I am pleased to announce that The Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada will be holding their Regimental Open House and Military Timeline display, on Saturday 27 October 2007.
We will be focusing on the military heritage of the county and the Regiment past and present.
We plan on having over 200 years of military history represented on this day.
If you are interested in coming out to help with a display or just attending, contact me off list at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Google might recognise the old address, as 21 Mill St. Valour Pl. is the name of the walkway up to the front doors, due to the monuments along it. So the address is recognised as 1 Valour Pl.
Directions from the 401 (Toronto) are as follows.
Take Exit 282 (RR-24 S, HWY-24 S, Hespeler Rd, Brantford)
Turn left onto HWY-24 (Hespeler Rd) Travel around 5600m. Keep right.
You'll come to the mother of all intersections, go straight (ish) through the intersection. Once through keep Left. The Tim Hortonís should be on your left.
Continue onto Ainslie St N; street becomes Ainslie St S. you'll travel under a train bridge, down a hill, and the road will split, keep Left, Right is oncoming traffic.
Travel through three sets of lights, and turn Left onto Main Street (there will be a Mr. Sub at the intersection of Anslie and Main St. Take your first right at the TD Canada Trust. You'll see the Armoury now, (big red brick building, next to the Bus Station) the road will curve left and the entrance to the parking lot is on the right, it's free on weekends.
Had a great time at the open house. Very impressed with the equipment used today and by the militia men who are using them.
There was a large display of exotic weaponry that was privately owned, but I never found out who the owner was. I would have liked to have asked some questions, but maybe next year.
My favourite reenactment group? The CWACs, but I'm a sucker for a girl in uniform. I also liked the Spanish Civil War display.
The highlight however, was talking to Corporal Pagnacco for over an hour. Pagnacco is an RHFC member and Afghan vet who was wounded in country. He was there in full desert uniform and equipment. Answered everything I asked him about his gear, weapons, small unit tactics and the LAV III. Then he got a map out and oriented me to the area. He is an excellent advertisement for the RHFC and the Canadian Army.
All in all, I would do it again and recommend it to others.
Thanks for the kind words, we couldn't have pulled it off without all of the participants hard work.
The exotic weapons wrangler is Phil OíDell, he's a member of the Service Rifle Association, part of the Museum of Applied Military History. He's a pivotal resource for Foreign weapons familiarization for our troops.
The CWAC's are actually part of my mob, Normandy Platoon, they do add colour to an otherwise male oriented hobby, and do a fantastic job with making the public aware of what role women played in the Second World War. They are all current members of the Regiment.
The Spanish civil war Mackenzie Papineau Bn. Guys are a hoot. They actually wanted to have members of the public sign a petition to Prime Minister Mackenzie King. I don't know why they didn't. Kudos to David Webb and crew for such an educational display on a part of our history that few know much about.
Cpl Pagnacco is an excellent man to have in house, he's a natural with the Public, and loves to talk and inform the public about the good we are doing in Afghanistan, and to top it all off, he's a skilled piper. There is a book being written about him, and his experiences over there, by our in house Regimental author, Nancy Morrey, I don't know if you had a chance to meet her, or not, she was the lady dressed in 1940's civilian garb up in the Officers mess, giving tours and serving refreshments to the Public, along with her daughter Laura. The Officers Mess is the last remaining area of the Armoury to be untouched by the ravages of CE and public works, so it is a beautiful portion of the armoury reflective of what the building would have looked like when it was built. Nancy is also spending time researching our War Diaries, for future projects.
The only hiccup to the day was the fact that our regular unit photographer was on leave, and couldnít be there to take photos. So, if you took any photos, Iíd love to get copies in a CD format, in order to document the day in our archives, Iím asking this of everyone who was there, and I might put up a FTP site for people to upload to. Any and all photos will be appreciated, as what might seem like an insignificant detail in the background might be of the utmost importance to someone researching down the road.
The weather unfortunately kept the Military Vehicle collectors at bay, generally we have a pretty sizable vintage military vehicle park out front on the lawn.
Iím not sure if I had the chance to meet you or not, as I was running around for the most part of the day looking after our guests, and speaking with the press / media. So I wasnít entirely focused when I was away from it all and interacting with the public.
Iím glad you had a good time, and hope youíre back next year, as we keep on growing and improving, there is usually something new to see here every year.
The City and County is starting to get involved as well with with Waterloo County history seminars, and walking tours of the Grand River trail in the AM. So it is evolving into something that is well worth while.
If you are looking for photos of our CWAC re-enactors, I'll see what I can do for you, I may have some still on file from past events, air shows, swing dances, etc. (not that any of us claim to be able to dance, but we do add atmosphere to an evening oriented towards the 1940's)
Photos from todayís Open House would be nice to have, as this is the first time I've had the four of them out all at once, one member is brand new to the whole CWAC re-enactor thing, but seems to be enjoying it, as far as static displays go. She seems keen on getting out to other events as they come up.
I have future plans of expanding their numbers by two more pers, but I'm hindered by uniform sizes at the moment, but this may change in the New Year if I can get a good source for the Barathea Wool to reproduce the uniforms.
I'd like to set one of the offices up in the Armoury / Museum area as a period orderly room for them to "work" in during the Open House, but that'll be further down the road.
I'm also trying to get them involved with the CWAC association, when they do their reunions at our Kitchener Armoury, as it stands on the grounds of the old No 3 CWAC Training Centre.
I agree, the hat thing needs to be worked on, the girls are experimenting with what 1940's hairstyles work with the CWAC headdress, this one obviously doesn't work so well, but after she spent 40 minutes at putting it up, I wasn't about to send her away to change it. I'll evolve, as most things in this "hobby". I'd rather see them put the effort into getting it right, than saying 'good enough, I'll just stick it into a bun'
The lady at right with the hat on crooked does have, in my opinion, the best "period" hairstyle. Well done to all four of them - they're down to the point of getting just minor things finished. I think many groups would be hard pressed to find four men that so well looked the part as far as physical fitness, age, correct wearing of the uniform, etc.
Thanks, I'll pass the encouragement on to them.
I've pretty well got them fitted out completely, down to gloves and handbags (ATS ones, but they're the same thing unless you look at the markings inside) They even use vintage hairpins. Now I have to find something for them to do, so they don't get bored at the living history weekends in the summer.
here in Ottawa, there is a re-enactor WRCNS who took the life story of a member and learned it so that she could be that person. She does quite a job at it and the results are most impressive.
As you probably know there are CWAC vet groups in Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, Niagara Falls and Kingston who I am sure would enjoy hosting your group plus a display. Add in the Cdn War Museum, other regimental unit displays, schools and the possible venues are virtually limitless for your group.
I wouldn't be suprised, knowing Norm Drouillard's vast collection, to find out that his son Matt is wearing something from the "Drouillard Travelling Museum". Norm has a great and wonderful collection, and I know Boer War is part of it.
If you'd like Terry I can give you Norm and Matt's contact info off-list...just let me know...
The Boer war uniform was a reproduction. I was talking to him about also getting one but from what I can remember it had been made a few years ago by someone his dad knew. I don't know if it was a one off or not. Hopefully Tim can get you in touch with them.