The Canadian Forces had a large presence in the 57th annual Travellers Day Parade on Saturday, including 240 soldiers from the 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry based out of CFB Shilo.
The unit joined the parade after marching with drums beating, colours flying and bayonets fixed from city hall where Mayor Shari Decter Hirst granted them Freedom of the City — a privilege that dates back to medieval times which allows friendly armies passage into or through a city without disarming.
“I’d like to thank the people of Brandon because this recognition wouldn’t have happened without their support,” said Lt.-Col. Michael Wright, who commands the unit.
“The mayor mentioned in her speech that we are a part of the community, we’re coaching hockey teams, we're volunteering along side them and last year we were slinging sandbags alongside them. This recognition is a nice way to complete the circle of respect,” Wright said.
2PPCLI has been based out of CFB Shilo for eight years.
Saturday morning began with thunderstorms and isolated showers, but by the time the parade got underway, most of the precipitation had passed.
“This parade hasn’t been rained out in it’s 56-year history. If we miss the rain this year it will be 57,” said Ron Krushel, president of the Traveller’s Day Parade.
There were around 50 floats in this year’s parade, as well as eight marching bands.
Krushel said the parade wouldn’t have happened without the close to 50 volunteers.
“We have one fundraiser a year, but our major sponsor is Westoba Credit Union ... They put a great deal of money into helping fund the expenses of bringing the marching bands in,” Krushel said.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 11, 2012