The annual All Ranks Christmas Dinner was held on 15 December 2012. Photos and information will be provided on the website as it is made available to the webmaster. Three presentations of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal were made to the following:
S. Cox, CD
presentations included B. Forrest's promotion to Sergeant,
Lieutenant Fletcher's commissioning scroll, and the first clasp to
the CD to Captain P. Boyle.
The Calgary Highlanders once again followed the tradition established in recent years and paraded at the Cenotaph at Central Memorial Park in downtown Calgary. Wreaths were laid on behalf of community organizations in memory of Canadian soldiers who died on active service in conflicts dating from the South African War of 1899-1902 to the current war in Afghanistan. (Photo at right courtesy of Mr. Gavin Mills.)
A number of presentations were also made to members of the unit on Remembrance Day.
Sergeant J.M.R. Hutchison received the General Campaign Star - South West Asia and Rotation Bar, recognizing a minimum of 180 days service in Afghanistan.
Warrant Officer T.G. Afflick received the Clasp to the Canadian Forces Decoration, recognizing 22 years of service and good conduct.
Several members of The Calgary Highlanders also received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Full details of the Queen's Jubilee Medals and awards to Calgary Highlanders, including citations, are available at the following link:
Soldiers of The Calgary Highlanders recognized on Remembrance Day included:
Lieutenant Colonel M.J. Owens, CD
- Commanding Officer. LCol Owens has served in the Regiment as a
junior rank and in all officer ranks from Officer Cadet to
Lieutenant Colonel. His career has included overseas service with
CWO R.S. Besse, CD
- Regimental Sergeant Major. The nomination stated: "For dedication
to the unit and community, and constant effort to support the
soldiers of his unit. His willingness at a drop of a hat to take
time off work to greet returning soldiers from overseas defines what
a true leader really is."
Two soldiers of The
Calgary Highlanders were also presented with the Queen's Diamond
Jubilee Medal at the Army Ball in Ottawa.
Fred Mannix was awarded the Vimy Award on 9 November 12 at the
Conference of Defence Associations Institute Annual Dinner. The Vimy
Award was initiated in 1991 by the Conference of Defence
Associations Institute. The award is made annually to recognize one
Canadian who has "made a significant and outstanding contribution to
the defence and security of our nation and preservation of our
democratic values." The Award honours the bravery and sacrifices of
the Canadian soldiers who were victorious at the Battle of Vimy
Ridge in April of 1917. Fighting together for the first time, the
battle won by the four divisions of the Canadian Corps brought
global recognition to the nation’s arms and declared Canada a young
nation entitled to a place at the councils of the world. The Calgary
Highlanders include Vimy, 1917 as one of their battle
On 29 September 2012, Senior Officers of the 4th Battalion of The Royal Regiment of Scotland met with serving and retired members of The Calgary Highlanders. The 4th Battalion of The Royal Regiment of Scotland presented a Pipe Banner to Lieutenant Colonel Michael Owens, Commanding Officer of The Calgary Highlanders. The link between The Royal Regiment of Scotland and The Calgary Highlanders is one that has existed for more than 85 years and is reinforced with this meeting. The 4th Battalion of The Royal Regiment of Scotland perpetuate the history and traditions of The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (Princess Louise's), with who The Calgary Highlanders forged an alliance in 1925.
On 27 June 2012, Brigadier-General J.C.G. Juneau, OMM, MSM, CD took command of Land Force Western Area/Joint Task Force West, and paid his first official visit to Mewata Armouries during unit parade night on 26 September. He did a quick tour of unit lines and addressed both The King's Own Calgary Regiment (RCAC) and The Calgary Highlanders individually. He also took the opportunity to present Commander's Coins to individuals nominated by the units as a token of appreciation for individual achievement. Recipients from The Calgary Highlanders included (and the citations below were read out on parade):
Former Regimental Sergeant Major Bill Toews, the last serving soldier of The Calgary Highlanders to have seen active service in the Korean War, was recognized on 25 September 2012 by Veterans Affairs Canada. CWO (ret.) Toews was RSM from 1985 to 1988 and was a Member of the Order of Military Merit.
From the official VAC backgrounder:
The official citation reads:
J.T. Toussaint leaves the military after over twenty years of service, having been an infantryman with Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry and The Canadian Airborne Regiment, with multiple overseas tours in Cyprus, the Middle East, former Yugoslavia, and Afghanistan to his credit. For the last three years at Mewata Armouries, as a reservist, he was known for his "can-do" attitude, willingness to share his experience and wisdom with younger soldiers, and as a member of the ASC, work out difficult administrative problems even if they fell outside his personal area of expertise or job function.
Three Calgary Highlanders travelled to Dieppe, France, as part of a large contingent of Canadian Forces soldiers and veterans of the raid on 19 August 1942 to mark the 70th Anniversary of the historic event.
Return to Dieppe
In mid-August 2012, the Canadian Forces sent a ceremonial contingent to Dieppe, France to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid in 19 August 1942. Dieppe was the darkest day in Canadian military history, as the fishing and resort city was the site of a crushing defeat for Allied forces. During the Dieppe Raid, 6000 Canadians alongside 1000 British commandos landed on Dieppe’s pebbled beaches in a bold attack on Nazi-occupied France.
During our trip the aim of the raid was explained by the historian David O’Keefe who argued that German intelligence was the main objective of the raid. The raid called for the element of surprise and the cover of darkness in the early hours of 19 August to gain control of the beaches. But a naval skirmish in the English Channel delayed the attack by 20 minutes which exposed the attackers to the daylight. Of the Canadians, over 900 were killed and over 1900 were captured as prisoners in this calamity. The CF contingent was made up of units that traced their lineage back to this battle. The Calgary Highlanders sent three soldiers to represent our regiment, myself, Warrant Officer Paul Holland, and Corporal Shea Johnston. During the raid the Calgary Highlanders had sent a mortar platoon to participate in the raid. Ultimately they were unable to disembark from their transport ships, though members of this mortar platoon were able to shoot down a German aircraft.
Members of the CF ceremonial contingent were able to attain a more complete understanding of this battle through a battlefield tour hosted by the Directorate of History and Heritage (DHH). We visited the nearby town of Pourville-sur-Mer, which was the landing site for The South Saskatchewan Regiment, and The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada. Additionally, we visited the nearby town of Puys whose beach was the landing site for The Royal Regiment of Canada. At both of these sites we were able to physically observe from the towering German positions high up in the hills and the cliffs the Canadian landing sites. It became clear that by commanding the higher ground, the Germans were able to hold the initiative during this battle and it was starkly clear to us how the calamity that was the Dieppe Raid could have occurred. The Germans had perfect and clear enfiladed lines of fire onto the beaches where the Canadians had landed in daylight. In the town of Dieppe itself, the dominating cliff that watches over the town was still lined with German bunkers and pill boxes. These old German defences stood as a solemn reminder to our current generation of the great difficulties which Canadian troops had to endure 70 years ago.
On Sunday, 19 August 2012, at the Square Du Canada, thousands of Dieppe’s residents had poured out into the streets to welcome the CF contingent as they marched to the remembrance ceremony. The three hour parade in the blisteringly hot French summer was professionally executed by the troops. Afterwards we attended a lunch hosted by the French Marines whose commander was very welcoming of the CF contingent. Be that as it may, the best part of the trip had to be the opportunity to talk with the veterans of the Dieppe Raid who are now in their nineties. Hearing their harrowing stories of events that had occurred 70 years ago was a priceless opportunity because the numbers of veterans of the Second World War among us are unfortunately dwindling year after year. I was very fortunate to go on this trip as a member of the Canadian honour guard. From my experiences on this trip, I came to the conclusion that it is up to our current generation of soldiers to ensure that the legacies of our veterans are not forgotten. War reflects the society that conducts it; what the Dieppe Raid reflects is a Canadian society that this bold and nothing short of courageous.
Congratulations to Corporal David Nguyen who successfully defended the honour of the regiment in an inter-service competition sponsored by the 41 CBG public affairs staff on site at the Stampede Grounds. Each year, the Canadian Forces provides personnel to the Stampede for the 10 days of the event to man static displays, answer questions about recruiting, and other interactions with the community. On Friday, July 13, 2012, the following article appeared in The Calgary Sun, after representatives of the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army, and Royal Canadian Air Force competed in a friendly zipline race - in uniform - on the grounds. Calgary Highlanders Corporal Nguyen represented both the regiment and the Army, and came in first:
They’ve got each other’s backs, always, but Thursday morning the battle was on between the Canadian army, navy and air force. All Stampede, they’ve been engaging the public on the grounds, but also eyeing the zipline ride passing over them. And then they decided to see who would win in a race between the three.
“This should be interesting, get a good sight of what we’ve been looking at from ground level,” said Capt. Mike O’Kane of the 403 Air Squadron. Cpl. David Nguyen of the army’s Calgary Highlanders unit said he was just glad he didn’t have to wear his kilt. Meanwhile, Main Seaman Adam Biggs of HMCS Tecumseh was actually relying on his shiny white uniform and his shinier belt buckle to win through diversion tactics. In the end, it was the man worrying about flashing the people below him who took the win, tearing down the zipline with a considerable gap between him and the other two.
“I’m just going to throw myself down and hope for the best,” said Nguyen, just before his victory.
O’Kane, Nguyen and Biggs are on the grounds all Stampede, along with many others from the Canadian military, showing a bit of who they are and what they do to the public. It’s a long-standing presence at the Stampede, and part of Operation: Connection. “I think it’s very important to allow everyone to know that they are their neighbours,” said Lt. Vance Gough, public relations officers with HMCS Tecumseh. “These are people they work with — they go to university together, their kids play hockey together.”
And for those who are interested in all the gear the military gets to work with they’ve brought a lot of that along as well. From vehicles such as helicopters, boats and tanks, to smaller and far more intricate gear such as explosive detection drones. Gough said it’s good to see the real deal, up close, be able to poke at it and ask questions, and that a lot of people do. “We feel honoured to be here, and to have that opportunity to connect with Canadians,” said Gough.
Brigadier-General O'Brien was the guest of honour in the Officers' Mess on Friday, 20 April, for the annual St. Julien's Officers' Mess Dinner. He was joined by Major Ray Ansell, who accompanied the general on his trip from Ottawa.
On Saturday, 21 April, The Calgary Highlanders exercised their right to the Freedom of the City of Calgary and marched with bayonets fixed, colour flying and drums beating to City Hall, led by the Regimental Pipes and Drums. The Old Guard fell in at the Calgary Public Library and the traditional lament and wreath laying were conducted at the regimental plaque on the Old City Hall, erected by surviving members of the 10th Battalion after the First World War.
The Regiment marched back to the Armouries down Stephen Avenue Mall, where the Regimental Association conducted its Annual General Meeting. A brief awards ceremony was conducted, and the regiment adjourned to the annual all-ranks St. Julien's Dinner.
The awards for the 2011 calendar year were bestowed as follows (the complete listing can be found on the awards page):
Two other presentations were also made; RSM Besse presented a pace stick to former RSM Kelly on behalf of the Warrant Officers and Senior NCOs as a parting gift from the regiment. Sergeant Moreau presented a plaque to the commanding officer on behalf of the hockey team, marking the 9th annual hockey game against the BATUS Lions.
The regiment has learned of the passing of Leo Lehman, who had served with The Calgary Highlanders in the Second World War. The family passes on the following notice:
As noted, Mr. Lehman served with the 1st Battalion overseas. The family also noted with pride his mention in the March 5, 1945 edition of the Canadian Army's overseas newspaper, The Maple Leaf:
They Discovered He Was Wounded After
Courageous Deed Was Done
Leo Lehman was awarded the Military Medal; the citation read:
The Regiment offers its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Leo Edmond Lehman on their loss.
Story by Corporal Kevin Knight
On January 26th, three lucky members of the Calgary Highlanders had the opportunity to live every man’s dream, playing against the very NHL heroes they grew up watching and idolizing as young players. The first annual Heroes Hockey Challenge, an event started to raise money and awareness for the Wounded Warriors Fund, was held right here in Calgary. Warrant Officer Christopher Tucker, Master Corporal Cody Martin and Corporal Kevin Knight, along with 14 other military members representing units across Western Canada, played in the charity hockey game against the Calgary Flames alumni. The game, held at the Scotiabank Saddledome, was one of six games planned to be played across Canada. With a crowd of 1,000 plus looking on, the Heroes team took to the ice and played in what was to become one of the greatest hockey moments of their lives. As the National anthem played and the opening ceremonies began, the Heroes team was fixated on their opponents, not with a look of intimidation but with a look of amazement . Standing across from them were some of the finest players that have ever played the game, All-Stars, Stanley Cup champions, and superstars who played for many years right here in Calgary. Names such as Joel Otto, Ron Stern, Perry Berezan, Jim Peplinski, Colin Patterson and Tiger Williams, to name a few. The first period got under way with the Flames alumni getting out to a quick start and an early lead. “It was funny to watch a bunch of grown men looking like little kids. Standing there in awe as their idols skated by, only to realize that they were actually playing in same game” said one Hero fan. The second period saw a better performance from the Heroes team, but by game’s end, the Heroes couldn’t manage enough of a come-back and lost in a 10-6 final. However, with smiles on their faces and continuous laughter from every player the teams shook hands in a traditional fashion and posed for a group photo, both teams showing a mutual respect for one another, as opponents on the ice and as individual Heroes who represent the finest traditions this country has to offer, Hockey and the Forces.
On Wednesday, 15 February 2012, two long serving warrant officers were promoted.
Master Warrant Officer Chris Tucker
Chris Tucker has served with The Calgary Highlanders for many years, as a rifleman, section commander, company quartermaster sergeant, and has been the Company Sergeant Major of "A" Company in the rank of Warrant Officer until his formal promotion to MWO.
Master Warrant Officer Glenn Fedoruk
Glenn Fedoruk came to the regiment after service with several western Canadian militia infantry units, and has been active in a number of extra-regimental employments in addition to duties such as company quartermaster sergeant, operations and training NCO, and Small Arms Trainer instructor.
On Wednesday, 18 January, the formal change of appointment ceremony took place in which the appointment of Regimental Sergeant Major of The Calgary Highlanders was passed from Chief Warrant Officer Emmett Kelly, CD to Chief Warrant Officer Robert Besse, CD. The latter has been acting in the capacity of RSM for a period of time, since CWO Kelly left for an overseas mission in Sierra Leone.
The official sign-over and passing of the RSM's pace stick was done on a formal parade, with an inspection by the Deputy Commander of 41 Canadian Brigade Group, Lieutenant Colonel Martin J. Delaney.
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