THE CANADIAN GUARDS ASSOCIATION

 THE CANADIAN GUARDS MUSEUM

The Canadian Guards Depot will be highlighted in the new museum currently under design. The Depot is perceived as the heart and soul of the Regiment. It was here that the values and family spirit was developed and inculcated in the young Canadian who, for the first time in many cases, faced the world outside of a natural family environment.

It will include emphasis on such stalwarts as Regimental Sergeant Major JJT McManus, the corps of NCOs, and how they affected the development of the young recruit, and developed the would be guardsmen and NCOs of the Regiment. As it is hoped to produce exhibits that are very human, and indeed people oriented, it has been decided that personal reactions, quotes, will be solicited from members who passed through the "hallowed halls" of learning that was the depot.

What are your remembrances of the Depot? How did it affect you? What did your time at the Depot mean to you? What did it do for you? We are soliciting pithy "one liners" that can be used to bring the human, versus the academic or training, experience to the fore. They can be humorous, serious, thoughtful or incisive but they should be personal.

The planning group, along with the curator, are working on technically developing the plan. What is needed from everyone out there is personal input. If you have anything that you consider appropriate pls forward it to Anne Lindsay Lindsay.A@forces.gc.ca with a cc to Bill Patterson nacoons@sympatico.ca

A MARI USQUE AD MARE

Ian Douglas, Pres., The Canadian Guards Association (Oct 2004)

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To All Guardsmen (Dec 2003)

I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. It indeed has been a positive and full 2003. From the gathering to commemorate the 50th here in Ottawa and Petawawa this Summer, to the outstanding reunion in Oromocto to celebrate the Regimental Birthday proper, we truly showed that we know how to celebrate.

While the Newsletter, put together by our National VP and scribe John Barclay continues to flourish, we have followed the example of Atlantic Branch, and opened the national web site under the leadership of the webmaster Gerry Heffernan. It is clear that he and Robbie Woodward continue to cooperate as we push, even such dinosaurs as myself, into the "electronic age". I am also glad to hi-light a major change in our policy towards the ladies, and the fact that widows of ex members henceforth will become full, paid up members of the Association. The overwhelming support for this initiative speaks loudly for the sensitivity and acumen of our membership at large.

The "Guards Help" advocacy program, put together by three stalwarts John Trethewey, John Hunt, and Ida Entwistle, has proven to be most effective. It continues to offer up advice and help in getting the concerns of our aging membership and their spouses to the folks who can help deal with them. In this regard Peter Ambroziac, ex of the Second Battalion and now with the Legion, continues to be available with excellent advice and guidance as different problems arise.

As I move into my second full year as National President it is with great pleasure and humility that I recognize the Association for what it is. We truly are a band of brothers with a clear mandate to remember the excitement, pleasures, successes and pride of our service with the Regiment, while looking after each other in our later years. As I discussed the goings on of the Atlantic reunion by phone and email with many of you, my desire to join the group in Cape Breton next year grows daily, and I will book it firmly as the details become clear.

I pass on the best wishes of Mgen Roger Rowley our Colonel, and Col Strome Galloway our Lieutenant Colonel, who were both able to actively participate in some of the 50th activities. I will always remember during the Petawawa parade a rather frail looking Col Strome, in a booming voice, directing me to look after his colour as he passed it over to me for installation in the museum. There is a magnificent picture of him looking absolutely delighted, in front of the magnificent Regimental Memorial on the site if the old regimental band building and officer's mess. It graced the front page of the Petawawa Post.

A Merry and Blessed Christmas to you all, and all the best for a Happy and prosperous New Year in 2004.

A MARI USQUE AD MARE

Ian Douglas
President

PART 3 ORDERS (Oct 27, 2003)

Hopefully you will be reading this in your first, or at least early, read of the new Web Site. I hope that “Part 3’s” become a regular part of our electronic communications as I have received encouragement from all points of the compass and the interest out there for more information. The minutes of the agm held on 18 Oct are in draft, and these short bullets on the agenda items will not attempt to duplicate the specifics and bindings decisions of the agm, but are an attempt to inform and spark discussion on the way ahead.

The meeting started a bit late as the board, and the lcol of the Regiment, Col Strome, attended the funeral service for board member Dennis Smith, who had recently passed away as the results of a stroke. The Regimental Guard in full kit, medals, berets etc provided the honorary pallbearers and lined the stairs outside of the church as the coffin was transported to the hearse. Col Strome also looked great as he saluted a fond farewell to Dennis. A poignant moment that was warmly recognized by Vera and the Smith family.

The agm itself was held in the NDHQ WO and Sergeants mess at 1200 hrs. The specifics can be read on this site shortly. I would stress that we are at a crux in our history. Do we simply remain a social organization, sponsoring gatherings where we enjoy ourselves and reminisce of times past, or do we add to our mandate, and become more pro active in the world of advocacy. As I believe is clear in the minutes there is a strong feeling that we should move ahead, and attempt to set up mechanisms that cater to the needs of our aging members, and perhaps particularly to those spouses who are left behind. There are two aspects of this that should be addressed; the social structure of the Association as an “Old Boys Club”, versus that of a “Family” oriented organization, and the need to set up organizations and mechanics that will work within the existing military and civilian “social safety net”, with emphasis on the shortfalls of that net.

First off I would like to address the Association ethos or “raison d’etre”. I believe that we can maintain our camaraderie and brotherhood while being much more inclusive in our membership, specifically in how our spouses are seen as members. While this was discussed in some detail at the agm, Atlantic Br raised some other issues that must be addressed. Notwithstanding the Atlantic message indicated that there was general support for the changes to the constitution as far as spousal membership is concerned. I can’t help but compare my experiences in the Canadian Airborne Forces Association where, as Pres for the past year and a bit, have witnessed the ladies efforts and the effect of them. I have witnessed them turning a successful branch into an absolutely outstanding organization. I am speaking of the Barrie Huronia Branch that was recognized by the city of Barrie as contributing significantly to community success in a number of programs. I use this example not to suggest that we get involved with the community, but to emphasize that it was the initiative and efforts of the ladies that caused the success. At the agm we voted the first “spouse” as a member of the board, and would ask others to consider approaches to spousal membership might improve our operations.

Specifically the Advocacy Program was discussed and voted upon by the agm and is now a structured and formal part of the board structure with John Trethewy and Ida Entwistle as co chairs. The discussion centered on the paper that was part of the last newsletter, and should be avail to all. In any case the mandate will be repeated on this site in the near future. Suffice to say the program will not attempt to replace any existing programs, but to “identify” our members who need help, to “educate” on existing programs and entitlements, on agencies which can help, to “refer” our members to the existing programs and, with particularly difficult cases and when essential, get involved as advocates our self. In this last regard this should not be seen as a great requirement as we have such stalwarts as Peter Ambrosiak, who is with the Royal Canadian Legion, and Moe Bergeron with the Last Post Fund, both of whom have already contributed to our efforts. What we all must do is to keep our eyes and ears open when a case is identified, or even suspected, and get involved. While the sensitivity of individual cases is appreciated, particularly when serious illness or death is concerned, we must be driven by the good of our members. The first step in solving any problem is identifying it. When this is done we must go through the list of identification, education, referral and if required direct involvement. There is no panacea to any of this and input is sought from all corners. John Hunter, of Second Battalion and Petawawa monument fame, has become very involved in the process. He has already contributed to the committee with some excellent ideas on how we might mature our fledgling program.

I was most pleased to hear in a missive from Ted MacDonald that the Atlantic reunion and agm went so well. Terry Dexter an old colleague and den mate from 9 Coy and Black Bear Days, along with his “better half”, Marion, ran an outstanding function enjoyed by all who attended. Shades of the Petawawa parade in July, but I hear that the quarters guard for Milton Gregg was up to regimental standard. I am sure, as an ex member of both first and second battalions, that the controversy on whether the standard was that of one battalion or the other went on all Saturday night. The input on our constitutional issues, as reported above, was well received and will be addressed. In the context of the reunion I will do my utmost to join you next year in Cape Breton

I hear from the Petawawa Branch that their dinner dance and agm on 24 Oct went very well, and the elections resulted in Ambrose Dwyer being elected president. It will take some getting used to but it will now be “Mr. President” as opposed to “Ambrose”. To Jim Purcell a hearty thanks, and well done on your tenure as president in the upper valley. I’m not sure whether our meetings will now be more placid, time will tell.

Sick parade at the moment sees two members of the Board in Hospital as both Bill MacIver and Dick Wallace are successfully battling various maladies. We are keeping in touch with both Selma and Blanche with a view to providing any help that we can.

I will continue to pen my thoughts from time to time. I would ask any and all of you who have ideas to either have them published here, and or send them on for inclusion in this column. I stress that no one has the monopoly on good ideas and common sense, and exhort you all to get involved. I am pleased and honored to be your president

  Ian Douglas

 

Part 3 Orders 19 September 2003

Notwithstanding the header this is a simple SITREP with which I hope to bring you up to date on some interesting and important facts within the Association. John Barclay will be issuing the Newsletter, and I do not wish to steal his thunder but I would like to give you a quick and personal electronic sitrep on the situation.

Our Col, Mgen Roger Rowley, is in hospital recovering from pneumonia. According to the family he has responded well to treatment and is now “Stable”. He is in the Civic and I am sure would welcome get-well cards but, until notice from the family, please do not visit in person. (Civic Hospital, 1053 Carling Ave Ottawa, ON K1Y 4E9)

 The Board of Directors meeting was held on Tue 16 Sep at the NDHQ WO and sergeant’s mess. The meeting was held to prepare for the Annual General Meeting that will be held in the same location on Sat 18th Oct at 1000hrs. Please make a special effort to attend, as we will be covering some important subjects. While the minutes have not as yet been completed nor approved, I thought that a little “warning order”, from a personal point of view might be appreciated.

Al Johnston reported on the 50th anniversary activities, and was pleased to report that all the bills had been paid and that we came within 1.25% of our budgeted expenditures. The costs will be easily covered from available funds. The Petawawa monument had been oversubscribed by about $1000 with the excess going to the museum. Those of you who did not have the opportunity to be there, nor indeed see pictures on TV or the newspaper, can tune into Gerry Heffernan’s web site and see for yourself what a simple and magnificent tribute to the Regiment that it is. I would like to thank and congratulate Al, John Hunter and their committee that did such a magnificent job.

We talked about the newsletter, electronic and otherwise, and the possibility of a Regimental website run by Gerry Heffernan who had agreed to attend the meeting in an advisory capacity. The bottom line is that Gerry has agreed to study the entire subject of communications with those involved in this vital area of our operations, John Barclay and JAS Haley. I would stress that as we proceed into the future, and get more involved in the welfare of our members, communications becomes ever more critical in our ability to get things done. Perhaps we need a “Communications Director and Committee” as part of the board?

The Advocacy program was addressed. You will remember the seminar that we held during the 50th. This very positive and successful exercise resulted in the formation of a small, blue ribbon panel, which agreed to study the issue and come up with possible solutions. John Trethewey, Ida Entwistle and John Hunt formed the panel with Peter Ambrosiac of the Royal Canadian Legion (RCL), one of our own, as technical adviser. The results of their outstanding work are in the newsletter, and I would suggest a very close examination of it. They have stuck to the general guidelines that were “do not try and reinvent the RCL nor Veterans Affairs”; given the first guideline concentrate on “advising, educating, informing, referring, and where necessary actually getting involved”; and finally “KISS”. To we soldiers the last guideline needs no more explanation.

While the status of our ladies is clearly, though only partially articulated in the by Laws at article 120.2, and states “widows of members of the Association may be granted non voting membership”, I would ask whether we should consider revision. I will not take the time and space to lay out the arguments here, but I personally consider that we must take a more positive and proactive position on the status of our “better halves”, particularly as our members pass away. I realize that this is an emotional subject, and should be discussed, but I can’t help but feel that a literal interpretation of our current bylaw is discriminatory, non productive and should be changed. How’s that for weasel wording? We will discuss at the agm.

During the 50th celebrations the subject of a reprint of the Regimental History was raised. Any number of people asked whether copies were available. Bill Patterson our Historian has completed some very helpful research in this regard. It would seem as if we could have an updated limited edition of the history printed for about $35 - $40 versus $25 first time around. This would be a soft covered volume, with the errors in the current edition corrected, and the list of names completed with the addition of those missed earlier. Is there a market given the cost? Only those who want copies can tell, and it is essential that we know before we order. This is because we will have to order, and pay for the reprints up front. What is the real market, as we cannot afford to be stuck with $2,000 or $3000 worth of books for any period of time? Who wants/needs a history? Please pass the word and ask interested individuals to get back to the Secretary in this regard.

There will be other agenda items at the agm, and these will be laid out in the newsletter. Enough for now.

The Association has been asked to participate in the Korean Vets parade and weekend on the 28th of Sep. There are currently 12 members of the Regiment registered to march with Andy Petelle volunteering to carry the Regimental Colour (Camp Flag) on our behalf. I have been asked, as president to attend and represent all of our Korean Vets, and I will do so with honour and pleasure.

I intend to send out my personal “part 3’s” from time to time. What do you think? Are such ramblings helpful? Should I limit myself to welcomes in the newsletter? Over to you

Ian Douglas