Category Archives: General

Drill Sheds and Armouries of the QOR

With the increased rate of withdrawal of British regular regiments from Canada in the 1850’s came the need to provide storage and training facilities for the volunteer militia companies and battalions that would fill the void. In 1860 the Queen’s Own were parading out of St. Lawrence Hall on Front St and a building at the north-east corner of King and Nelson (now Jarvis). The first “purpose built” drill shed was completed in June 1864 and was located on Simcoe Street just east of the old parliament buildings between Wellington and Front Streets; although no pictures or photos have been discovered, it is known to have been 400’ long by 80’ wide with a vaulted roof.

simcoe-st-drill-shed
Location of Simcoe Street drill shed 1864-1877, note how close it was to the docks at the time (Goad’s Atlas of Toronto 1858)

“The drill shed, a large building with arched roof of single span (since destroyed), was situated on the west side of Simcoe Street, adjacent to the old Parliament Buildings and extended through from Wellington Street to Front Street. It was built in the hollow of the old Russells Creek, a portion of whose valley is still to be seen in the Lieutenant Governor’s garden, and the hard earth floor of the shed was far below the level of Wellington Street. From this street a stairway led down to a small entrance door at the north end and at the south end were the broad double doors by which the regiments marched out direct on the lower level to Front Street.”

[The Fenian Raid of 1866 by Barlow Cumberland]

Shortly after its construction it was the mustering point for the soldiers called-up for active duty during the Fenian Raid June of 1866;

“At 6:00 P.M. Major Charles T. Gillmor, the recently appointed commanding officer of the QOR received orders to assemble 400 men by 5:00 A.M. in the recently constructed Simcoe Street drill shed and to proceed to the Toronto docks where at 6:30 A.M. they were to board the steamer City of Toronto for a three-hour trip across Lake Ontario to Port Dalhousie.”

The Simcoe Street drill shed lasted into the 1870’s but it seems there was damage and it was replaced in 1877 by a newly built drill shed behind the City Hall, between Jarvis & Market Streets south of Front Street.

“Amongst the difficulties which the Battalion had to contend with at this time, not the least was that, the old drill shed on Simcoe street having been partially destroyed, the several companies were compelled to perform their drill in empty warehouses and halls.”

It was not until April 4th, 1877, that a new drill shed was provided. On that date, the new drill shed, in rear of the City Hall Buildings, erected at an expense of some $16,000 by the City Council and the Government, was opened and regular and systematic work made possible.”

[Pg 25 Historical Album]

1880-drill-shed-on-front2
Location of Drill shed on Front Street (Goad’s Atlas of Toronto 1880)
st-lawrence-market-armoury
Drill shed on Front Street (also shown at top of page) (City of Toronto Archives)

The Armouries on University Avenue, when completed in 1893, was the largest of its kind in North America. It was the longest to be used by the regiment so far, and was the starting point for thousands of Riflemen going to fight in South Africa, WWI, WWII and Korea.

the-armouries-1893-virtual-reference-library
University Avenue Armouries 1893 by R. C. Windeyer [Toronto reference library]
“Built in 1891, the Toronto Armouries officially opened on May 17, 1894. Its inauguration was celebrated by a military tournament featuring different regiments—the Queen’s Own Rifles, 48th Highlanders, Royal Regiment, Royal Dragoons Toronto, and the Governor General’s Body Guard. The building had massively thick walls that were faced with red bricks and bonded with red mortar to create a continuously smooth appearance. Built on a solid foundation of Kingston limestone, the same type of stone was used as trim around the smaller windows and the huge arched windows on the west facade. The trim on the top of the towers, which were mediaeval in appearance, were also detailed with limestone.

In the interior of the armouries was a great  drill hall measuring 280’ by 125’, with a ceiling that soared 72’ above the floor. The drill hall was sometimes used to host banquets and automobile, trade, and fashion shows. Included were offices for military staff, mess halls (dining areas), classrooms, and kit rooms (storage). In the basement there was a rifle range and a  bowling alley to provide recreation for the men.    

The Toronto armouries served as a training facility for troops that fought in the Boer War (1899-1902), the First World War (1914-1918), the Second World War (1939-1945), and the Korean Conflict. The Boer War was when Canadian troops first fought on foreign soil. During World War 11, because of the proximity of the armouries to Osgoode Hall, judges in the courtrooms complained that the gun salutes rattled the windows of their courtrooms causing them to fear for their safety.

However, by the 1950s, high-rise buildings increasingly dominated University Avenue. Despite efforts to preserve the armouries, the need for space to expand the law courts at Osgoode Hall was given priority. On the site today there are provincial courthouses and a historic plaque stating, “On this site stood the University Avenue Armouries, the home of famous Toronto Regiments of the Canadian Army and centre of Militia activities in Toronto from 1891 until it was demolished in 1963.”

[Doug Taylor, Historic Toronto]

1893-drill-shed-on-university-c
Location of the University Avenue Armoury (Goad’s Atlas of Toronto 1893)
new-image
Queen’s Own departing University Armouries for WWI led by (then) LCol M. Mercer

Between the destruction of University Avenue Armoury and the completion of Moss Park Armoury at Queen and Jarvis the regiment was temporarily put up in an industrial building on Richmond Street near Jarvis. Not a purpose built armoury it is said to have had many support columns making drill difficult.

Moss Park Armoury is a large, purpose-built, multiple unit armoury shared by the Queen’s Own since it opened in 1966 with the 7th Toronto Regiment (Royal Canadian Artillery), the 48th Highlanders, and 25 Medical Company and originally 2 Toronto Service Bn and the Canadian Intelligence Corps. The building is equipped with an underground “Gun Park” (for vehicles, artillery pieces and maintenance), a large parade square, multiple offices for administration, lecture rooms and messes for the various different ranks to relax in on the third floor. As of writing (2017) the regiment still parades at Moss Park Armoury.

2011-moss-park-parade
Moss Park Armoury during a parade 2008

From 2006-2015 Buffs Company had been parading out of Dalton Armoury off of Milner avenue, between Markham Rd and McCowan in Scarborough.

 

Now Available in 103 Languages

Today, we’re excited to announce that we’ve installed WordPress’ new Google Translate Widget, which allows you to instantly translate our website content into 103 languages currently supported by Google Translate. You can find the “Translate our Site” drop-down on the right side of all our pages, and just choose the language you want to read in.

We all know that Google Translate isn’t perfect but it has come a long way over the past few years and will certainly help make access to our content easier for those researchers and historians in other countries.

And a big thanks to WordPress for providing this new “widget”!

Culture Division Visits the Museum

photo 5 (2)On Wednesday May 25, the Culture Division of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport held their annual “division day” at Casa Loma. The Culture Division provides support to community museums in Ontario including administration of the Community Museums Operating Grant and Community Museum Standards.

There were various presentations throughout the morning but I was most excited to be able to present about The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada and in particular about our Regimental Museum! After my talk, the 96 public servants present were able to tour Casa Loma and most climbed to the third floor to check out our museum in person. I was also able to provide some behind the scenes curator access in our office/archives (and former bathroom) area.

It was a great opportunity to bring some of our regiment’s history to a broader audience who seemed to appreciate what I was able to share.

image1

Over a quarter million page views!

We’re very pleased to report that yesterday our museum’s website past the two hundred and fifty thousand page views since it was launched in February 2012!

Of course we’re excited in a geeky tech way but much more excited because it tells us a couple of things:

  • First it means the website is definitely helping us meet our mandate to “to encourage the study of Canadian military history and in particular the history of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, to rescue from oblivion the memories of its members, to obtain and preserve narratives in print, manuscript or otherwise of their travels, adventures, labours and observations, to secure and preserve objects illustrative of the civil, literary and military history of the Regiment, and to maintain a museum and a library.”
  • Second it tells us that people are using the site for reference and research – some of our most visited pages for example, are the 3rd Battalion CEF WWI War Diaries, and the QOR WWI War Diaries – all of which have been transcribed and made available online.
  • Lastly we know that the website has allowed us to connect with many relatives who have contacted us ask for or provide information about their ancestors, or – even more excitingly – to make donations of relevant artifacts because they have found us online.

A couple more interesting website statistics:

  • Those 250,000 pages views were made by over 81,000 unique visitors to our site
  • Those visitors came from over 156 countries and territories
  • Our site currently consists of 338 pages
  • 186 of those pages are biography profiles for individual QOR soldiers we’ve researched – and new pages are added regularly
  • This post is our 173rd – roughly 5 blog posts made every 6 weeks
  • We are constantly updating our timeline pages – there’s a lot of history to try to capture in 156 years!

I want to recognize the efforts of Mr. Joe Wyatt working on the timelines, Master Corporal Graham Humphrey on his WWII War Diary transcriptions and uniform posts, and Assistant Curator CWO (Ret) Shaun Kelly who has been recently helping to upload biography pages. It’s become very much a team effort!

So please look around the site, make sure you’re subscribed for email notifications for new blog posts, and let us know if there’s something you’d like to see included.  We’re even open to post guest blogs so let us know if you have something you’d like to share!!

Cheers and thanks for your support!

John
Curator

Timelines, timelines and more timelines

Our role as the Regimental Museum is to both capture and share the history of The Queen’s Own Rifles. Maintaining our physical exhibits at Casa Loma is a big part of how we share and hundreds of thousands of people come through out displays every year – many tourists from around the world. But realizing that many more people will never be able to visit our physical location, we felt it was important, like any other museum, to have an online presence and so we created this website in 2012. We followed that up with a Facebook Page, a Twitter account, and most recently our Flickr site for sharing our thousands of photographs.

Timelines

Part of our challenge with the website was how to best present historical information from 1860 to the present. We opted for timelines. Don’t get too excited – these aren’t fancy java scripted timelines with awesome graphics and pop up info boxes. They are just a chronological listing of activities and milestones for the regiment. Sometimes we can provide links to further information or biographies of those noted. Sometimes we have some relevant photos to add in as well just to keep it from getting too dry. J

So where do we get the material to include? Great question with some good news/bad news answers. Prior to 1960 we have a number of histories of the regiment to draw from including LCol W.T. Barnard’s great work produced in 1960: Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, 1860-1960: One Hundred Years of Canada. Pdf versions of this and earlier histories of the regiment can be found on our Research page. There is a lot more to add but we certainly have covered quite a bit about the first hundred years – for the most part on timelines divided into 25 year periods.

From 1960 to 1970 the Regiment produced an annual Powerhorn – essentially a yearbook which captured a wide range of activities of the two regular force and one reserve battalion, the regimental depot, the cadet corps, the association and the Black Net. We have a dedicated volunteer (he also does our “This Day in History” or OTHDIH post on Facebook and Twitter) plodding through these volumes and adding details to the appropriate timeline.

And of course more recently, Charles McGregor has published a history of the regiment since 1960 and we’re using this to help fill out our timelines as time and resources permit. In each case we try our best to reference our source for the information we add to the timelines.

But why haven’t you included X on a timeline?!

Unless it’s your birthday, odds are we’re happy to include info you might have on our timelines, but we just haven’t got to them in our research OR we just don’t know about them. In particular we would love to have more info to include for the late 1950s and from 1970 to present. Deployments, training exercises, jumps, graduations, special postings, etc. Ideally we’d want the exact dates (so we can use in our OTDIH posts) but we could also include if you just have the month and the year. We’re not looking for full-fledged stories or even paragraphs – just a one liner.

And don’t let the idea of “history” turn you off sending in more recent information – everything that has already happened is by default, part of our history, even it was just yesterday. And the sooner we capture it, the more accurately it will be recorded. Our only exception to this is to record operational deployments only when they are completed.

If you have items to share you can post a comment below or send an email to museum@qormuseum.org.

And if you haven’t has a chance to look yet, do check out the existing information on our timelines!

#GivingTuesday?

So it’s almost Tuesday. Hopefully you’ve survived the Black Friday crowds or maybe you opted to splurge online instead on Cyber Monday. Or maybe you didn’t partake in either but just got bombarded with promotional emails for the past week. But now we’d like to change the channel because December 1st is not just Tuesday, its #GivingTuesday!

What is GivingTuesday?

Imagine a day dedicated to giving back … around the world, across Canada and in your own community! Just as Black Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season for many people, GivingTuesday is the opening day of the giving season. GivingTuesday is a global day of giving. GivingTuesday is a time to celebrate and encourage activities that support charities and non profits. Whether it’s making a donation, volunteering time, helping a neighbour or spreading the word, GivingTuesday is a movement for everyone who wants to give something back.

And you’re telling me this because….?

Today and frankly until the end of the year, everyone is telling you they need you to give – Santa boxes for needy children, food banks need volunteers, and many local churches and charities are preparing to receive refugees in the coming weeks. And as passionate as I am about the work we do, I’m not asking that you make support for The Queen’s Own Rifles Regimental Museum a priority over these other urgent needs.

But some of you may be in a position where you can support more than one cause – be that with your money or your time. If you can make a financial donation great – it would go to help us with projects like digitizing 16mm films in our collection before they become unplayable; or to purchase new digital display products that can make our exhibits more engaging. You can donate on our GivingTuesday page to the Queen’s Own Rifles Trust which operates the museum – just type MUSEUM FUND in the online form Message box.

Some of you may be willing to give of your time as volunteers. We have a variety of opportunities. We generally gather at the museum most Thursday evenings from 1900 to 2200 hrs to work on very hands on projects from exhibits to hanging pictures to cleaning to cataloguing. But we also have volunteers who work remotely on research or transcribing or other tasks that don’t require your physical presence. If you’re interested in volunteering with us, check out our Volunteer page and complete an application.

What if I can’t do either at the moment – can I still help?

Giving-Tuesday-2015_250x250_greyYou can always become a social ambassador and share the word on Facebook, Twitter and Instragram about #givingTuesday – just make sure you use this hashtag.

Whatever the cause, we hope you’ll consider investing your time or financial resources or become a social ambassador on #GivingTuesday!

New Museum Committee Appointed

A new Regimental Museum Committee was appointed at the May 25, 2015 Annual General Meeting of the Regimental Trust Fund consisting of:

  • Lieutenant Colonel John Fotheringham (Chair)
  • Major Anthony I. W. Schultz (Member & Trust Fund President)
  • Captain Adam A. Hermant (Member & Trust Fund Past President)
  • Mr. Jim Lutz (Member)
  • Major John Stephens (Curator & Ex-Officio Member)
  • Chief Warrant Officer Shaun Kelly (Assistant Curator & Ex-Officio Member)

John Fotheringham has (uniquely) served as Commanding Officer of the QOR on two separate occasions. He has been responsible on behalf of the Trust, for initiating and updating QOR memorials throughout the world, a member of the Regimental Museum Committee and is also a Director of the Juno Beach Centre in Normandy. We look forward to his leadership in this new role.

We would also like to extend our thanks to outgoing Chair, Lieutenant Colonel Rob Zeidler who has served for a number of years, and in particular for his efforts during the transition between Curators, and the transition of Casa Loma operators from the Kiwanis Club of Toronto, to the City of Toronto, to the Liberty Entertainment Group. We wish Rob the best as he undertakes some new projects for the regimental family!

 

Volunteer Recognition Night

On February 26th we held our 2014 Volunteer Recognition event with a reception in the Library at the newly opened Royal Canadian Military Institute. Volunteers were joined by members of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada Trust. As a small thank you each volunteer received a QOR pen (courtesy of HCol (Ret’d) Paul Hughes).

Special presentations were made to Capt (Ret’d) Larry Hicks and MCpl Graham Humphrey who each gave over 100 hours of very much appreciated service to the museum in 2014. In total, 78 volunteers provided over 1,000 hours of service last year!

We were also pleased to receive a tour of the new RCMI facility from Curator Gregory Loughton.

Bravo Zulu!

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Museum Report – December 2014

We are please to share this Museum update of activities and work that have taken place since May 2014 which was prepared for the December semi-annual Queen’s Own Rifles Trust meeting.

Casa Loma Operator

Committee Chair LCol Rob Zeidler and Curator Maj John Stephens met with the Liberty Leadership Team on September 4th 2014 to discuss our relationship at which time Liberty confirmed their financial and management support to upgrade our exhibits and that they had contracted exhibit design company KUBIK to develop our new exhibit design. Our museum team is also working on developing documentation to assist us when we meet with KUBIK that highlights key milestones and artifacts that help tell the regiment’s story.

First World War

On September 28, 2014 we co-sponsored a First World War Symposium with the 15th Battalion Memorial Association (48th Highlanders) at Moss Park Armoury which had 50+ in attendance to hear 4 eminent authors discuss the subject of recent books they had published. The event, organized by LCol Fotheringham, also had dealers present and included an excellent lunch prepared by the Officers’ Mess staff.

Collections

  • We continue to work with our volunteers to create detailed catalogue records. This process also includes a photograph of each artifact and for this we are very grateful to Capt (Ret) Larry Hicks’ efforts. We have now catalogued over 2,000 artifacts.
  • We are continuing to enter the catalogue records into our Museum Collections database with 860+ records entered to date.
  • Thanks to a generous donation we were able to contract two Masters of Museum Studies graduates who had been volunteering with us, to work for 16 days each doing cataloguing and data entry.
  • Significant donations over the past 6 months include a collection of weapons and bayonets directed to us by a former rifleman, and the WWII uniform of the late D-Day veteran Jim Wilkins.
  • We are please to have accepted the return of an unframed 21” x 42” 1882 composite photograph which has been with a photo conservator for surface cleaning, tear repair, stain reduction, adhesive stain reduction and overall stabilization – it looks amazing. The next step will be to have it re-framed to protect it in the future.

Exhibits

  • We were pleased to work with LCol John Fotheringham and the Juno Beach Centre to make a temporary loan of Rolph Jackson artifacts for exhibit during the Colonel-in-Chief’s visit to the centre during her 70th Anniversary of D-Day visit. You can read more about that in a previous blog post.
  • The WWII and Afghanistan exhibits have been moved from our previous exhibit room into the East end of the third floor hallway to accommodate Casa Loma staff office moves due to external renovations at the West end of the building. The D-Day painting remains secured in the new office space for the time being.
  • We are currently in the process of updating some of our exhibit and artifact labels to provide more context and as a test of our major renovation.
  • We worked with Liberty’s graphic designer to create a “popsicle” sign which identifies our museum space.
  • We completed the transcription of 12 WWI letters and 3 diaries of CSM Lawrence Pridham, QOR à 166th Bn à 4CMR and these have been posted on our website. We are also in the process of producing a book of the transcriptions which will include a preface by author, historian and educator Dr. Eric McGeer.
  • In the coming months we plan to design and produce a number of pop-up banners that can be used at the museum but also for travelling exhibits. These would have both photos and text covering various significant periods in the regiment’s history.
  • Starting in January we will begin filming veteran/soldier interviews. The filming and editing will be done by Rifleman Rich Colmer and his videography company partner. The goal is to post the finished products on our Youtube Channel and website.
  • In the year we will be meeting with Casa Loma to discuss the possibility of arranging for some travelling exhibits.
  • Lastly we’re exploring the possibility of an exhibit of the oil portraits from the Officer’s Mess reproduced as photos on canvas as an exhibit. These could later be used throughout the castle.

Events

Our third “Queen’s Own Rifles Day at Casa Loma” on was held on Saturday November 8th and has been deemed another successful event.  The QOR Band played three sets with a focus on First World War era music, 2881 cadets assisted with children’s activities, and a large number of re-enactors joined us this year with uniforms representing all periods for WWI to the present and 2 heritage vehicles. We once again appreciate the Commanding Officer LCol Sandi Banerjee’s support in providing 11 currently serving soldiers with various kit who helps share their stories and the MSVS parked in front of the castle was also hard to miss. While it didn’t happen this year, we have recce’d a site for a rappelling demo in 2015.

Volunteers

  • In 2014, 74 volunteers (excluding the curator) have provided over 1,000 hours of service to the museum in 2014: 3 have over 25 hrs, 2 has over 50 hrs, 2 have over 75 hrs and one has over 100 hrs of service. This includes detailed cleaning, cataloguing and photographing of artifacts; cleaning display cases; painting; and redoing exhibit cases. Volunteer are coming from serving soldiers of the regiment (over 50), from the association and from others outside the regimental family. Almost 2,000 hours since October 2012.
  • We’re currently making plans for our second volunteer appreciation sometime early in the 2015. But special thanks during this past 7 months to our most regular volunteers: Assistant Curator CWO (Ret’d) Shaun Kelly, Capt (Ret’d) Larry Hicks, MCpl Graham Humphrey, Cheryl Copson, Sarah Silvestri, Joe Wyatt, Cpl Justin Dremanis, Capt Alex Whittaker and CWO Scott Patterson.

Education, Networking and Administration

D-Day Rifleman

Here is a visual of what a Rifleman would have looked like on D-Day.

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Field Service Marching Order with respirator slung. Gas cape rolled on Belt. Veil camouflage around neck. Shell dressing under netting of helmet. Emergency rations in hip pocket.

A.V. Battle dress will be worn, patches, (Canada & QOR), sewn on, when other collected.

The A.V. Battle dress will be worn for a minimum of 48 hrs, as soon as possible. If any effects on body are noticed, they will be reported immediately.

HAVERSACK

  • Mess tins
  • Holdall (towel, soap, razor, etc.)
  • Knife, fork and spoon
  • 24 hour rations
  • Cardigan
  • Beret
  • Boot laces
  • 4 x 2
  • Cigarettes
  • Pair of socks
  • Brown mug

LARGE PACK

  • Leather jerkin
  • Boots (anklets if required)
  • Cap comforter
  • Towel
  • Boot brush, dubbin & polish
  • Canvas shoes
  • Shirt, Angola
  • Boot laces
  • Drawers, Celular
  • Writing kit
  • Vest, Summer
  • 3 pairs socks
  • Housewife
  • Cigarettes
  • Greatcoat packed on outside of pack, held on by kicking straps

Other

  • Respirator of Assault marching personnel only attached to pack.
  • G-1018 blanket, folded as for kit layout rolled in ground sheet, strongly lied and properly labelled. (This makes a roll about 2 ½ feet long.)
  • All packs, Haversacks, Greatcoats (inside belt), ground sheet, to be marked with Rank, Name, Number and Coy mark.
  • Assault troops are all that land on “D” day.
  • 1 suit of denim to be collected at a later date.
  • Serge suit for all assault personnel, both riding & marching, less those with coys, will be turned in when notified to coy stores. They will be marked as laid down. They will be returned after “D” day.
  • Serge suit for those on follow up vehicles will be put in their Blanket rolls.

Here are some Pre Invasion photos from our Archives:

May 1944 - QOR Museum’s Photo
May 1944 – QOR Museum’s Photo
May 1944 - QOR Museum’s Photo
May 1944 – QOR Museum’s Photo
May 1944 - QOR Museum’s Photo
May 1944 – QOR Museum’s Photo
May 1944 - QOR Museum’s Photo
May 1944 – QOR Museum’s Photo
May 1944 - QOR Museum’s Photo
May 1944 – QOR Museum’s Photo
Pioneer Cpl 1944 - QOR Museum’s Photo
Pioneer Cpl 1944 – QOR Museum’s Photo

To see the War Diaries for Pre and Invasion visit the link below

https://qormuseum.org/history/timeline-1925-1949/the-second-world-war/war-diaries-1944/

Cheers,

MCpl Graham Humphrey

Queen’s Own

A poem by Albert E Sleighs

O , listen to the bugle call that summons men to arms,
Their King and country need them at the front;
They leave the desk and factory, they leave the town and farms,
To face the foe and bear the battle’s brunt…
Queen’s Own, Queen’s Own,

Sure a finer lot of lads were never known
You’ve a bonnie lot of laddies,
You’ll be missed by Rose and Gladys,
When you’re fighting at the front, Queen’s Own.

They’ve made their wills and settled up, and counted every cost,
Though most of them to give had only life,
But they’ll give it, give freely and count it cheaply lost,
To help the Empire triumph in the strife,
Queen’s Own, Queen’s Own,

When you’re fighting in the cannon-roaring zone,
When you’re charging with the bayonet,
And the blood of foemen stain it,
Don’t forget the slaughtered babes, Queen’s Own.

Regimental Museum Committee as of May 14, 2014

We’re pleased to announce that at the Annual General meeting of the Regimental Trust Fund, held May 14, 2014, four members of the Regimental Museum Committee (shown in italics) were appointed or re-appointed for a 3 year term. The full committee membership is as follows:

Chair

  • Lieutenant Colonel Rob Zeidler (to 2017)

Members

  • Lieutenant Colonel John Fotheringham (to 2017)
  • Captain Adam Hermant (to 2017)
  • Mr. Jim Lutz (to 2015)
  • Major Anthony Schultz (Indefinite)
  • Major John Stephens (Curator)

Ex-Officio Members

Canada Celebrates International Museum Day

OTTAWA, Ontario, May 16, 2014 — Participating museums and art galleries across Canada will be participating in International Museum Day on Sunday, May 18. The Canadian Museums Association (CMA) is encouraging all Canadians to visit and support heritage, culture and arts institutions across the country this Victoria Day weekend to take part in this worldwide event.
The International Council of Museums (ICOM) organized the first International Museum Day (IMD) on May 18 in 1977. Held annually on that day ever since, IMD raises awareness about the importance and value museums bring to society. Participating sites are encouraged to register for free on the official IMD website to promote their special IMD programming, such as free admission and special events, but they can also plan and promote it independently. Contact museums and galleries near you to find out if they are participating.

This year’s IMD theme, “Museum collections make connections“, was chosen by ICOM to “remind us that museums are living institutions that help create bonds between visitors, generations and cultures around the world”.

John McAvity, executive director of the CMA, shares this vision. “The core of our collective identity is made up of the artefacts, artwork, archival materials and intangible culture that are found in our museums,” says McAvity. “Successfully creating a connection between visitors and collections is a powerful way to positively influence individuals, their community and their culture. This year’s IMD theme reminds us how important it is to preserve and provide access to our collections, so that future generations can benefit from them as much as we do.”

Every year, Canada’s 2,600 museums attract more than 59 million visitors as well as more than half of all international tourists who visit our country. With cultural and heritage institutions facing important fiscal challenges, they are often struggling with the costs of caring for, storing and retaining their collections. The CMA urges the public to support museums in an effort to preserve our rich heritage.

For more information on this year’s celebrations, visit the IMD website and follow the activity on Twitter using the hashtag #IMD2014.

New Queen’s Own Badge

The new badge for The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada which now includes the “The” has been officially posted in the Canada Gazette on March 22, 2014:

Le 22 mars 2014 Gazette du Canada Partie I 657
Bearings have been made, as entered in the Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges of Canada (Volume, page):
Approval of the Badge of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, Toronto, Ontario, July 15, 2013 (Vol. VI, p. 248).
Approval of the Badge of the Combat Training Centre, Oromocto, New Brunswick, July 15, 2013 (Vol. VI, p. 251).
Approval of The Princess Royal’s Banner for the Royal Canadian Medical Service, Ottawa, Ontario, July 15, 2013 (Vol. VI, p. 264).
Confirmation of the Badge of the Canadian Forces Joint Operational Support Group, Kingston, Ontario, October 15, 2013 (Vol. VI, p. 273).
Approval of the Badge of the Canadian Forces Logistics Training Centre, Borden, Ontario, November 15, 2013 (Vol. VI,p. 280).
STEPHEN WALLACE
Herald Chancellor 

QOR of C Primary Badge Heraldic Painting Approved 15 July 2013QOR of C Primary Badge Explanation

Sports in the Regiment 1922-1923

As we kick off the 2014 Winter Olympics, we thought we’d share a few snippets of sports related regimental history.

The following is an excerpt from the 1922-1923 QOR Association Annual Report.

Sports in the Regiment

A phase of development in the life of every regiment that is, perhaps, one of the most essential to its success, and perhaps one of the most neglected, it in the world of sport. “Playing the game,” win or lose, must be inculcated in the mind of any who take a part, and this last devolves upon efficient leadership. It is such an ideal that the QOR has endeavoured to induce and maintain, that its part in the development of National life may not be confined to the discipline of the parade ground but to include self-discipline in the everyday life of its members. The Queen’s Own Rifles Athletic Association, therefore, became a reality on December 9th, 1922, and took over the work that had been carried on by Maj. F.H. Wood and his Committee through the difficult period of re-organization. The officers elected were: Hon. Pres. Col. A. E. Kirkpatrick; Pres., Capt. G.G. Emsley Raley, MC; Vice-Pres,. Sgt. L. Baker; Sec’y-Treas, Lieut. T. A. Laidlaw; Executive, Lieut. A. E. Williams, Lieut. A deL. Panet, CQMS G. Alexander, Sgt. J. A. Wilson.

Indoor baseball hockey and basketball were chosen as the sports for the Winder season, and on Jan. 4th, the Regimental Indoor Ball League opened…

Throughout the season matches have been played at the Armouries each Wednesday evening from 7:30 to 11:00 pm, one diamond being reserved from 9:30 to 11:00 pm for Cadets and members of companies and details not entered in the League. Hockey and baseball were innovations but the interest shown was encouraging to those on whom the work really fell. About 25 to 30 men turned out for hockey practice and games at Little Vic Rink and a team of league calibre was selected to form the nuclei of the 1923-24 teams; the season closed with a win of 11-3 over the crack B.A. Life aggregation. On Feb. 28 a well attended hockey and recruiting meeting was held at the Armouries and it was decided to enter the Regimental team in a Senior City league during the season of 1923-24 (see photo below. )

The Officers’ Baseball team is an organization apart for the Association but is an invaluable agent in training candidates: Capt. J.S. Beatty, Team Captain; Major H. Pepler, M.C. Manager; Capt. Ross Walker, Secy.-Treas.

1923-1924 QOR Hockey Team
1923-1924 QOR Hockey Team
198th Battalion, CEF Baseball Team Champions 5th Canadian Division Witley, England, August 1917
198th Battalion, CEF Baseball Team
Champions 5th Canadian Division Witley, England, August 1917
B Company 198th Battalion CEF Cross Country Team - 15th Brigade Champions (Click on the photos for team names)
B Company 198th Battalion CEF Cross Country Team – 15th Brigade Champions
(Click on the photos for team names)
198th Battalion Canadian Buffs, CEF Cross Country Team
198th Battalion Canadian Buffs, CEF Cross Country Team
QOR of C Officers Indoor Baseball Team  Garrison Champions - Eastern Canada 1965-36
QOR of C Officers Indoor Baseball Team
Garrison Champions – Eastern Canada 1935-36
The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada Baseball Team September 1945
The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada Baseball Team September 1945
Canadian Army Champions and Canadian Armed Forces Champions
(click the photo to see team member names)

Warm wishes for the Holiday Season

Trust Fund Christmas Card 2013

National Philanthropy Day and Charitable Giving

“They who give have all the things.  They who withhold have nothing.”
(Hindu Proverb)

Did you know November 15 is National Philanthropy Day? 

NPD.Sig.Hor.ColorThis special day is set aside to recognize and pay tribute to the great contributions that philanthropy—and those people active in the philanthropic community—have made to our lives, our communities and our world.

What makes philanthropy so special is that no one is required to give of themselves. There are no national laws or regulations which mandate that you must volunteer or get involved. Philanthropy is so powerful and inspiring precisely because it is voluntary—that through the goodness of our hearts, through our need to connect, through our desire to see a better world, we come together to improve the quality of life for all people.

Through your generosity, billions of dollars and volunteer hours are given every year to countless nonprofits and charities around the world. Millions and millions of programs—from feeding the hungry and clothing the needy, curing the sick, saving the environment—happen every day because of you and your commitment to your favorite causes.

On National Philanthropy Day®, charities around the world thank you for your support. Your involvement—whether it’s mentoring, volunteering, giving, staffing an event or showing your support on social media—makes philanthropy possible, and makes National Philanthropy Day so special and meaningful.

Philanthropy and our Regimental Museum

In 2013 we’ve been very thankful for the many generous volunteers who have assisted us in a whole variety of ways at the Regimental Museum. So far this year we’ve seen 43 volunteers provide over 675 hours of service – from cataloging and photography to construction  and painting to exhibit planning and event support! And aside  from these recorded hours, are many many more where are supporters have helped connect with us and share our Museum and the history we tell, through their social media outlets.

Volunteers are really priceless but if we did chose to put a monetary value to their time and effort, even at minimum wage that amount would exceed our annual operating budget – and the year still has a month and a half to go!

We have also been the recipient of gifts in kind from four corporate donors in 2013:

  • The Hudson Bay Company (Flagship Store)- Mannequins
  • Benjamin Moore Paints – Paint
  • Pegasus Catering – Food vouchers
  • Vifloor Canada Ltd – Computers

The Museum’s operating funding (for day to day expenses), rent and  insurance is provided by the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada Regimental Trust Fund – to which many of your already contribute financially. Together the Trust, our dedicated volunteers and generous corporate donors form a pretty formidable combination.

But we’d also ask you to consider a special financial donation, particularly in recognition of National Philanthropy Day, to help us move closer to creating a museum of the 21st century – one that will help us tell the very important story of our Regiment and our Rifleman in the most engaging and effective manner we can.

You can mail a cheque to (note your donation is for the Museum Fund:

QORofC Trust Fund
Box 250, Unit 12A
4981 Highway 7 East
Markham, ON L3R 1N1

You can also make a donation online via our Trust Fund’s CanadaHelps page (under Fund/Designation select “Museum Fund”.)

We are most grateful for both your volunteer and financial contributions.

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
(Theodore Roosevelt)

Ten Reasons to Visit a Museum

Just in case you need convincing, we’re sharing this blog post which gives you ten reasons to visit a museum – ours or any other museum!

http://colleendilen.com/2009/07/31/10-reasons-to-visit-a-museum/

International Museum Day

Today is International Museum Day so we hope you’ll plan to visit our – or any museum today or any time this weekend!

Paint, Mannequins and Thank You’s

Over the past few months we’ve received two corporate donations which we’d like to publicly acknowledge.

Paint

Benjamin Moore

A conversation I was having with a colleague at work about repainting one of our exhibit rooms was overhead by another colleague which led to her father and eventually to the head office of Benjamin Moore Canada. The end result of “one thing leading to another” was some very expert advice on the most durable but also low VOC paints that would be most practical for our needs AND a donation of eight gallons of the said paint via one of their local retailers (Maples Paints on St Clair West.) Like most museums with limited operating budgets, donation of items in kind – like paint – can mean a big difference to what we can accomplish!

Mannequins

hudsons-bay-co-logoPretty much every historical museum uses mannequins to display costumes – historical clothing or in our case uniforms. But like many museum supplies, mannequins can be expensive – up to hundreds of dollars. The Queen’s Own Rifles Museum is no exception and although we have a large number of uniforms on display, we still have a closet full that aren’t!

Since my day job office is located at Queen and Bay (on top of the Queen Street Hudson Bay store), I arranged to have coffee about a month ago with Richard Montgomery, Chief Adventurer (a.k.a. Vice President and General Manager) of the Queen Street store. After reminiscing about my first job as a teenager at the Robert Simpson’s Queen Street Store (before it was bought by the Bay) and finding out that Robert had a degree in history, we talked mannequins. Richard said he’d be happy to help us out if he could and promised to check what they might be available. Almost four weeks later, staff delivered 2 full mannequins and 2 “busts” on stands to my office on the 18th floor!

mannequinsIn the picture above, your’s truly is the one with the head, and a couple of the others have been clothed with fig leafs for modesty’s sake. We’ve also undertaken a mannequin naming contest since they may be there a while until I can arrange transportation to their new home at Casa Loma.

Thank you

Thank you to both Benjamin Moore Paints Canada and The Hudson Bay Company for their generous gift in kind donations!