On Wednesday, 02 October 2019, I was honoured to represent the C&E Branch at the Ontario Volunteer Service Awards ceremony held at Saint Lawrence College, Kingston, Ontario.

Presided by members of the Ontario Provincial Government, the awards paid tribute to a vast group of remarkable volunteers who dedicated their time and energy to initiatives spanning health care, education, social services, music, arts, science, and care for the infirmed and impoverished. In all, the volunteers in Kingston alone culminated nearly 1,500 years of volunteer time with some individuals dedicating upwards of 45 years of volunteer service to honourable causes and charitable organizations.

Of those recognized were members of the C&E Garrison Military Band. Accompanied by our Bandmaster – Warrant Officer Sylvain Gagnon, CD, RCAF – we were able to celebrate the remarkable contribution, effort, and commitment put forth by the following musicians whose collective dedication to the Branch Band tallies over 135 years of selfless time and gallant effort:

  • Susan Reynolds:
    o 20 Year Award
    o French Horn, 24 years (founding member of the C&E Band)
  • Suzanne Owen:
    o 20 Year Award
    o Flute and Saxophone, 24 years (founding member of the C&E Band)
  • Doug Boulter:
    o 15 year award
    o Tuba, 19 years
  • Kaaren Brown:
    o 20 year award
    o French Horn, 24 years (founding member of the C&E Band)
  • Elizabeth Smith:
    o 20 Year Award
    o Clarinet, 20 years
  • WO Gerrit Dewit (Ret’d):
    o 20 Year Award
    o Trumpet, 24 years (founding member of the C&E Band, joined RCD Band in 1958, RCCS Band 1960 until retirement from CF Vimy Band)

The C&E Branch Band contains within its ranks a remarkable ensemble of dedicated musicians. For decades, they played march pasts and instrumental music for our most celebrated events, parades, and ceremonies; adding a level of sophistication and dignity to our most cherished military traditions. They’ve done so free-of-charge since its inception in 1995. They are a rare gift of which the C&E Branch should never lose sight.

On behalf of the Branch Leadership and our community writ large: a tremendous debt of gratitude is owed to our very own Branch Band for enriching our parades and functions with poise, significance, and value.

Major Blair A. Christie, MMM, CD, RCCS
Branch Adjutant