For Immediate Release
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Casa Loma hosts ‘The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada’ Day
in honour of Remembrance Day
Saturday November 9, 2013 – 10:00 am-5:00 pm
- Remembrance Day program features soldiers of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, along with guest speakers Peter Vronsky, Bob Richardson, Eric McGeer, guided tours of QORoC Regimental Museum and performances by The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada Regimental Band and Bugles
- Soldiers, cadets and veterans with ID or in uniform will receive complimentary admission to Casa Loma
Canada (originally named 2nd Battalion, Volunteer Militia Rifles of Canada) was formed on April 26, 1860. Predating the Confederation of Canada and the country’s oldest continuously-serving infantry regiment, The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada (QORoC) saw action at Ridgeway, South Africa, the Somme, Vimy, Passchendaele and Normandy among other battles. The Reserve unit was re-designated as The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada on 11 February 1971 and remains an active Toronto militia unit today with the task of providing a fully trained parachute company when required. While once comprised almost exclusively of those with British heritage, today its soldiers reflect the wide ethnic diversity of our city.
The day’s activities will feature guided tours of the museum’s exhibits, an opportunity to chat with soldiers who saw service in Afghanistan and Bosnia, photo opportunities with soldiers in 19th Century uniforms, displays and demonstrations of modern day military equipment, activities for children and youth and, commencing in the afternoon, The Queen’s Own Rifles Regimental Band and Bugles will perform in the Great Hall.
“We’re excited to show the evolution of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada from its formation in 1860 to the regiment of today – both what’s different in terms of equipment and training, and what traditions still exist,” says museum curator and retired Major John Stephens.
Special guest speakers will be at Casa Loma throughout the day including Canadian author, filmmaker and investigative historian Peter Vronsky (Ridgeway: The American Fenian Invasion and the 1866 Battle That Made Canada) who will discuss the QORoC participation in the 1866 Battle of Ridgeway; The Western Front Association member Bob Richardson who will talk about researching your First World War army ancestors; and teacher, historian and author Eric McGeer (Words of Valediction and Remembrance: Canadian Epitaphs of the Second World War) who will talk about 3rd Battalion epitaphs of the First World War.
Soldiers and cadets with ID or in uniform, and veterans in an association blazer will be offered complimentary admission to Casa Loma on Saturday, November 9, as well as on Sunday, November 10. For program details and admission prices to Casa Loma, please visit: www.casalomo.org
For more information about The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada activities at Casa Loma on Saturday, November 9th, please visit: https://qormuseum.org/events/november-9-2013/
Why The Queen’s Own Rifles Museum is located at Casa Loma
Casa Loma was the former estate of Major General Sir Henry Pellatt, CVO (January 6, 1859 – March 8, 1939) a prominent Toronto financier, industrialist and military man. Travels in Europe gave him the love for fine art and architecture that would spur his vision of Casa Loma, his “house on the hill,” which took three years and $3.5 million to build in the early 1900s. This romantic side was uniquely juxtaposed by his other lifelong passion: his involvement with The Queen’s Own Rifles. Sir Henry, who joined The Queen’s Own Rifles as a rifleman in 1876, was knighted in 1905 for his military service with The Regiment, upon which he spent many hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Regiment’s band was often engaged to entertain guests at the castle.
In 1910, at his own expense, to mark The Regiment’s 50th anniversary, Sir Henry took the entire 600 man regiment – including its horses – to England for military exercises from 13 August to 3 October. The museum, filled with memorabilia relating to the Regiment, dating as far back as the date of its formation in 1860 and its involvement in every military action undertaken by Canada since then, attracts thousands of visitors from around the world each year. For more information about Casa Loma, please visit: www.casaloma.org
Dorit Leo Major (Ret) John Stephens, CD
Media Relations The Queen’s Own Rifles
Casa Loma Regimental Museum Curator