The Regiment of Canadian Guards Collection, CFB Petawawa Military Museum, Petawawa, Ontario

Fellow Guardsmen:

Our premier responsibility as Guardsmen is to safeguard the History and Heritage of The Regiment of Canadian Guards. Thanks to Bill Patterson, our History is written and in its second edition. Thanks to the late Dick Wallace who initiated the Museum and to Gerry Wharton and his crew who renovated it, the Guards Collection is safely held and brilliantly displayed in the Petawawa Military Museum. I am confident that the History and Heritage of The Regiment is in good hands now, and, with your continued support, for the future. Ian Douglas, President (August 2005)

Click this photo for a link to the Museum web-site

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Foundation of the Museum

What we now call the Regimental Museum was founded when the 2nd Battalion was re-designated 3 RCR in 1970. Artifacts that had been part of Mess Non-public Property were placed in the hands of 3 RCR or in the RCR Museum for safekeeping where they remain today. Some items of a purely Regimental nature were placed in the CFB Petawawa Base Museum. These included an officer’s patrol jacket, the Drum Major’s Mace and the Colonel of the Regiment’s full dress uniform (less a hat!). Artefacts accumulated over the years and in 1992, the Base asked if the Regiment would like a space of its own in the base museum located in the old artillerymen’s mess hall in a room that had been used by the Canadian Airborne Regiment kit shop. The Association agreed and a fund-raising drive was started. With these funds in hand, work began on the displays by Richard Wallace, aided by his wife Blanche, the previous curator, the Museum handy man, and volunteers from the Petawawa Branch of the Association. Ken Palmer built the display cases. More artifacts were gathered. Pat Higgins was of great help and he travelled to London to retrieve many items then held by the RCR Museum. The Regimental Museum room opened in 1992.

 

The Current Status of the Museum

The CFB Petawawa Museum closed for renovations in 2004 and with that The Canadian Guards Collection embarked on a fresh display concept to match the new look of today's museums. It is no longer acceptable to just fill a room with attractive artifacts. The modern museum tells a story and uses artifacts to enhance the "Story Line." Sadly Richard Wallace passed away in 2004 so Ian Douglas, Bill Patterson and Gerry Wharton accepted that task. They were challenged to put together, in a few sentences, the history of the Regiment and all it stood for. Their final choice was seven descriptive panels entitled Formation, The National Regiment, The Regimental Depot, Sports and Military Competitions, Overseas, Ceremonial and Disbandment which track the Regiment from its start to its final moments.

From November 2004 to June 2005 Howard Clark, Wally Fowler, Al Hennessey, Roy Naugle and Gerry Wharton spent countless hours putting the Collection together in time for the reopening on 1 July 2005. The entrance is in the form of a sentry box of the type first used at Government House in 1959. It is capped with the Royal Cypher of the Colonel in Chief; EIIR and through it is seen an illuminated cap star. Turning to the right and following around the visitor views the seven panels listed above and sees the over 200 photos and artifacts on display. Nearly all of the original artifacts of the old Collection are there as well as about 30 new photos and a dozen new artifacts which reflect the history of the Regiment.

The Collection as it now stands is in its first phase. We are not happy with the mannequins and they will be replaced with ones with a more life-like appearance. Another display case is being considered and we are continually looking for more artifacts. We particularly are seeking more artifacts from the 3rd Bn and numerous items of the piper's uniform.

In mid April 2005 we put out an appeal for donations to the Collection by contributing to St Michael's Wall, seen in the green panels . For a contribution of $100 or more the donor's name is recorded on the wall and the full amount, which is tax deductible, goes to the Collection. Three months later our members had donated in the vicinity of $18,000 with more still coming in. Contributions to St. Michael's Wall will be accepted until the end of 2005. They may be sent to the address shown below. Details of the inscription may be seen in the photos of the green panels.

The Future – Your Chance to Contribute

Former members of the Regiment are the best source of support to the Museum. You hold many personal items of historic interest, such a photos, uniforms and other mementos of your service. You are also our best source of funding to preserve our traditions. Any artifacts donated are eligible for a tax receipt for its appraised value. This tax deduction is available to you or your estate. Make your donations now, or consider a codicil in your will for any funds or mementos you wish to contribute. It will be greatly appreciated and contribute to maintaining this memorial to our service.

"I firmly believe that we are not former Guardsmen or former Guards NCOS or former Guards officers. We cannot be "former" or "retired" because we have been stamped "Guardsmen". Just the same as we cannot change our blood group, we are all bound by shared memories of our service together and of our families love and sacrifice as exhibited by their contributions to "The Regimental Family". I cannot be thankful enough to those who have expressed their continuing dedication to our Regiment.

We were "A Regiment Worthy of its Hire" and we will forever be Guardsmen."

Gerry Wharton, August 2005

Click -->here<-- for latest wall photos (Thanks John Hunter)

Additional photos from the "Museum Supplement"

Formation: includes recruiting poster 1958 (with guardsman's Monthly pay of $104.00) and "the Four Colonels"

National Regiment

Freedom of the City of Ottawa Flanked by the Colonel's colours

The New Mannequins (Dec 2005)

 

If you wish to make a donation of funds or artifacts now or in the future, the legal recipient is:

CFB Petawawa Military Museums

Canadian Guards Collection
PO Box 9999 Stn. Main,
Petawawa, ON K8H 2X3 (613) 588-6238

 

Atlantic Kit shop

 

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