A Battery gifted fresh title to honour queen’s Platinum Jubilee

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A Battery within the Canadian Forces Base Shilo’s 1 Royal Canadian Horse Artillery received a new name Friday in honour of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

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A Battery within the Canadian Forces Base Shilo’s 1 Royal Canadian Horse Artillery received a new name Friday in honour of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

A Battery will be known as “The Queen’s Battery,” to recognize the matriarch’s 70 years on the British throne.

A ceremonial parade was held Friday morning in Shilo to honour the historic occasion.

Tim Smith/The Brandon Sun Retired Brig.-Gen. David Patterson presents Maj. Matt Stickland with a plaque at CFB Shilo bestowing A Battery 1RCHA with the honorific title of “The Queen’s Battery" in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Maj. Andrew Curr, acting commander of the 1RCHA, called the new title a great honour.

The Royal Canadian Horse Artillery celebrated its 150th anniversary in Canada last year and the new designation complements this milestone.

“It means a lot to be designated The Queen’s Battery,” Curr said. “It’s a distinct honour to have that and this has not happened in the 150 years of the artillery.”

In its 150 years of service, A Battery has been deployed and operational around the world, protecting Canada and the country’s interests.

“[The designation] has a very real-world implication as well, that we continue to operate, that we continue to defend Canada’s interests and people.”

The designation fosters pride in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and in soldiers’ personal histories as part of the regiment, he said.

Retired Brig.-Gen. David Patterson bestowed the honour on behalf of the queen. Service medals and a promotion were also awarded during the parade.

Tim Smith/The Brandon Sun Soldiers attend a ceremonial parade at the 1 Royal Canadian Horse Artillery building at CFB Shilo.

“It’s impactful in the sense that a parade is very necessary to give it the dignity and the honour that it really needs,” Curr said.

The ceremonial parade featured soldiers wearing dress uniforms in honour of the day. The dress uniform is formal attire compared to the day-to-day uniform.

It’s a busy time for the regiment, he said, but the historic designation was a moment that needed to be recognized by soldiers and the greater community.

It makes the fresh title important to more than just the military because it’s a community event, he said.

A Battery is preparing for deployment to Latvia in June as part of Operation REASSURANCE.

Members are stationed in central and eastern Europe as part of NATO assurance and deterrence measures. During the operation, CAF is conducting training, exercises and some NATO-specific tasks.

About 1,475 Canadian Armed Forces members are deployed in support of the operation, making it Canada’s largest current international military operation.

Tim Smith/The Brandon Sun Retired Brig.-Gen. David Patterson (third from left) looks on as Maj. Matt Stickland cuts a cake after a ceremonial parade at CFB Shilo.

He hopes those who participated in the parade treated it as an opportunity to see the accomplishments of their forbearers and go forward in their careers knowing they will be following in the footsteps of those who have served in the past.

“This is a historical moment where we look to our past but also look to our future in that the Royal Regiment of the Canadian Artillery continues to serve Canada, Canadians and Canadian interests around the world,” Curr said. “This is just another moment where we can highlight our continuing obligations to that covenant.”

» ckemp@brandonsun.com

» Twitter: @The_ChelseaKemp

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