Gander Heritage Memorial Park

  Welcome  |  News Feed  |  News Headlines  |  About the Project  |  Contacts  |  Reunion 2010  |  External Links  |  Donations  |  In Memoriam  

Monday, August 10, 2015

A new monument is unveiled at The Park

Saturday, August 8, 2015 saw a new monument unveiled at the Gander Heritage Memorial Park. This stone marker was unveiled to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada in Newfoundland during World War 2 on Saturday, August 10, 1940. They arrived by ship into the Port of Botwood on that same day, some stayed in Botwood and the remainder moved on to Gander by train. Their mission was the defense of Newfoundland by providing security for both strategic airfields at Botwood and Gander.

This commemorative event was organized by The Maritimes Newfoundland Branch of the QORC. A similar stone marker was unveiled in Botwood the next day Sunday, August 9. I understand that the QORC got much needed help from 91 Construction Engineering Flight of 9 Wing Gander with both stone markers. 9 Wing Gander also provided the public address system and the music for the singing of "O Canada" and "God Save the Queen" for Friday's ceremonies in Gander.

The ceremonies started with the parade of veterans led by the QORC including a drummer and bugler. Dignitaries who spoke represented the Veterans, the Royal Canadian Legion, the QORC, 9 Wing Gander and the Town of Gander. Once the speeches were completed the official unveiling of the commemorative stone marker took place. After the unveiling the bugler and drummer played Last Post followed by 2 minutes of silence and then the bugler and drummer played Reveille. The parade was dismissed after a wreath was laid to remember fallen comrades. Veterans in attendance came from as far away as Victoria BC for this weekend's events and many lingered after the ceremonies to have their photos taken posing with the "Winged Victory". "Sgt. Gander", the QORC's "commemorative stone marker", the "Airmen's Memorial Wall" and the "Poppy Memorial Monument" on display at The Park for the afternoon (see below).

(from the unveiling ceremonies' program)

Today we are gathered to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada having been garrisoned in Newfoundland on August 10th, 1940.

The Regiment's first assignment was the Defense of Newfoundland. The Queen's Own Rifles battalion on arrival in Botwwod, was split between Botwood and Gander.

The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada is Canada's oldest serving Regiment having formed in Toronto in 1860 making the Regiment Canada's oldest continuously serving Infantry unit. Two of its Regular Arm Battalions were stationed in Victoria, BC during the Cold War, the 2nd Battalion returned from Korea in 1955 and departed to Germany in 1957. The 1st Battalion returned from Nato duty in Germany in 1963 and were at Work Point Barracks, Victoria, BC until re-designated Third Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry in 1970.

The Queen's Own Rifles have a long and proud record of service to Canada, fighting its first engagement in 1866 near Ridgeway, Ontario against Fenian Raiders from the United States. The deaths of 9 soldiers at that time heralded sacrifices in campaigns throughout the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. The QOR served in the North West Rebellion, Boer War, First and Second World War, Korea, Nato duty, Cyprus and other Peacekeeping Operations including Afghanistan.

Every year there are untold numbers of Veterans and their children and grandchildren touring the country to visit wartime sites to review and research history of how they and their forefathers lived during these times.

These Stone Markers being unveiled today symbolizes the dedication and sacrifices of soldiers of the Regiment in War and Peace. It also reflects the affection, admiration and appreciation of all Rifleman of The Queen's Own for their service to the Regiment and to Canada.

Photos of the day (courtesy of Gerard McCarthy) ...

Parade of Veterans

The Veterans

Commemorative Stone Marker before the unveiling
Queen's Own Rifles of Canada
2nd Battalion
"In Pace Paratus - In Peace Prepared"

Rev. Wes Oake leading the parade in prayer
WW2 Veteran, retired United Church minister and Honourary Patron of The Park

The official unveiling party with honour guards

Commemorative Stone Marker
The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada
2nd Battalion
"In Pace Paratus - In Peace Prepared"


Last Post, 2 minutes of silence and Reveille

Commemorative Stone Marker and Wreath

Programme ...

Programme Page 1

Programme Page 2

Programme Page 3

Programme Page 4

The Poppy Memorial Monument

Before, during and after the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada ceremonies at The Park the Poppy Memorial Monument to remember the Canadian Forces members who lost their lives in Afghanistan was on display along with the Book of Condolences. The Book of Condolences has a page for every Canadian killed in Afghanistan. I had a chance to talk to all 4 Canadian Forces members who traveled with the monument to Gander for this occasion. They drove from Kingston ON to be in Gander for the QORC's ceremonies on Friday, went to Botwood on Saturday for the ceremonies there and started their long drive back to Kingston today Monday.

Photos of the day (courtesy of Gerard McCarthy) ...

The Poppy Memorial Monument

The Book of Condolences
A page for every Canadian killed in Afghanistan

The Poppy Memorial Monument
You will notice that the 2 handles are different, the intact one on the right represents a Canadian soldier before going to Afghanistan and the broken one on the left represents the soldier who came home alive but maimed in some way or suffering from PTSD

Presented to: Poppy Memorial Outreach Program
From: 1 Combat Engineer Regiment

Related Links ...

Gerard McCarthy, Webmaster / August 10, 2015

NOTE*** Your comments are welcomed!
However, all comments will be queued for review before being published and name=anonymous will be deleted unless your name is included at the end of your comment! This is to prevent spam, etc.
Before you click Publish your Comment please click on Name/URL and enter your full name. Don't forget you have to prove that you are not a robot - this is so automated spams cannot be dumped here!
Thank you. Gerard

No comments: