Kingston and 2 RCHA, Freedom of the City Parade – May 26th

Schedule Outlining The Weekend’s Events

Meet & Greet Reception – Fort Frontenac Officers’ Mess – May 25th at 7:00 p.m.

Freedom of the City Parade – May 26th at 10:00 a.m.

-           The Regiment marches on.

-           CO marches forward to the main door of City Hall and taps three times with the hilt of his sword:

-           CO introduces himself; and,

-           CO states that the Regiment is here to exercise the right of Freedom of the City of Kingston.

-           General Salute/Gun Salute.

-           Mayor, Cmdt RMC and DArty inspect the Regiment and military band.

-           Mayor/Cmdt RMC/CO give speeches.

-           CO presents Mayor with gift.

-           Mayor proclamation stating the unit is welcomed and invited to exercise its freedoms.

-           CO asks the mayor for permission to march the Regiment through the city with drums beating and bayonets fixed.

-           The Regiment marches through the streets of Kingston.

Post Parade Reception – Fort Frontenac Officers’ Mess – May 26th at 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Static and Dynamic Displays – City Park – May 26th from 12:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

As you are aware, the 2nd Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery is conducting a Freedom of the City in Kingston on May 26th, 2012.  The City of Kingston and the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery have shared a very long and mutually beneficial relationship.  One of the first two permanent force units of the Canadian Army, A Battery (perpetuated by A Battery, 1st Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery in Shilo, MB) was established in Kingston on October 20th, 1871.

The 2nd Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery has also enjoyed a very special relationship with the City of Kingston due in no small part to its proximity and the historical role Kingston has played in the Canadian Artillery’s development.  The Regiment participates in the annual Historic Hockey tournament, dispatches representatives to Kingston for Remembrance Day ceremonies and was honoured to exercise the Freedom of the City of Kingston in 1983 and again in 1996.  It has thus been fifteen years since the last time 2 RCHA exercised this very great honour.

Historical Notes

ORIGINS -FREEDOM OF THE CITY

“The privilege of being granted the “Freedom of the City” is an ancient and honoured tradition which began in the 15th century and was developed when cities and towns were surrounded and protected by walls.  During the War of the Roses in England, cities were constantly endangered by military units attempting to march through, and sometimes, inhabit them.  Historically, before the unit could pass through the city walls, the Chief Constable would demand to know the reason why the unit had arrived.  He would then escort their commander to the chambers of city council.  If the city leaders felt that the unit could be trusted, the unit would be granted the privilege known as the “Freedom of the City”.  This allowed the unit to enter the city without first being required to disarm; that is, with drums beating, banners flying, and weapons carried.”

HISTORY: ROYAL CANADIAN ARTILLERY

“The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery (RCA) has been part of the fabric of Canadian history since the earliest days of our nation. Since Confederation, the Gunners of Canada have served bravely in all of our national conflicts and have played a full role in establishing the fine reputation for peacekeeping that Canada holds today. Over 130,000 Canadians served as Gunners in the two World Wars alone. Many of the units and batteries of The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery are older than Canada itself, and the history of artillery in Canada is older yet. The first company of artillery to be formed in Canada was organized in Quebec in 1750. Today, The Regiment is formed from two important components: the Regular Force and the Reserve Force. Both components providing personnel for both International and Domestic Operations. The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery, proudly standing on guard for Canada.”

HISTORY: 2ND REGIMENT ROYAL CANADIAN HORSE ARTILLERY

“The 2nd Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery was authorized as the artillery component of the Canadian Army Special Service Force for the United Nations service in Korea.  It began forming in Shilo, Manitoba on 7 August 1950.  D, E, and F Batteries, together with Regimental Headquarters, totalling 39 Officers and 635 other ranks. On 19 November, 1950 the regiment departed Shilo for Fort Lewis, Washington, U.S.A. aboard two troop trains.  On 21 November 1950, at Canoe River, near Valemount, British Columbia the second troop train collided with an eastbound passenger train.  Seventeen soldiers were killed and an additional 42 were injured.  In 1989 the Regiment erected a memorial cairn at Valemount, B.C. Since fighting in the Korean war, 2 RCHA has been garrisoned in Winnipeg, Manitoba; West Germany; Gagetown, New Brunswick; and finally in Petawawa, Ontario where it is presently stationed. Today the Regiment is part of the 2nd Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group.

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