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TRANSITIONS 2014 (link to 2014 calendar)

All Ranks - Serving and Former
VIP Parade 10 January 2015

On Saturday, 10 January 2015 at 08:30hrs a VIP will be on hand to make a special presentation to The Calgary Highlanders at Mewata Armouries. A call is being made for maximum attendance on parade. This includes all current serving members as well as former members serving with other units. Veterans and retired soldiers, family members and members of the public are invited to attend the parade. Details of the event cannot be released at this time.

Serving soldiers are advised to contact their chain of command for further details. Dress will be DEU with whites and weapons. Further details will be supplied as they are made available.

Silent Night
8 November 2014

The webmaster received the following note from Cenovus Energy, a reminder of links between the Regiment and the community:

The Commanding Officer was hosted by Cenovus Energy Inc. at Calgary Opera’s production of Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell’s Pulitzer Prize winning opera Silent Night on November 8th at the Southern Jubilee Auditorium. The opera, inspired by true events, tells the story of a spontaneous truce on Christmas Eve 1914 when combatant troops laid down their weapons to celebrate the holiday together and bury their dead.

Gregory W. Stone, DPhil.

Also in attendance with the C.O. was retired Colonel Robert S. Millar, OMM, CD, founding President of the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute. Calgary Highlanders will remember his as the Commander of Southern Alberta Militia District and the C.O. of The King's Own Calgary Regiment.

Clan of the Gallant Canadians
27 November 2014

On 27 November 2014 the Naval Museums of Alberta played host to an event at which volunteers of The Military Museums were recognized. The Military Museums is an umbrella institution of which The Calgary Highlanders Regimental Museum and Archives is a component organization. At the event Mr. Mike Henry was recognized for his service to the Museum by his admission to the Clan of the Gallant Canadians in the rank of Chieftain. (More information on the Clan of the Gallant Canadians can be found at this link.) The rank of Chieftain is the second highest, and the award is made for meritorious service to The Calgary Highlanders over an extended period. The insignia of the clan was presented by Lieutenant-Colonel K. Clapperton, Commanding Officer, and Regimental Sergeant Major C. Tucker. The citation is noted below:

Mr. Mike Henry (Head Archivist): Mike Henry has been a volunteer at The Calgary Highlanders Regimental Museum and Archives since 2001.  In that time, he has filled a number of positions in support of the Museums activities.  Most notably, he has been for many years, the Head Archivist at the Museum.  His duties include handling enquiries from the public, managing the acceptance, cataloguing and storage of the large amount of documents received at the museum and advising on preservation of materials.  In an average month, the archives team receives approximately 10 enquires that requires research, scanning of information and communication.  Mike routinely assists the families of past Regimental members in the research of their family members’ service as well as working with education institutions for more complex research. Mike Henry volunteers approximately 400 hours per year to the Museum which since he has started, equals approximately 5000 hours of volunteer service.  For this incredible commitment to the preservation of the history of The Calgary Highlanders, Mike Henry is nominated for a Chieftain level award within the Clan of the Gallant Canadians.


Return to "Historic" Officers' Rank Insignia
10 December 2014

On 8 July 2013 the Minister of National Defence announced that the Canadian Army would restore a number of rank titles and badges, consistent with that worn in the pre-Unification (1968) period. Officers of The Calgary Highlanders were designated in that period by the use of star and crown insignia of various sequences on daily duty dress. This insignia did not disappear following Unification, and has remained in use with Mess Dress and the ceremonial coatee worn by the regimental Colour Party. On most forms of uniform, a Canadian Forces insignia common to all three branches was adopted, with rank denoted by a sequence of bars. The restoration of the star and crown insignia on all forms of dress has been phased in throughout the Canadian Army, replacing the "Canadian Forces" pattern of bar insignia. On Wednesday, 10 December 2014, officers of the regiment wore the "new" insignia on duty dress as a group for the first time on their CADPAT uniforms.

Coincidentally, the insignia is rendered in a new "high visibility" colour that is shared with new insignia for non-commissioned ranks who received the initial issue of their new insignia on 10 December as well.

The return to "historic" rank insignia aligns the officers with practice in many militaries around the world who wear similar star and device insignia, as well as public service organizations in Canada such as RCMP, municipal police, and EMS services who also denote rank for senior leadership with similar insignia.


Under the watchful gaze of the portrait of the Colonel-in-Chief, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, officers of The Calgary Highlanders assemble in the C.O.'s office to don the "new" rank insignia for the first time on Wednesday, 10 December 2014.
Back row (left to right): Capt M. ter Kuile (Officer Commanding "HQ" Company); Lieutenant D. ter Kuile (Finance Officer); 2nd Lieutenant C. Uttley ("A" Company); 2nd Lieutenant J. Hill ("A" Company); 2nd Lieutenant C. Fraser ("A" Company); Captain J. Leek (Regimental Adjutant); Captain S. Zivkow (Regimental Support Staff, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry - Adjutant).
Front row (left to right): Major R. Palmer (Officer Commanding "A" Company); Lieutenant-Colonel K. Clapperton (Commanding Officer); Major A. Beauchamp (Operations Officer); Major P. Boyle (Regimental Major/Museum Curator)

Painting of Lieutenant-Colonel Ross Laird Ellis, DSO, CD
October 2014

At the annual Officers' Mess dinner commemorating the Battle of Walcheren Causeway, a special presentation was made of a painting of former commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Ross Ellis, who commanded the 1st Battalion, Calgary Highlanders during the battle in October 1944. A copy of the remarks made at the event by Mister Greg Stone, who paid for the commission, follow (see also photo following the remarks):

Remarks on the occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of the Walcheren Causeway and the unveiling of the portrait of Lt. Col. Ross Laird Ellis, DSO, CD:

Thank you, Lieutenant Colonel and good evening Your Honour, honoured guests, officers and friends of the Regiment all.

This was a collaborative project and it would not have come to fruition had it not been for the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Clapperton, noting the opportunity to contribute to the Regiment’s history and fabric at the St. Julien Officers’ Mess dinner in April, earlier this year. Nor would it have been carried out to the exacting high standards the Regiment is known for had it not been for the significant personal involvement of Lieutenant Colonel Clapperton and Major Peter Boyle. Both freely donated their time, energy, expertise and historical knowledge to ensure the artist, Mr. Jamie Morris, had the written and photographic records necessary to accurately produce an image of Lieutenant Colonel Ross Laird Ellis. What is more, they secured the participation of Lieutenant Colonel Ellis’s family and friends, some of whom are here this evening, and the value of their input is, I think, evident in the finished product.

With these resources, Mr. Morris has done more than replicate the image of a man who commanded the Regiment at a pivotal moment in its history and in the course of the Second World War. He has, I believe, also captured elements of Lieutenant Colonel Ellis’s character - his good nature, his good humour and his near mythical brand of leadership which depended more upon his own sterling example, in combat and out of it, rather than solely upon the authority his command afforded him.

I would like to conclude with some comment on why this project, and supporting the Regiment more generally, is important to me.

I believe there is no greater example of what it means to be a Canadian citizen than the reserve soldier. On the streets of Calgary, today and every day, there are men and women with careers, children, families, interests, sports and hobbies they like to pursue in their spare time –  they enjoy the tacit benefits of being a Canadian citizen and they do so in safety and security. The officers of the Regiment here tonight and the men and women under their command, have the same responsibilities and demands upon their time, but they surely differ in placing the common good above their personal entitlement to likewise fully enjoy the rights and privileges of citizenship. They recognize that our rights come at a cost; that they are attended by a significant responsibility to preserve and maintain them, and they sacrifice their time, their energy, in some cases their relationships, and sometimes their personal safety to do so on behalf of us all. They give, that we may have. I believe it is the duty, then, of average citizens, such as myself – the beneficiaries of the hard work and daily sacrifice of our reserve soldiers – to be ever mindful of their contribution and appreciate and support them however and whenever we can – in times of peace and concord, as much as in times of war and trouble.

I hope, therefore, that when you look on this portrait of an extraordinary Calgary Highlander, you see one of the shining lights of what the Regiment has been; you feel confident in what the Regiment is today as descendant of that high example; and you are inspired for what the Regiment must become tomorrow. I hope also that you see in this portrait the humble thanks of an average citizen, for you, Canada’s most extraordinary citizens.

I will close by saying that whatever the Regiment needs, it need only ask its friends. I and others in this room will find a way or we will make a way to move the Regiment forward on its objectives. That is our job. That is what we can do to recognize all that you do and to allow you to focus on your priorities – training soldiers, standing on guard for Canada. I hope that you will not hesitate to put us into service.

Again, thank you for allowing me to be here with you tonight and thank you for the opportunity to be a part of this amazing project. May God, good fortune, and a good scotch keep you, always. Good night.

Mr. Jamie Morris (artist), Ms. Leslie Ellis (Lt-Col Ellis' daughter), Mr. Greg Stone (donor).

Corporal (ret.) Lyle Ricker
November 2014

The Calgary Highlanders made a visit to an old comrade while the regiment was in Wainwright for an exercise on the weekend of 14-16 November 2014. Lyle Ricker, a resident of Wainwright, had written to the unit expressing his desire to make contact with the regiment he had once served in with the rank of corporal. The Canadian Forces Base at Wainwright is a familiar setting for the unit's training and the Commanding Officer took full advantage of a trip to visit Mr. Ricker. Photographed at right are (rear row) Master Corporal M. Irwin (Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant), Master Warrant Officer G. Downey (Company Sergeant Major "HQ" Company) and (front row) Chief Warrant Officer C. Tucker (RSM), former Corporal Lyle Ricker and the Commanding Officer K. Clapperton.

Lyle Ricker currently lives in the Wainwright Health Centre. He joined the Canadian Army in 1943 at the age of nineteen and joined The Calgary Highlanders as a reinforcement in the autumn of 1944 after the Normandy fighting. He served in "B" Company under Major "Knobby" Clarke then with Support Company as part of the Mortar Platoon during the Walcheren Causeway fighting. He served in the unit until V-E Day in May 1945. He was transferred to the 4th Battalion, The Regina Rifle Regiment as part of the Canadian Army Occupation Force where he stayed until April 1946.

At the age of 89, he reports that his mobility has been reduced, most recently by a broken hip, but he is still healthy and still enjoys shooting and hunting - including two tags he plans to use by the end of November. The Commanding Officer's party spent four hours with him, describing him as sharp of mind and witty - a Calgary Highlander in other words - and commanded the room with entertaining stories of his war service which were remembered in great detail. He continues to be proud of his war time service with The Calgary Highlanders, and wears the glengarry and cap badge proudly with his medals. He attended Remembrance Day services this year in Wainwright as shown at right (photo from It is hoped that Lyle will be interviewed soon as part of the Regimental Museum's ongoing project of documenting veterans' experiences for posterity.

Remembrance Day
11 November 2014

The Calgary Highlanders contribute to a number of ceremonies and observances related to Remembrance Day every year. The main focus of the regiment's activities is the regimental ceremony at Central Memorial Park, a tradition revived in recent years. A regimental vigil party guards the cenotaph while a traditional service of remembrance is conducted by the unit followed by wreath laying at the cenotaph by numerous community groups. The 2014 service was marked by especially cold weather and modified dress appropriate for the occasion.

Photos courtesy of LCol F.L. Villiger. Click to enlarge

Lieutenant-Colonel K. Clapperton leads The Calgary Highlanders into position at the cenotaph at Central Memorial Park.
Major S. Cox, Deputy Commanding Officer, on parade with the unit. Major Cox was Mentioned in Despatches during combat service in Afghanistan and more recently was recognized by the United States Army for outstanding service as an exchange officer with the Texas Army National Guard.
Master Warrant Officer G. Downey on parade with the regiment at Central Memorial Park.
Regimental vigil party at the cenotaph at Central Memorial Park. The Colonel Belcher veteran's hospital was situated directly across the street for many years until its recent relocation to northwest Calgary. The Sheldon M. Chumir Health Centre currently sits on the site of the former Colonel Belcher Hospital.
Regimental Sergeant Major C. Tucker on parade.
Troops of The Calgary Highlanders on parade at Central Memorial Park.
Cadets from affiliated Cadet Corps assist with the wreath laying.
Wreaths laid on behalf of community and military organizations, as well as floral tributes from private citizens in memory of fallen soldiers.
The Calgary Highlanders march off parade and depart for Mewata Armouries.

M12455 Private C.P. Buhler

During the research for the 2010 Centennial projects, including the Calgary Soldiers' Memorial, the Regimental Museum and Archives came across information related to the war grave of Private C.P. Buhler, who was killed in action on the 25th of July 1944. While records indicated that he had been a soldier with The Calgary Highlanders, his war grave had a marker indicating he belonged to The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission website, as of this writing, in fact still lists him as a member of that regiment.

Further research by the Regimental Museum and communication with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission led to a correction being made and a new headstone being emplaced on the war grave of Private Buhler. Regimental Museum Curator Major Peter Boyle took the photograph at right in October 2014 at Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery where Private Buhler was laid to rest with 2,957 other war dead.

The reasons for the error are unknown but context is provided by realizing that on the 25th of July 1944, over 300 soldiers of the Black Watch became casualties after a disastrous attack on the Verrières Ridge during Operation SPRING. Medical facilities would no doubt have been taxed to their limit, as the high casualty toll represented the fighting strength of an entire battalion. The confusion that existed in the treatment and collection facilities can only be imagined.

Thanks to the efforts of the Regimental Museum and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Private Buhler's final resting place has now been correctly identified.

Honorary Colonel (ret.) Fred Mannix, OC, AOE, CD
15 October 2014

In May 2014 it was announced that retired Honorary Colonel Fred Mannix had been admitted to the Alberta Order of Excellence, bringing total membership in the Order to 140. The official investiture will take place on 15 October 2014. More details are available at the Government of Alberta website here.

Cadet Chief Warrant Officer Teegan Kenneth Martin (3016 RCACC)Canada's Most Outstanding Army Cadet
8 August 2014

The Army Cadet League of Canada (ACLC) and the Royal Canadian Legion named Cadet Chief Warrant Officer Teegan Kenneth Martin Canada's Most Oustanding Army Cadet and presented Martin with the 2014 General Walsh Memorial Sword. C/CWO Martin is the senior cadet and RSM of 3016 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps, the affiliate cadet corps of The Calgary Highlanders in Airdrie. The entire news release may be downloaded here.

The award was based on various recommendation letters received by community leaders, his Commanding Officer, teachers and others and reflects on his leadership, organizational ability, progression in the cadet system, and involvement in the community. As the recipient of the Walsh Memorial Sword, C/CWO Martin will travel to Ottawa as a guest of the Royal Canadian Legion at the National Remembrance Day ceremony, as part of the Vice-Regal party. He will meet the Governor General and Chief of the Defence Staff at the Luncheon for the Silver Cross Mother at Rideau Hall following the ceremony.

Martin Middlebrook
16 September 2014

“Up The Line and Back Again” is an evening with Martin Middlebrook presented by The Calgary Highlanders, to take place at The Military Museums Tuesday,16 September 2014.

Cost: By cash donation
Time: Doors open at 1800 (For Museum tours) Talk starts at 1930
Topic: Acclaimed historian and author Martin Middlebrook is being hosted by The Calgary Highlanders to speak about mobilization, deployment and repatriation of Soldiers during the First World War.
RSVP: Seating is limited and RSVPs are required. Please contact Major Peter Boyle at or 403.470.7091 if you have questions or to RSVP.

More information is available in the pdf announcement here. The 2014 calendar has also been updated.

Last Post
Stanley Melville Anderson

From Gary and Bessie Haskett, family of Stanley Anderson, the following letter was received by the Commanding Officer:

I am writing to inform you of (Stanley Melville Anderson's) passing on July 13, 2014. Stanley fought with the Calgary Highlanders in (the Second World War) and was proud and honoured to sere Canada with one of the world's finest fighting regiments. He spoke very highly of the Calgary Highlanders and was especially proud to be with the regiment in June of 1990 during Queen Elizabeth II's inspection of the (Old Guard) after the parade. That made him especially proud because Stanley was a United Empire Loyalist. He took a photo of the Queen as she was approaching a gentleman in a wheelchair to shake his had.

Again, I am deeply sorry to inform you that Stanley Melville Anderson has passed away at the age of 96.  Born May 30, 1918. Died July 13. 2014...He was the second youngest of nine children and the second last to die. He is survived by my mother, who turned 91 in April of this year.

When Stanley was 90 he wrote his autobiography on an old typewriter that did not have the capital "I", which is (fitting) because he hated talking about himself.

The regiment passes on its condolences to the family and friend of Stanley Melville Anderson.




Corporals Avelino and Danenas
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
August 2014

The commander of the National Sentry Program passed on the following regarding Corporal O. Avelino and Corporal P. Danenas who recently returned from a tasking with the National Sentry Program.

Your soldiers did an excellent job guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial.  They represented your unit and the Canadian Army very well and were a pleasure to work with.

Attached is a photo of Corporals Avelino and Danenas on post guarding the Tomb.  While in Ottawa, they met the Commander of the Canadian Army and Canadian Army Sergeant Major, the 4th Canadian Division Commander and Sergeant Major, as well as Canadian Joint Operations Command Deputy Commander, Continental Operations, and all were delighted and impressed with their professionalism.

The National Sentry Program is part of the ceremonial fabric of the national capital. While the Changing of the Guard on Parliament Hill is well known to visitors, a new addition to public duties is the sentry duty at the National Cenotaph. Members of the Canadian Armed Forces perform sentry duty at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from  April 9 to November 10 between the hours of 09:00 and 17:00, as well as on other significant military anniversaries.

More information on the National Sentry Program can be found on the Government of Canada website here.

Major Simon Cox
Order of Saint Maurice
August 2014

Major Simon Cox has been recognized by the United States Army by being admitted to the Order of St. Maurice. The citation notes:

The Order of Saint Maurice Award recognizes individuals who have contributed significantly to the Infantry in ways that stand out in the eyes of the recipients seniors, subordinates and peers. These individuals have also demonstrated the highest standards of integrity and morale character, an outstanding degree of professional competence, and have served the United States Army Infantry or the Infantry community with distinction.

Appearing before a most judicious and discriminating committee of tried and proven Army Infantrymen and Infantry Patriots, be it known that Major Simon Cox was tested and found worthy of special recognition. Therefore, the Chief of Infantry and the President of the National Infantry Association inducts him into the Honorable Order of Saint Maurice for Outstanding Contributions to the Infantry.

Major Cox was recognized for outstanding service to the Infantry as a senior staff officer with the 72nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team Headquarters, Texas Army National Guard, where he served as the Chief of Plans and later Chief of Operations from 2012 to August 2014.

Major Cox had previously been Mentioned in Despatches for actions under fire in Afghanistan while serving as a Canadian mentor to the Afghan National Army.

Those wishing to read more about the order of St Maurice can visit the following:


Major Cox on the occasion of his farewell to the 72nd IBCT. The famous "T-Patch" of the 36th "Texas" Division is in evidence. The 72nd is
a component of that formation.

Major Cox presents a miniauture set of Regimental Colours to the 72nd IBCT, at left, and at right is presented the insignia
of the Order of St. Maurice. There are five levels of the Order, with the rank of Peregrinus reserved for foreign
soldiers serving with the U.S. Army Infantry.


Last Post
Lieutenant Albert Gerald Richards

From Frances Forrest-Richards:

Enclosed is the obituary of my husband, former Lieut. Albert Gerald Richards, that appeared in the Globe and Mail:

Born: Calgary, Alta 17 December 1921 Died: Victoria, BC 13 October 2013

We are very sorry to announce the death of Dr. A.G. (Jerry) Richards in Victoria, B.C. on 13.10.2013 after a long, active and healthy life.

He served in WWII with the Calgary Highlanders and the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry from 1939-1944. He was wounded a number of times, lastly at the Moro River near Ortona in Italy in December 1943.

A graduate of the University of Alberta Medical School (Gold Medalist) in 1950, he trained at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and Addenbrooks Hospital in Cambridge, England; practiced Internal Medicine in New Westminster until 1970; then retrained in nuclear medicine and ran the Nuclear Medicine department at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria until 1987, then at the Vancouver General Hospital until his retirement from active practice in 1990.

Survived by his wife of nearly 65 years, Dr. Frances Forrest-Richards of Victoria, B.C., his three children: Megan (Brussels), John (Toronto), Elizabeth (Prince George); their respective spouses: Tassos Belessiotis, Mary Lou Santos, Trevor Nelson; and his grandchildren: Clara Belessiotis-Richards, Katherine Belessiotis-Richards, Alexis Belessiotis-Richards, Kate Nelson and Graham Richards, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

He will be sorely missed for his wry sense of humour, his encyclopedic memory, literary and musical knowledge and skills (quoting poetry, even late in life), love of nature and the outdoors – he lived his life fully.

Some additional notes from Tim Walshaw, former Calgary Highlander and currently serving with PPCLI:

Major Steve Sawyer and I attended the memorial service at Victoria Golf Club representing (Dr. Richard's) service with the PPCLI and Calgary Highlanders respectively. Mister Richards joined the Calgary Highlanders underage and lied about his age to deploy overseas on mobilization. He was part of the Calgary Highlanders mortar platoon and discovered a new way to use the mortar, leading him to miss Dieppe (the mortar platoon embarked but didn't see action) as he was explaining what became a Pamphlet amendment. Selected for officer training he transferred to PPCLI and was wounded twice in 1943, being repatriated in December '43 after being seriously wounded at the Moro River. His injury was serious enough that his survival was in question. The doctors who saved his life inspired him to study medicine. Dr Richards was a pioneer in nuclear medicine in Victoria for decades.

Major Sawyer and I never knew the man but at the request of his family were able to paint a picture of what his wartime service would have entailed... This man lived a full life and the service and reception lasted approximately three hours. Both Major Sawyer and I were thanked several times by family members. I was told by many friends and family that the (Canadian Forces') continuing effort to have representation at funerals is appreciated and retains our institution in high esteem. Dr. Richards' widow Francis was particularly appreciative of our presence.  

Last Post
Albert Wood

From the President of the Calgary Highlanders Association:

We regret to announce that Albert Wood, a Calgary Highlander and Second World War veteran, passed away on 29 June at the age of 89.

Albert, a native of Lac du Bonnet Manitoba, joined the Canadian Army during 1943 and found himself in the Calgary Highlanders. He fought from the Unit's landing in Normandy on 6 July 1944 until being severely wounded on 26 August as the Canadian Army pushed towards the Seine River. The German Army was withdrawing across the river but determined rearguard units - many composed of elite units of paratroopers or the SS - fought with grim determination to delay the Canadian advance. Pushing forward on 25-26 August cost the Battalion 16 killed and 65 wounded, Albert numbering amongst the latter.

Albert is survived by Audrey, his wife of 62 years, four children, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. A memorial service was held on Friday, 4 July in Winnipeg. Those who wish to leave a message for his family may do so via this link:

Last Post
Charlie St. Germain

From the President of the Calgary Highlanders Association:

We regret to announce the passing of Charlie St. Germain, a Second World War Metis veteran and Calgary Highlander, on 10 June 2014 while attending D-Day commemorations in Normandy.

Charlie was born on 8 July 1924 in Clear Hills, Alberta and joined the Calgary Highlanders in the summer of 1942, arriving in England during the fall of that year.  He landed in Normandy with the Regiment in July 1944 and took part in the bitter fighting to liberate France and Holland.

Charlie travelled to Normandy to take part in the commemorations of the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the campaign in France and was presented with the Legion of Honour, France's highest award, only a few days before his death.

A celebration of Charlie's life will be held at 1300 hrs on Thursday 19 June at the Belle Petroleum Centre in Peace River, Alberta.  Anyone wishing to leave a message may do so using this link.

Denis Mascardelli

Theatre Honour - "AFGHANISTAN"

Prime Minister's Web Page

On 9 May 2014, the following announcement was made in Ottawa:

In March 2014, Canada’s operations in Afghanistan, the longest armed conflict in Canadian history, drew to a close. Over the past 12 years, more than 40,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen served in the South-West Asia region in the largest deployment of Canadian troops since the Second World War.

Canada is committed to recognizing the dedication and sacrifice made by Canada’s men and women in uniform who took part in the conflict in Afghanistan. To this end, on May 9, 2014, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that eligible units of the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian Special Operations Forces that participated in the South-West Asia theatre of conflict have been bestowed with the “Arabian Sea” or the “Afghanistan” Theatre Honour.

Theatre Honours are a type of Battle Honour given to publicly recognize a Canadian Armed Forces unit for successful participation in a theatre of armed conflict. Such honours have been awarded after every major conflict in which Canada has been engaged.

The Calgary Highlanders are included among the list of 63 regiments awarded the Battle Honour "Afghanistan." More information on the regiment's Battle Honours can be found at this link.

Annual Presentations - St. Julien's Dinner

At the annual St. Julien's weekend, the regiment presents a number of awards to deserving members. The most significant regimental trophies are documented on this page. The awardees for 2013 were:

  • Sgt. Miller Trophy (Most Proficient MWO, WO or Sgt): Sgt Gaisford

  • J.V.H. Milvain Cup (Best Jr NCO in a Non-Combat Arms Role): MCpl Irwin

  • Overseas Battalion Award (Best Jr NCO in a Combat Arms Role): MCpl Bullock

  • LCol P.F. Hughes Trophy (Most Proficient Member of the Pipes and Drums): Cpl Ponte

  • CWO Marty McCumber Award (Outstanding Service to the Regiment: LCol (ret.) Vernon

  • Col J.F. Scott Memorial Cup (Outstanding Athlete): Cpl Holloway

  • Most Explosive Soldier Award ("A" Company Nomination): MCpl Irwin

  • Ensign's Award (Most Proficient Jr Officer): 2Lt Van Caeyzeele

  • LCol Mark Tennant Trophy (Best Rifle Shot): Cpl Churchill

  • Most Valuable Hockey Player: MCpl Van Zandt

  • Most Improved Hockey Player: Cpl Gryckiewicz

Captain (ret) John Wellington Alden, CD

The following notice has been received by the webmaster:


It is with great sadness that I'm informing you all, Capt retired John Wellington Alden passed away 17 April 2014 at the young age of 60 years old.  We will be celebrating John's life through a memorial service being held at Mewata Armoury (801- 11st SW, Calgary, AB)    on 28 April 2014, commencing at 1400h.  An invitation is attached for the service.


Memorial Service
Captain retired John Wellington Alden, CD
28 June 1953- 17 April 2014

Officers and Soldiers of the Calgary Highlanders are sad to announce that Captain retired John Wellington Alden, CD passed away on 17 April 2014 at the young age of 60 years old. Born in Montreal Quebec, John joined the Canadian Forces in 1970, and had worked in various units over the years (Black Watch, 78th Fd Bty Red Deer, Loyal Edmonton Regt, Seaforth Highlanders, 14 Service Bn Calgary, DCO ASU Calgary), starting off as a private to Chief Warrant Officer, including RSM of the Seaforth Highlanders, taking his commission to Captain and remaining with the Calgary Highlanders until his retirement in June 2013. John is survived by his wife Petey and Daughter Kacie.

A memorial service will be held at Mewata Armoury (801, 11st SW, Calgary, AB) on 28 April 2014, commencing at 1400h to celebrate John’s life. All guest are asked to be seated no later than 1345h. A reception will be held in the Mewata Officers mess on completion of the service. All are welcome to attend. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked to make any donations to the Veterans Food Bank in Calgary ( 1-4539 6 St NE, Calgary, AB. Confirmation of attendance for the memorial service, as well as farewell messages are to be sent to Capt S.A. (Steven) Zivkow, Adjt Calgary Highlanders at, or call (403) 410 2320 Ext 3337.

Last Post
Captain (ret) John Wellington Alden, CD

The Regiment has learned of the passing away of Captain (ret.) John Alden. Details will provided as they are made available. Captain Alden retired from the Canadian Forces on 21 June 2013 after 35-plus years with the CF, having served variously with 78th Field Battery, Royal Canadian Artillery (Red Deer), The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada, The Loyal Edmonton Regiment (4 PPCLI), The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada,14 (Calgary) Service Battalion, Deputy Commanding Officer, Area Support Unit Calgary, and of course with The Calgary Highlanders. He served in the ranks as a private and worked his way to Chief Warrant Officer and the appointment of Regimental Sergeant Major of The Seaforth Highlanders. He served in Calgary as a Master Warrant Officer, finally taking his commission to Captain and remaining with The Calgary Highlanders until his retirement.

A memorial service will be held on Monday, April 28th, 2014 at Mewata Armouries. The service will be on the parade square, with reception to follow in the Officers' Mess.

Anniversary of the Battle of St. Julien

The Regimental Association has announced the plan for the 2014 St. Julien weekend. Detailed notes are available at this link.

Colonel Bernd Horn
Lieutenant Colonel Ross Ellis Lecture: 17 April 2014

The Ross Ellis Memorial Lecture in Military and Strategic Studies will be held at Calgary's Military Museums on 17 April.

The evening's speaker will be Colonel Bernd Horn and is titled 'Reflections on Leadership - A Comparative Assessment of Military/Civilian Approaches'.  Doors open at 6:00 pm, the lecture begins at 7:00 pm and a reception will follow.  Those wishing to attend should RSVP to Nancy Pearson Mackie by 7 April.

The Ross Ellis Memorial Lecture is sponsored by the Calgary Highlanders, the Military Museums and the University of Calgary's Centre for Military and Strategic Studies.  A poster with additional information on the lecture and Col. Horn is linked here.

The lecture series is named after Ross Laird Ellis, a reservist who rose through the ranks to become the Commanding Officer of The Calgary Highlanders in the course of the Battle of the Scheldt Estuary in the Second World War. Open to the general public and University of Calgary faculty and students, the purpose of the Ross Laird Ellis Lecture is to provide Canadians with access to relevant and reliable information on Canadian defence and foreign policy.

CWO Robert Besse, CD
Depart with Dignity Ceremony: 2 May 2014

CWO Besse CD, A highly respected member of the Calgary Highlander Regimental family will be retiring from the Canadian Armed Forces in June 2014 after 39 plus years of dedicated and loyal service to our country. A depart with dignity celebration will be held at the Mewata SNCO Mess on 2 May 2014. Attached is the invitation message, and hope anyone available will be able to attend.

Invitation Message

Confirmation of attendance at this celebratory event, as well as anecdotes and farewell messages are to be sent to Sgt David Melcher at: Sgt. Melcher Please CC the unit Adjt: Captain Zivkow

Change of RSM
CWO Robert Besse, CD
2 April 2014

The Calgary Highlanders will mark both the Regimental Birthday and the change of RSM as CWO Robert Besse steps down after 39 years of service to the Regiment, the Army and Canada.

A poster with additional information is available at this link.

Last Post
Dennis Syren

From Denis Mascardelli, President of the Calgary Highlanders Association:

I regret to inform you of the death of Dennis Syren on 7 March 2014 in Calgary at the age of 81. Dennis was a long-time Calgary Highlander, member of Regimental Association and volunteer at the Military Museums.

Dennis was predeceased by his wife, May, only recently on 16 October 2013. He is survived by two daughters, three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, 21 March at 2:30 pm at the McInnis & Holloway Crowfoot Chapel (82 Crowfoot Circle NW).

If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made to the Poppy Fund (No. 1, 4539 - 6 Street NE, Calgary, AB, T2E 3Z6) or to the Calgary Highlanders Museum and Archives (4520 Crowchild Trail SW, Calgary, AB, T2T 5J4).

Regimental Book

Lieutenant-Colonel (retired) Mike Vernon gives a behind the scenes look at a photo shoot for the latest version of the "Regimental Book", the unit's manual of uniforms, history and traditions. The shoot took place at Mewata Armouries, the unit's home garrison, in November 2013. The photographer in the video is Nancy Desilets.


Checking In - Lost Trails
K.J. Patrick Conlin

The webmaster was pleased to get a note and photo from K.J. Patrick Conlin, CD via email (shown at right as a Master Corporal circa 1980). He writes:

I just found your website and thought it was about time to join the Association. I’ve included a few pics if you want to use them. Look for me on Facebook if you wish.

Further correspondence on the photo at this link:

It wasn’t taken in 82-83. The reason I know this is because I was on the Airborne Jump course Serial 8115 and was down from Edmonton to visit the Battalion. The CO insisted to hear how I was progressing and even though I wasn’t wearing my kilt, they insisted I join in the picture since I was there and part of the Sgt’s Mess.

The webmaster appreciates the correction, and the photo caption will be amended.


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