December 25th writing to the parents of Private Austin Nichols Yeoman, one of the
soldiers in his company who had been killed the day before. "I remember sitting
down and writing a letter to Mr. Yeoman...I told him what a brave son he had and all this
sort of stuff and I didn't even know the lad. That was our job."
Yeoman was 21 years of age when he was killed and lies in the
Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery, Holland in Grave II. C. 4.
In 2006, the Regiment's annual Christmas traditions were carried on, and the
merrymaking was mixed with a pause to remember; past sacrifices and a toast to Fallen
Comrades, as well as reflection on a long year of training and operational taskings.
In the words of Major Mike Vernon, representing the Commanding Officer, who thanked
all ranks for another year of hard effort, "Thanks be to God for returning all
our soldiers home safe from Afghanistan." Some 26 members of the Regiment
served overseas in the war zone in 2006. Private Adam Wanvig was seen to wear his solitary
badge of distinction - the Wound Stripe signifying injury in battle. This distinction
traces its history back to the First World War, and though thousands of men of The Calgary
Highlanders and its predecessor battalions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force have worn
it, Private Wanvig is the only currently serving member of the Regiment entitled to wear
this sombre mark. Approximately 180 Canadian soldiers have been
wounded in Afghanistan in total in 2006.
The tradition of Officers,
Warrant Officers, and Senior Non-Commissioned Officers serving a meal to the troops was
carried out; this year's dinner was the best attended event in decades, and had to be
located to the floor of the Armouries to accommodate over 130 soldiers. More details
on awards and promotions will be posted along with photographs as they become available.
Thank you to Corporal Matt Chinn for volunteering to photograph the event.
RSM David Boyer
The Regiment is saddened by the loss of RSM
David Boyer who passed away December 7th.
David passed away peacefully December 7, 2006 at the
Foothills Hospital at the age of 86 years. David will be lovingly remembered by his wife,
Elinor; daughter, Barbara; sons, David (Champ), Russell (Lucky), Jeffrey (Blackie) and
Rock; 31 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; brother, Russell and numerous nieces,
nephews, extended family members and friends. He was predeceased by his parents; three
brothers; one sister and his first wife, Olive Emily. David joined the army in 1940 and
served with the Edmonton Fusiliers, First Special Service Force and the Loyal Edmonton
Regiment. He was wounded in Ortona, Italy. After the war ended he joined the Calgary
Highlanders and was with them for 14 years. He came out as a WO1. Since then, Dave was an
active supporter and was an "Elder Statesman" of the regiment up until the time
of his death. He was also a member of the Royal Canadian Legion #284. David was a salesman
for all the years he worked, beginning with Great West Saddlery, Stafford Foods and
finally Century Sales and Service. He excelled in numerous sports, but boxing was his
first love and while in the service, he was lightweight champ of Western Command. Dave's
next endeavour after he retired was swimming. He swam in the morning everyday for 21
years. On his 70th birthday he swam three miles and was still swimming into his 80's. On
April 21, 2000 he won Athlete of the Week for Calgary from CFCN Television. The family
would like to express a special thank you to the doctors and nurses on the 4th floor of
the Special Services building at the Foothills Hospital. In lieu of flowers, donations in
David's Memory may be made to a charity of the donor's choice.
Those wishing to pay their respects may do so on Monday,
December 11, 2006 from 6-8 p.m. at the chapel of Mountain View Funeral Home. A Funeral
Service will be held at Mewata Armoury 801-11 Street SW on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 at
2:00 p.m. Interment will follow in Mountain View Memorial Gardens. To email expressions of
sympathy: www.mountainviewmemorial.ca subject heading: David Boyer. Arrangements entrusted
to MOUNTAIN VIEW FUNERAL HOME AND CEMETERY, 17 Avenue SE at Garden Road, (1.5 km east of
84th Street SE). Telephone (403) 272-5555.
Remembrance Day Services
Remembrance Day once again saw an enormous
turnout of soldiers, including 60 kilted soldiers and a slightly smaller contingent of
soldiers in training; again, one of the largest turnouts in recent memory. Aside from the
usual detachments for cenotaph and other duty (such as Warrant Officer Gerald Downey's
duties at the Colonel Belcher veterans' hospital), the Regiment was out in full force at
the Jubilee. Sergeant Paul Brandson represented the Regiment by conducting the Ceremony of
Light at the Jubilee (no end of mirth being caused by his inadvertent description as a
"Vietnam Veteran"), and Sergeant (retired) Floyd Rourke, DCM laid the wreath
this year. Mention was made of the fact that of the men and women killed in Afghanistan in
2006, three were Calgarians. Premier The Honourable Ralph Klein also paid tribute to the
Armed Forces in his own inimitable way, recounting how as a boy he admired soldiers,
airmen and "naval people". He later served in the RCAF Reserve and the Regular
Force where, as he related, he learned to "make my bed and shine my shoes."
Jubilee, Corporal P. (shown above right in Afghanistan) was presented his SW Asia
Service Medal by the Commanding Officer. He joins veterans of Korea and the Second World
War such as Floyd Rourke in the exclusive fraternity of Calgary Highlanders combat
veterans. The Regiment's pride in their achievements is adequately reflected by the
increased strength reflected on regimental parades.
Leadership Lessons From Vimy Ridge
The Work Research Foundation, supported by Veteran's Affairs Canada and
the Canada Remembers Partnership, used Mewata Armouries as the backdrop for their annual
"Leadership Lessons from Vimy Ridge" performance. The main event of the
evening is a 50 minute lecture by Dr. John Pellowe, who adopts the role of General Sir
Arthur Currie, commander of the Canadian Corps in 1917-1918. The talk focuses on
team-building and using lessons from Canada's military history to develop leadership in
today's corporate world, as well as in everyday life. The event was supported by the
Regimental Pipes and Drums, who provided musical support to the
Remembrance service at
the opening of the show (along with Corporal Michael Scott of the King's Own Calgary
Regiment Band), as well as two members of the 10th Battalion Calgary Highlanders
Association Heritage Section.
Several dignitaries made brief
addresses, including Member of Parliament Rob Anders and Parliamentary Secretary Jason
Kenney. A talk was also given by Lieutenant Ryan Palmer (shown above), recently
returned from combat duty in Afghanistan. More details and photos of the evening will be
added on a separate page of this site.
141 Dalhousie Beaver Colony
On 7 November 2006, Second Lieutenant Mills made
a Remembrance Day presentation to the boys of 141 Dalhousie Beaver Colony. According to
2Lt Mills: "The young boys are between the ages of 5 and 7 and asked many great
questions on what an Infanteer does and are beginning to understand the importance of
November 11th and what it means to be a good citizen. We have permission to post on
our website from the Colony Leader Rick Jensen." Thank you to Mr. Jensen for
granting his permission to put these photos up.
The Battle of Walcheren Causeway
Wednesday 1 November 2006 saw the Regiment commemorate the anniversary of the
Battle of Walcheren Causeway, fought during the Battle of the Scheldt in 1944. An
impressive turnout of 140 soldiers marked one of the largest regimental parades in recent
memory. Several returning veterans of the war in Afghanistan were also honoured on parade,
including the presentation of the SW Asia Service Medal to Corporal Rob Green.
High River Highland Games
In his first competition in charge of the
Regimental Pipes and Drums, Pipe Major Mike Giles led the band to a first place finish in
the Grade III Medley competition at the High River Highland Games on 26 Aug 2006, topping
a field of five bands. The other bands competing, including the Calgary Police Service
Pipe Band (2nd place), Rocky Mountain Pipe Band (3rd), Edmonton and District Pipe
Band, and Ben Nevis Pipe Band (Edmonton), all made a strong showing. The Calgary
Highlanders also took the prize for Dress and Deportment, and several individual
competitors also performed well. The band will be competing at both Calgary (2 Sep) and
Canmore (3 Sep).
Lochlan William Penney
Lochlan William Penney was born to former Pipe
Major Chris Penney and his wife Kerry Penney on August 10, 2006 at 12:19 pm,
weighing in at 8lbs 4oz and 21 1/2 inches long. Kerry has been a long time Highland Dancer
with the Pipes and Drums and Chris continues to practice with the band as a civilian
Congratulations also to Jocelynn Benner, a
former trained soldier in the Calgary Highlanders, who played tenor drum and who
transferred to 14 Medical Company when the Pipes and Drums stood down. Her delivery
of Parker, shown below, predated Lochlan. Jocelynn had also been a member of 2137 Calgary
Highlanders Cadet Corps before joining the Militia; she is no longer active with the
Both babies, mothers and fathers are all
reportedly doing well.
10th Battalion Calgary Highlanders Association
The 10th Battalion Calgary
Highlanders Association Heritage Section - a small group devoted to promoting
understanding of regimental history and heritage through the collection and display of
significant uniforms with 10th Battalion insignia, were received by Associate
equipment and artifacts - donated several uniforms used in the Alberta Tattoo to the
Regimental Museum. Five full sets of Service Dress, including trousers, 1915 pattern
tunics, and caps, were donated complete to Curator Denny Russell (illustrated on the left of the picture
opposite) on 24 Aug 2006, in addition to other historical uniform components. All the
uniforms donated were custom made replicas for the tattoo; Northlands graciously provided
the funds for the uniforms and the Regimental Museum has agreed to take over custodial
duties. The uniforms will be made available to future regimental functions and military
pageants as requested and as available, to promote the history and heritage of The Calgary
A related story
on the regimental contribution to the Alberta Tattoo can be seen below.
The third annual "Peacekeepers Day" was marked by civic services held at
Peacekeepers Park in Garrison Green, and nearby Buffalo Park. Calgary Highlanders were in
attendance to support the ceremony once again, which consisted of a wreath laying to
commemorate Canadian soldiers killed on active service since 1953, including peace
operations and the war in Afghanistan. The day is commemorated on the weekend closest to
August 9th, the anniversary of the death of the "Buffalo Nine" - nine Canadian
servicemen shot down over Syria while on a peace support mission.
Thank you to Perry Andress for the photo at right
(click to enlarge) of pipe band members who attended the Alberta Tattoo in July. From left
Corporal Malcolm Odell
Drummer Kelsey Drummond
Piper Cameron Drummond
Drummer Perry Andress
Lieutenant Colonel (ret'd) J. Lynn Moffatt, OMM, CD
Final Farewell to a Fallen Comrade
Corporal Steve Welsh passes on this photo and caption from the official Army
"Combat Camera" website. Calgary Highlander Matthew Russell is second from the
7 Aug 2006
Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan
Ramp Ceremony for Master Corporal Raymond Arndt, a reservist with The Loyal Edmonton
Regiment (4 PPCLI), who was killed in an accident, in which a supply truck collided with a
civilian vehicle about 35 kilometres southeast of Kandahar city.
Task Force Afghanistan (TFA) is
Canadas military contribution to Afghanistan. Canadian operations will focus on
working with Afghan authorities to improve security, governance and economic development.
The Canadian Forces (CF) contribution in Afghanistan comprises about 2,000 soldiers, most
of whom serve with TFA at Kandahar Airfield and Camp Nathan Smith, Canadas
Provincial Reconstruction Team, in Kandahar City. Additional personnel are assigned to
various military headquarters, a support base, and civilian organizations.
Photo by: Master Corporal Doug Desrochers
Task Force Afghanistan Roto 1 Imagery Technician
2006 Alberta Tattoo First World War Re-Enactors
The Past Recreated
10th Battalion Calgary Highlanders Association
Heritage Section at the Alberta Tattoo
This year's Alberta Tattoo in Edmonton (the 2nd
Annual) included include five pipers and drummers from The Calgary Highlanders, as well as
a section of 10th Battalion re-enactors organized by Captain Kevin S. Winfield, CD (former
Calgary Highlander and now MP officer) as well as Corporal Dorosh. The Tattoo ran for four
performances at Rexall Place between Thursday 20 July, and Saturday 22 July 2006. The
Tattoo format was enhanced by the use of traditional military pageantry to tell the story
of a single character, in this case an Alberta veteran of the First World War.
At right, Cpl Dorosh with Corporal Mike
Stephenson of 18 Maintenance Troop, 1st Combat Engineer Regiment, wearing the blue
shoulder straps of the First Contingent of 1915. The re-enactment section was suitably
clad in 10th Battalion badges, including C-over-10 collar badges as seen here, and the
large red "battle patches" on the sleeves of the Service Dress.
Front Row (Left to
Right): Capt Kevin Winfield (standing), 1 Grn MP Coy; Spr. Kevin Delarge, 1 CER; Tpr Evan
Arsenault, LdSH (RC); Cpl Hugo Gomes, LdSH (RC); Cpl Scott Noonan, 1 CER; Cpl Douglas
Hill, 1 CER; Cpl Michael Dorosh (standing), The Calgary Highlanders
Back Row (Left to Right) Cpl Joel Mousseau, LdSH
(RC); Tpr Tanner Black, LdSH (RC); Cpl Mike Stephenson, 1 CER (18 Maint Tp); Spr Adam
Stefaniec, 1 CER; Tpr Brendon Douglas,
Thanks to Corporal P's friend, Josée, for passing on photos from Afghanistan.
(Photos removed in the interest of
"The Operation is going well for the Highlanders in
(our) Company. There is 30 more days to go and we are keeping our spirits up.
We've had a very engaging tour. Our platoon has seen Kandahar province and Helmund
Province in southern Afghanistan. We've lived out of FOBs and in the field for the
months of April, May and June... We've participated in tasks ranging from site
security, recces, dismounted patrols, cordon & searches, combat operations/advance to
contact, vehicle check points and multinational operations to name a few. Currently
our platoon is involved with an airmobile tasking that will take us to the end of our
deployment. We are all excited about our decompression leave (to take place in Cyprus
over three days), and obviously to come home and see our loved ones. A big hello to
the regiment and to all our friends and family near and far, whom we love so much."
Regimental Pipes and Drums of the Calgary Highlanders
Calgary Stampede Parade - Friday 7 Jul 2006
Despite being placed near the end of the Stampede Parade this
year, the Regimental Pipes and Drums were ranked the No. 1 Pipe Band in the parade, as
well as "best Canadian Band." Clan Maxwell Pipe Band also had a sizeable
entry in this year's parade, and the Calgary Police Pipe Band as always was well turned
out and provided strong competition. Other Canadian bands included the Regular Force's
HMCS Stadacona Band of the Canadian Navy, as well as the massed bands of The King's Own
Calgary Regiment (RCAC) and The Loyal Edmonton Regiment (4th Battalion, Princess
Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry).
The Stampede Parade has been a tradition
for the Pipes and Drums since 1910.
The Pipes and Drums are shown here in the Parade in 1955. Calgary Exhibition
and Stampede Archives photo.
Corporal Greg Harder
Canadian Forces Decoration 2 July 2006
addition to the decoration he will soon be wearing for his recent deployment overseas,
Corporal Greg Harder was presented with the Canadian Forces Decoration representing 12
years of long service and good conduct by Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Tom Manley
on 2 July 2006. The presentation was made at the Edmonton International Airport upon
Corporal Harder's return from Afghanistan.
In traditional fashion, the Regimental Pipes and Drums once again
traveled to Canmore and Banff to participate in street parades there, commemorating the
anniversary of Confederation on 1 July 1867.
In Africa, Warrant Officer Mike
Smith also marked the occasion:
Our last day of ranges for the turret gunner
instructors was today. The "range" is just a rocky hillside in the
middle of the desert. Two members of the RCMP and a British Policeman came out with
us for their Canada Day "fireworks". I had them on a dismounted C6
(machine gun)... Once they got used to watching the splash we were getting
them on target. They got into the (Grizzly) turret and got to fire the C6 and the
.50 cal so they had a good time. I took them in the Grizzly up to check out the
damage to the targets (old Grizzly tires painted white) and then we had a can of
sardines. At 2pm I decided to take the rest of the day off in honor of the
All in all not a bad day, I got to shoot, hang out with a couple of Canadians, take
a Grizz for a spin, eat an orange and enjoy more delicious sardines. The
instructors get their certificates tomorrow and then I have a short break before the
officers arrive to receive their course on tactics. During that break I should
be able to go on patrols and escorts with the Protection Force to see if there are areas
Every day we have to put out fresh tires to shoot because every afternoon the locals
come by and roll them away several kilometers to their village and use them to make
shoes and things. There was a big muffler from some other armoured vehicle
that must have weighed 300 lbs and so full of holes it looked like a strainer.
It took them a few days to figure out how to move it but they must have
showed up with donkeys or a camel last night because it was gone today. The
Sudanese around here don't let anything go to waste.
Warrant Officer Mike Smith
Mike Smith (not pictured) has reported in from his new posting in Africa (Darfur, via
Addis Ababa). The African Union has requested instructors to go with the
"Grizzly" Infantry Section Carriers that Canada has sent to the region. The
instructors (who are training Africans to take over as instructors themselves) come from a
variety of nations. WO Smith reports that he gets along swimmingly with his boss, a Major
of South African extraction. Aside from the camel spiders, one of the main attractions
appears to be "millions of rounds of 7.62 link and .50."
"There are a lot of dead horses and other animals around
due to the heat and the lack of water but the good news is that they leave them where they
fall so I'm mostly certain they don't make it to the market."
The Regiment wishes WO Smith luck on his tour and looks
forward to regular reports and photos.
Lieutenant Colonel Warren Spaan, CD
2nd Clasp to the Canadian Forces Decoration
Admiral R.D. Murphy, Director of Staff (Strategic Joint Staff (SJS)), is seen presenting
the second clasp to the Canadian Forces Decoration to Lieutenant Colonel Warren J. Spaan
in a ceremony at National Defence Headquarters on 21 June 2006 in recognition of the
completion of 32 years of service in the CF. LCol Spaan is currently serving in the
Current Operations Branch of the SJS.
The role of the SJS is to support the CDS in effecting his
command of CF operations, and to support him in providing military advice to the
Government of Canada.
LCol Spaan commanded The Calgary Highlanders from 1999 to
|Spotted On Sale
currently serving in Afghanistan, passed on the following photo of an open air market in
their Area of Operations. No word on whether or not there were any takers.
LCol Villiger returns from Afghanistan
Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Lee Villiger, currently G9 for Land Force Western
Area, visited Afghanistan from 22 May to 27 May 2006, visiting his CIMIC troops in
theatre. The visit included a close look at the new Nyala patrol vehicles in use.
Major Roy Alexander Farran, DSO, MC and 2 Bars
Major Roy Farran is well known to The Calgary
Highlanders as the first official Regimental historian, publishing History of The
Calgary Highlanders 1921-1954. The Regiment passes on its condolences to his family
and friends. A biography of is available by clicking here. Below is the
obituary published in the Calgary Sun.
Major Roy Alexander Farran, DSO, MC two bars, passed away at
the age of 85 years. One of the most highly decorated soldiers of World War II, Roy was
the recipient of the Distinguished Service Order, Military Cross - two bars, Africa
Campaign Star, France/Germany Campaign Star, Italy Campaign Star, General Campaign Medal,
Queen's Gold Jubilee Medal, Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal, Canada 125 Medal, Officer and
Chevalier of the Order of the Legion of Honour - France, French Croix de Guerre with Palm,
Officer of the Order of the United States Legion of Merit, the Italian Gold Medal, Italian
Partisan Star of the Garibaldi, and the Greek War Medal. A true child of the commonwealth,
Roy spent his youth in India until he returned to England and attended the Royal Sandhurst
Military College. His colourful Military career saw action in the Western Desert, Crete,
Italy, France, Norway and in post-war Palestine. As an early member of the Special Air
Services (SAS), Roy pioneered behind-the-enemy lines operations. In August, 1941, Roy
escaped from a German prisoner of war camp in Greece to return to fight in the Battle of
El Alamein in North Africa. His biographical chronicle, 'Winged Dagger' was a post-war
bestseller and is today considered a military classic. In 1949, Roy worked in Southern
Rhodesia where he met his Canadian born wife, Ruth Harvie Ardern. He left his
Herefordshire farm in England to immigrate to Canada in 1950 where he started a dairy farm
in Springbank. Roy was an accomplished journalist and spent many years with the Calgary
Herald and established the North Hill News in 1951. He was the publisher of many Alberta
weeklies under his motto "without fear or favour". He was an Alderman for
Calgary North Hill from 1961 - 1969. He was an MLA from 1971 - 1979 holding the cabinet
portfolios of Telephones and Utilities and Solicitor General. Roy was well known for his
columns in the Edmonton Journal and Calgary Herald and his lively talk show on CFAC radio.
Roy was active in the community and held directorships with the Calgary Stampede, Calgary
Hospital Board, Fanning Centre, Calgary Zoo, Calgary Winter Club, and many others. He was
the energy behind the creation of Fish Creek Park and Nose Hill Park. As an accomplished
author, he wrote nine books. A linguist, he spoke seven languages and was a long time
supporter of the Alliance Francaise. He was Chairman of the Alberta Racing Commission for
14 years and was a passionate horseman and outdoorsman. He was a model father sharing his
wisdom, adventures, horses and his love of the outdoors. Roy will be forever loved and
remembered by his children, Sally, Peter, Terry and David; his grandchildren, Christopher,
Sean, Meaghan, Kristy, Allyson, Leigh and Thomas; great-grandchild Elliott; and long-time
friend Andre Lorent. He was predeceased by Ruth, his wife of fifty-one years, and his
brothers, Rex, Ray and Kit.
Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Anthony's Catholic Church (5340 - 4th Street S.W.)
on Monday June 12, 2006, at 10:30 a.m., with the Rev. Eulogio Estaris, Presider. Forward
condolences through http://www.mcinnisandholloway.com
Special thanks to his compassionate caregivers, Anna Lisa, Dory, Belinda, Lynette, Wendy,
Donna and Jeannete. If friend's so desire, memorial tributes may be made in Roy Farran's
name directly to the Calgary Military Museums Society, to the attention of Ms. Ranjit
Gill, Museum of the Regiments (The Military Museums), 4520 Crowchild Trail S.W., Calgary
AB , T2T-5J4, Telephone: 403-240-9723. In living memory of Roy Farran, a tree will be
planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park
Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Telephone: (403) 243-8200.
Checked Out - 24 May 2006
3 Platoon of "A" Company under 2nd
Lieutenant Gavin Mills brushed up on their basic battle drills before sending young
soldiers off on their Basic Infantry Qualification Course (BIQ); the review was done at
Edworthy Park under the watchful eye of some long serving Junior NCOs such as MCpl Rob
Jackson, Cpl Steve Welsh and Cpl Jamie Moreau. Click photo to enlarge.
Reported - 21 May 2006
Trainer Tackles Ultimate Test
Calgarian Loses Friends, Finds Strength
Sarah McGinnis, Calgary Herald - reproduced under the fair use provisions of the
Published: Sunday, May 21, 2006
Jason Heller and his buddy Bill Turner gazed up at the Afghan stars over the butt of a
The reservists swapped stories of Alberta in between mouthfuls of Froot Loops as they kept
watch for Taliban.
"We talked about our plans for families and jobs when we get home," Lieut.
Heller said. "Less than two weeks later, he's gone."
The deaths of comrades such as Lieut. Bill Turner and most recently Capt. Nichola Goddard
-- who was killed this week in a firefight near Kandahar -- rocked Heller. But he and more
than 50 other Calgary reservists continue to serve in Afghanistan undaunted.
They fought to be included in the deployment and say they're more than qualified to be
Heller isn't your typical reservist. The Calgarian didn't join up in his late teens to
help pay for university, nor did he have family in the military. A fitness trainer who had
his own company, he wanted to know if he was strong enough to join the ranks.
Heller is deployed in Kandahar province as the commander of a tactical psychological
"Since I've been here, I have had close friends kill (and) be killed . . . I have
helped give aid to combat victims and watched an Afghani policeman dying of a sucking
chest wound right in front of me," he said.
"I did not honestly expect the fight to get as close to me as it has."
Violence has touched many lives. So far, 16 Canadian soldiers and one diplomat have lost
their lives in Afghanistan since early 2002.
Goddard is the latest casualty and the first female Canadian soldier to die in battle.
She'll be honoured at a memorial service in Calgary on Friday.
Heller's closest brush with death came with the loss of Turner last month. The men had
similar jobs as liaisons with local Afghans.
Twelve days before an explosion claimed his life, Turner came to say goodbye. He wouldn't
leave the encampment without telling everyone how he felt about them.
"I can sleep well at night because of Bill's actions," Heller said.
The deaths of two reservists in that April explosion launched a debate in Canada about
qualifications of "part-time soldiers" and whether they should be used to fill
out the ranks of infantry battalions.
The criticisms are insulting to Heller and his comrades.
There are good reservists and bad ones, just as there are good and bad serving in the
regular forces. The only reservists who get nominated to serve overseas are the able ones,
"I would rather be fighting with troops that fought tooth-and-nail to get to
Afghanistan than with someone that only came because they were ordered to."
Training teaches you maybe 10 per cent of what you need to know, adds Master Cpl. Will
Emslie, a fellow Calgary Highlander. It's the foundation. The rest comes from learning
from your experiences, be it how to drive down the road or what to do if ambushed.
The mere mention of ambushes, kidnappings and bombings is enough to make families anxious.
Heller says his parents are nervous wrecks who can't sleep until he's back "inside
Originally, his wife, Sheena, couldn't bear to
watch the news or listen to the radio. Every story about suicide bombers or wounded
solders touched off waves of fear, she told the Herald from her Calgary home.
Sheena Heller admits she gets angry sometimes about the deployment. She understands why
her husband had to go. But it's as if he's been hijacked, leaving a void in her life.
Her husband is struggling with the same loss, she says. Distracting him with worries from
home can be dangerous.
With three months left of his tour, Lieut. Heller is questioning whether to serve in
His friend is gone, but Heller's reason to serve remains.
He's fighting to make Afghanistan safer for those who live there.
© The Calgary Herald 2006
Training - 7 May 2006
Some random photos of weekend
training on Saturday 7 May 2006. Sergeants Schmidt and Holland supervise their troops
rappelling from the top of the Armouries. Inside, troops clean C6 machine guns. The
large Highlander recently repositioned over the end of the parade square has been part of
the scenery at Mewata for years; it was salvaged by the Pipes and Drums in the 1980s when
McLeod Bros. changed locations. Sergeant Chris Linford repainted the Highlander in the
uniform of a Calgary Highlanders Drum Major.
Photos at right are thumbnailed,
click to enlarge.
The Glorious 22nd of April, 1915
The annual St. Julien's Day Freedom of the City
Parade was conducted directly on the anniversary of the historic counter-attack at
Kitchener's Wood, 22 April 2006. The day was doubly sad as news that four Canadian
soldiers had lost their lives that same day in Afghanistan was received.
Number 1 Guard under Captain Meades
arrives at City Hall. Shannon Armstrong Photo.
A multitude of presentations were made at the dinner:
Ladies Auxiliary Bursaries
Due to the success of the Ladies Auxiliary at fund raising, three bursaries
$1000.00 to Master Corporal William Emslie, a
six-year member of the regiment with prior service in Bosnia and currently deployed to
$500.00 to Officer Cadet Jason Leek, a member
of the Regiment for 1-1/2 years, but also with 6 years in a Calgary Highlanders cadet
$500.00 to Corporal Joel F., a
five-year member of the Regiment
Number 2 Guard steps off for the march
down Stephen Avenue Mall.
Shannon Armstrong Photo.
Clan of the Gallant Canadians
The following members of the Regimental Family were admitted to the Clan of the Gallant Canadians in the
- Warrant Officer Glenn Fedoruk
- Master Corporal Cody Martin
- Master Corporal Kenny
- Sergeant Mark Dodd
- Sergeant Desilets
- Corporal P
- Corporal Waye
WO Glenn Fedoruk, CD
Five civilian pipers were recognized by the Regiment for the assistance they
provided during the Royal Visit in May 2005, and were presented with Regimental
Commendations as well as regimental cap badges and invitations to join the Regimental
- Robert Amos
- Wayne Leroche
- Arlene Murphy
- Jim Perry
- Ken Rogers (who quipped on receiving his cap
badge that he had actually been a member of the Regimental Pipes and Drums 35 years
Regimental trophy presentations are listed on the trophies page of this site. Also
updated there is the WO Bruce Waterhouse award winner for 2006, which was presented at the
Regimental Birthday in April.
Also recognized at the dinner was Corporal Forrest, the Most
Improved Hockey Player, who started the 2005-2006 season with the regimental
hockey team never having skated before and ending the season with four goals.
Master Corporal Patton, currently serving overseas, was the
subject of much discussion when it was realized he has last year's Lieutenant Colonel
Spaan Soldier of Excellence award still in his possession.
Corporal Matt Chinn was recognized as the
top shot in the Regiment.
At right, the "oldest Private" in the Regiment on
parade; Lieutenant Colonel (retired) Lynn Moffat, OMM, CD, President of the 10th Battalion
Calgary Highlanders Association and piper in the Regimental Pipes and Drums, who was
presented the RSM McCumber award for outstanding service to the Regiment at the dinner.
Happy Highlanders. Shannon Armstrong
The number of experienced soldiers absent by
being overseas and on tasking elsewhere was made obvious by the number and proportion of
private soldiers on parade as shown above. When the guy who gives out the socks has more
medals than the majority of his Guard, you know there is something fishy happening.
On that note, the Recruiting Cell of the
regiment - Warrant Officer Fedoruk, Master Corporals Martin and P, and Corporal Waye
- were all recognized at the dinner by admission to the Clan of the Gallant Canadians as
mentioned above. Special note was made by Adjutant Captain Hugh McReynolds that recruiting
by these four individuals has been so successful (more than doubling the intake of the
year previous and perhaps even tripling it) that LFWA has requested to study their
methods. The Regiment continues to make headway in meeting its preparedness goals for Task
and below - two of the proudest Regimental traditions - the Colour Party (Lieutenant
Lowther, WO Afflick, Lieutenant Mills, Sgt Desilets and Sgt Holland) and the Pipes and
Drums (under Drum Major Jim Stewart and Pipe Major Mike Giles).
This year's guest speaker, Regimental Museum and
Archives Curator Lieutenant (retired) Barry Agnew, CD, gave a rundown of the past year's
activities and a timely reminder to all members of the Regimental Family that the museum
is always looking for information to help document our history. LCol Moffat repeated that
theme in his closing remarks, stating that we get an "F" for "failure"
when it comes to documenting our activities. The Regimental Webmaster is inclined to
agree, and encourages soldiers past and present to come forward with photos, anecdotes,
archival documents or any other items that we can use to help preserve our history and
document it for future generations.
A final thank you goes to Alderman Rick McIver
for the kind words in his speech to the Regiment at the start of the dinner.
Operation ARCHER - Apr 2006
Thanks to Corporal B. for passing on
some photos; Cpl B. is below centre, with Calgary Highlanders Sergeant Avelino at
right, and MCpl Swainson at left. Other photos to go up soon in the Photos and Article
section. At right, Corporal Sagastume.
Victorious - Apr 2006
The Oakleafs win the 2005-2006 playoffs - full
Chief Warrant Officer Kent Griffiths
(41 Canadian Brigade Group RSM)
In recognition of exemplary dedication to the
values of integrity, honesty, fairness and openness,
Chief Warrant Officer Kent Griffiths
is awarded the Commendation for Ethics of the Ombudsman for National Defence and Canadian
During decades of service in the Canadian Forces
Reserves, Chief Warrant Officer Griffiths has demonstrated leadership that combines energy
and resourcefulness with ethics and integrity. Committed to the personal development of
young soldiers and civilians, he leads by the example of his work ethic, openness and
Through his diverse contributions
in fields ranging from Drum Major to mentor to harassment advisor Chief
Warrant Officer Griffiths has shown unfailing respect for human dignity and recognition of
merit. He provides candid advice and recommendations, while performing duties and managing
resources in ways that strengthen public confidence. His professional and human skills
have enhanced the well-being of the Forces and civilian communities alike.
The Ombudsman for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces salutes and
commends Chief Warrant Officer Kent Griffiths outstanding commitment.
- Mar 2006
A big thank you to Lieutenant Palmer for
providing this list of soldiers on Operation ARCHER to the webmaster, and to Corporal
P (at right in the photo below) who promises more pictures of operations there.
Lieutenant Jason Heller
Lieutenant Palmer RC
Sergeant Dino Avelino
Sergeant Paul Brandson
Sergeant Ian Macdonald
Master Corporal "Wil" Emslie
Master Corporal Greg Harder
Sergeant Stephan Malenfant
Master Corporal Mark Nussbaumer
Master Corporal Dave Patton
Corporal Phil X
Corporal Craig Costin
Corporal Mike Emslie
Corporal Rob Green
Corporal Dan Decorby
Corporal Stephen Macpherson
Corporal Shawn McDermott
Corporal Johnathan Macleod
Corporal Joshua Morris
Corporal Matthew Russell
Corporal Matt Sagastume
Corporal JP Toussaint
Corporal Bryan Trochim
Corporal Adam Wanvig
|Checking In from ARCHER
Master Corporal Dave Patton
Master Corporal Steve Malenfant
Corporal Shawn McDermott
Patton writes from Afghanistan, where he, Master Corporal Steve Malenfant, and Corporal
Shawn McDermott are all employed at Camp Nathan Smith, at the site of the Provincial
Reconstruction Team in Kandahar City.
These Highlanders have been in theatre since the first part
of December 2005, as part of Operation ARCHER Roto 0, tasked primarily with force
protection as well as assisting the patrol company on their patrols, mostly a variety of
escort mission for Canadian civilians and Royal Canadian Mounted Police members, who
liaise with local officials.
MCpl Patton writes that: "The
food is pretty good... The weather is hot
even though this is a cooler part of the year, usually in the mid 30's
during the day."
There are many other Highlanders on duty in Afghanistan now who
unfortunately the webmaster has no details on; Corporal Greg Harder and
Corporal X have contacted
the webmaster and promised to send photos.
MCpl Patton's photos are available
Laid to Rest
Private Brendan O'Shea
16 February 2006
Private Brendan O'Shea was laid to rest after a
very well attended service at St. Luke's Catholic Church. In addition to a large
number of friends, family, and his regimental comrades who turned out en masse,
there were also fellow infantrymen from as far away as the Lake Superior Scottish Regiment
and the Loyal Edmonton Regiment (4 PPCLI).
Burden of Command: Lieutenant
Colonel Tom Manley addresses the Regiment on Wednesday night parade, 15 Feb 2006. "We
will mourn as a family."
Duty of Comradeship:
On the coldest day of the 2005-2006 winter, 16 February 2006, with the mercury dropping
below -20 Celsius, the Regiment buried Private Brendan O'Shea with full military honours.
He now lies at rest among personnel of all three services at the Field of Honour,
Queen's Park Cemetery.
Private O'Shea, left, at the 2006 Robbie Burns Dinner.
Brendan O'Shea, at left, with friends, from
the online guestbook at this
I Did Not
|Do not stand at my grave and forever weep.
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumns rain.
When you awaken in the
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and forever cry.
I am not there. I did not die.
- Melinda Sue Pacho
Last Post - 10 February
Private Brendan O'Shea
The Calgary Highlanders were shocked and saddened to hear
that Private Brendan O'Shea had passed away suddenly on 10 February 2006 at the age of 19.
Private O'Shea was entering into his third year with the Regiment and in October
2004 was featured on the
main page of this site, having proudly represented the Regiment at
Exercise Active Edge.
Brendan was remembered
at a spontaneous gathering of dozens of his regimental comrades last Friday night,
and will be laid to rest following a military funeral on Thursday, 16 February 2006.
His official obituary is reproduced below. The Regiment expresses its deepest
regret and sincere condolences to his family and friends.
O'SHEA _ Brendan Thomas 1986 -
2006 Brendan Thomas O'Shea of Calgary passed away suddenly in Nose Hill Park, Calgary on
Friday, February 10, 2006 at the age of 19 years. Brendan was a native Calgarian born
December 7, 1986. He was educated at St. Dominic's Elementary, St. Jean Brebeuf Junior
High and graduated in 2004 from St. Francis Senior High School. Brendan enrolled as a
proud member of the Canadian Forces on January 24, 2004, holding the rank of Private with
The Calgary Highlanders. Brendan was a qualified Infantryman and had training on Infantry
platoon support weapons and communications equipment. Brendan will be lovingly remembered
by his mother Brigid, brother Owen, stepmother Laurie and her sons, Jay, Rob and Craig;
grandmother Eva; step-grandmother Vi; Aunt Fiona; Uncles, Ray, Ciaran, Brendan and Martin;
as well as many relatives and friends in Alberta, Newfoundland and Ireland. He will never
be forgotten by the Canadian Forces in particular Brendan's military family in The Calgary
Highlanders. Brendan was predeceased by his father Gordon Legge, grandfather Harold Legge,
grandfather Patrick J. O'Shea and grandmother Ellen O'Flynn. Relatives and friends are
invited to Prayers and Tributes at St. Luke's Catholic Church (corner of Northmount Drive
and Northland Drive N.W.) on Wednesday, February 15, 2006 at 7:30 p.m. Funeral Mass will
be concelebrated at St. Luke's Catholic Church (corner of Northmount Drive and Northland
Drive N.W.) on Thursday, February 16, 2006 at 11:00 a.m. with Rev. Inocencio C. Cambaling
and Rev. Stefan Ganowicz presiding. Graveside services to follow at Queen's Park Cemetery,
Field of Honour. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com . If friends so
desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to The Calgary Highlanders Regimental Funds
Foundation (funds to be held in trust for disbursement by family to a registered charity),
801 - 11 Street S.W., Calgary, AB T2P 1C4 (Telephone 403-410-2320 ext 3337). In living
memory of Brendan O'Shea, a tree will be planted by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES,
Crowfoot Chapel, 82 CROWFOOT CIRCLE N.W., CALGARY. Telephone: 403-241-0044.
Soldiers attending the service may wear CO's
Parade Dress, with medals.
On the Way - February 2006
Calgary Highlanders in the Loyal Edmonton
Regiment's mess prior to deploying to Afghanistan, February 2006. Photo courtesy
Standing left to right: Sgt McDonald, MCpl Nussbaumer, Cpl Macleod, Cpl Russell,
Cpl "Killer" Emslie , Cpl Trochim, Sgt Brandson.
Kneeling left to right MCpl Emslie, Cpl "Kobra" Costin, Cpl McPherson,
Cpl Toussaint, Cpl Decorby
|Now It Can Be Told
The Loyal Eddie's Mess is not unfamiliar to the Calgary
Highlanders. In November 2005, while staying at Jefferson Armouries for a weekend
range shoot, Cpl Steve Welsh and Cpl Matt Chinn were tasked as fire pickets. Proving
the old adage that a Calgary Highlander performs all his duties, even the mundane ones,
to the best of his abilities, these intrepid soldiers discovered in the course of
their rounds that the door to the Officer's Mess was insecure. Entering the mess to
investigate, as duty bound them to do, they found the stand of Regimental Colours in the
unlocked mess. Knowing the importance to a Regiment of their Colours - without doubt
an Infantry unit's most prized possession - the two stalwart NCOs quickly secured the
room. When asked to comment, the two Highlanders could only offer a sincere "we
were just doing our duty." The Loyal Edmonton Regiment has a long history
in the Province of Alberta and unlike the professional football and hockey clubs of the
province's two largest cities, any reports of a rivalry between these two proud infantry
regiments are greatly exaggerated.
Safe and Sound
Friday 27 January 2006
Warrant Officer Martin Woods
Warrant Officer Woods has arrived back in
Canada from a six month operational deployment to Afghanistan; photos and information to
follow shortly. Meanwhile, other Calgary Highlanders have recently begun deploying
to the region as individual augmentees to Regular Force units, details to follow as they
Wednesday 18 January 2006
|Master Corporal Mike Kotuk
Former Calgary Highlander Mike Kotuk, now serving as a
Master Corporal in Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, reports by email that
although his section was the one attacked by the suicide bomber this week, his vehicle was
not involved in the incident. Kotuk appeared on the cover of the Calgary Herald
today (centre) as pallbearer for Mr. Glyn Berry, the diplomat killed in the incident on 15
January 2006. At right of the photo is Corporal Paul Rhodes, son of former Pipe
Major Dusty Rhodes and brother of Corporal Joel Rhodes, who recently left the Highlanders
for the Air Force. Paul Rhodes is a former trooper in the KOCR who is now a Material
Technician stationed in CFB Petawawa with the Regular Force.
Photo By MCpl Robert
Bottrill, Canadian Forces Combat Camera
Master Corporal Kotuk, second
from right, with the rest of 3 Section, 4 Platoon, "B" Company of 3 PPCLI, taken
on 23 November 2005 in Kandahar.
Injured soldiers in the attack were: front row kneeling (L-R) Corporal
Jeffrey Bailey, and to the right of him Master Corporal Paul Franklin. Back Row 3rd from
left is Private William Salikin. A bomb was detonated close to their vehicle,
severely injuring all three and killing Mr. Glyn Berry, a Political Director, from Foreign
Affairs Canada who was embedded with the Provincial Reconstruction Team.
From the DND website: 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.
Wednesday, 11 January 2006
2Lt Gavin Mills
Congratulations to Corporal Haywood on his
promotion. Corporal Haywood is currently undergoing Leadership training on the
Primary Leadership Qualification course being run by The Calgary Highlanders.
Lieutenant Colonel Manley, at left, filled
the Regiment in on upcoming exercises in the United States to practice the art of urban
operations (house-to-house fighting) and upcoming deployments overseas.