Timeline: 1975-1999

Please note: This timeline is a work in progress and we continue to  update as we record more information from published references and our archives. It includes dates of events, activities and operations for the Queen’s Own Rifles.

See Timeline home page for references.

1975-1979|1980-1984|1985-1989|1990-1994|1995-1999

Hermant, Adam Newsclipping Australia
Then QOR Lieutenant Adam Hermant visitng the Sydney University Regiment in Australia in February 1975.

1975

February – QOR Lieutenant Adam Hermant visited Australia to attend the 75th anniversary of the Sydney University Regiment

April 26

June 8 – Lieutenant Colonel J. J. J. Power, CD replaces Lieutenant Colonel Pryer as Commanding Officer

Warrant Officer Gerry Senetchko, CD qualified for the Canadian Bisley Team, winning the Queen’s Medal for best shot at the Dominion Canadian Rifle Association competition.

1976

Captain George Gresham replaces Captain John O’Brien as Director of Music

Testimonial dinner held for Brigadier J G Jock Spragge, DSO, OBE, CD who commanded the regiment on D-Day.

October 12 – Honorary Lieutenant Colonel the Honorable Barney Danson is named Defence Minister in the Trudeau Cabinet.

1977

Several members of The Queen’s Own Rifles attend the laying up of the colours of The Buffs Regiment in Canterbury Cathedral, after almost 400 years of service in the British Army.

June 12 – Rifleman R. N. Gurung is killed in a military vehicle accident in Toronto, Ontario.

1978

June 8 – Change of command to Lieutenant Colonel William Wilson, CD from Lieutenant Colonel J.J. Power, CD.

July – Volume 1, No. 1 issue of the annual regimental journal “The Rifleman” is produced.

Formation of the QOR Legislative Assembly Guard to provide sentries in 1860’s dress at Queen’s Park. Later extended to Casa Loma.

December 27 – Death of former Colonel of the Regiment Colonel J.G.K Strathy.

Death of Brigadier General J.G. Spragge, OBE, DSO, ED.

1979

April 1 – The Central Militia Area Special Unit (CMASU) is amalgamated into the QOR. This experimental Unit led by Lt Col Fairclough, was intended as a Reserve parachute capable force but funding was discontinued. Many member of the CMASU went on to hold important positions in the QOR including: LCol Tony Welsh, RSM Scott Patterson and RSM Shaun Kelly.

Death of former Director of Museum Captain W.T. Atkins.

Regiment was visited by Lieutenant Rambahadur Limbu, VC, 10th Princess Mary’s Own Gurkha Rifles.

1980

Visit of Princess Alexandra, Colonel-in-Chief to Toronto and Nanaimo to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the regiment.

Bugle Band, pioneers, and skirmishers invited to Nijmegen to lead the parade marking the 35th anniversary of the town’s liberation.

Colonel H.E. Dalton led a Queen’s Own group to attend the parade marking the installation of the new Lord Mayor of London, England who was a former Commanding Officer of The Buffs.

Death of Bishop Frederick H. Wilkinson, MM, ED, former regimental padre.

1981

January 16 – A funeral with full military honours was held at St Paul’s Anglican Church for Lieutenant Colonel William S. Wilson, CD, Commanding Officer of the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, who died of a heart attack aged 54, on his way home from military duties.

Lieutenant Colonel W.J. Barnard assumes command.

October – The QOR won the Kitching Trophy for the Top Unit in Central Militia Area (all of Ontario).

1982

10 Rifleman attended an Airborne course which produced 10 graduates, one of which placed first. The regiment subsequently was to be tasked to provide an Airborne Platoon available to augment 3 Commando of the Canadian Airborne Regiment on seven days notice.

March – Sergeants’ Mess proudly celebrate their 100th year and held their 99th Annual Mess Dinner.

April 24 – 122nd Anniversary Dinner-Dance hosted by The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada Association at Casa Loma with guest of honour Major General Herbert Pitts, MC, CD. The concert band of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 344 appeared with the kind permission of its president, Mr. Gus Gutoski.

May 15 – First Annual Black Net Dinner was held at the Officers’ Mess.

1982 at Petawawa – General Belzile in turret), BGen Pryer (2nd from right) and (with sun glasses) then Lieutenant Steve Brand.

July 11 – The Toronto Star features a full page article on Sir Henry Pellatt consisting of excerpts from the book The King of Casa Loma by Carlie Oreskovich.

September 19 – Toronto Militia District Change of Command from Colonel D.A. Pryer, CD to Colonel N.M. Hall, CD held at Nathan Phillips Square.

Queen’s Own form an alliance with the Ghurkas.

1983

1 January – The Regiment received an operational tasking to provide two airborne platoons to support 3 Commando of the Canadian Airborne Regiment.

scott-patterson-l-and-doug-butt-on-airborne-indoctrination-course-83-02Scott Patterson and Doug Butt complete Airborne Indoctrination Course 8302 at CFB Petawawa.

Brigadier General Don Pryer takes over command of Central Militia District from Brigadier General Leonard Salmon. Parade includes a 50 man Guard from the QOR plus the Drums and Bugles.

QOR branch No. 344 opens new location on Lakeshore Rd.

1984

February 25 – The Sergeants’ Mess held its Sergeant Aubrey Cosens, VC/Corporals’ Night

February – 11 Rifleman attended SSF Ex Lightning Strike with the Airborne Regiment jumping into an area near Earlton in Northern Ontario. Several Rifleman came back with White Maple Leaves. This is awarded to a militia trooper on successful completion of two operational jumps with the AB Regiment.

March 31 – Sergeants’ Mess held its 101st Annual Mess Dinner

April 29 – Lieutenant Colonel B. Grahame Baskerville, CD succeeds Lieutenant Colonel W.J. Barnard, CD as Commanding Officer.

June 6 – Prime Minister Pierre E. Trudeau shakes has of QOR D-Day veterans Frank Eakin, Guy Perrier, Orville Cook, Art Gay, and Ernie Marsh. Canadians held special ceremonies at several memorials along the way. The Regimental Band led the QOR to their monument, where they prayed and remembered. Then Rifleman J P Moore, one of 300 veterans attending recounted the tale of pausing at a Church after successfully driving his carried from the beach to “say hell to God and a couple of prayers.” Shortly afterward he was trapped by shelling in an orchard outside Berniere, when he saw a tiny rabbit – who after being named Dinty Moore, remained with JP until the Schelte.

June 14 – Captain Simundson departs for advance party to England.

Major E Simundson 1984 England
Captain E Simundson in England

June 22 – Main body of Skirmishers and Pioneers reach England for a performance at Green Jacket Week.

QOR Skirmisher Officer and Bugler
QOR Skirmisher Officer and Bugler

September – The Parachute tasking was upgraded to providing two platoons and a company headquarters.

September 29 – The Regiment participated in the Royal Salute to Her Majesty the Queen presented by the Government of Ontario and Central Militia Area in celebration of the Bicentennial of the Province of Ontario at Exhibit Stadium.

September/October – Brigadier General Neil Gordon, CD replaces Colonel Elliot Dalton as Honorary Colonel.

1985

February 17 – Change of Regimental Sergeant Major from CWO H McCabe, MMM, CD to CWO R. Chan, CD

Change of RSM
Change of Regimental Sergeant Major from CWO H McCabe, MMM, CD to CWO R. Chan, CD

April 20 – A regimental dinner followed by a dance is held at the Royal Canadian Legion to celebrate the 125th Anniversary.

April 24 – A Ceremonial Parade is held at Moss Park Armoury to celebrate the 125th Anniversary – Brigadier General J. Neal Gordon, DSO, CD is the reviewing officer. The Regiment also fired a few-de-joie the first time in a number of years this was done.

May 20 – Victoria Day the Toronto Historical Board asked for the participation of the Pioneers & Skirmishers to fire a feu-de-joie for the Queen’s Birthday at Old Fort York, with Military band in attendance.

July – CWO Roy Bruce retires after 36 years of Service with the Canadian Army and the Canadian Forces.

November 6 – Colonel in Chief Princess Alexandra arrives at the Toronto Airport. 6-10 November the Colonel in Chief visited the Regiment.

Princess Alexandra is greeted at the Toronto Airport 9 November 1985
Princess Alexandra is greeted at the Toronto Airport 6 November 1985

November 7 – Reception held for HRH at the residence of LCol John G B Strathy and Mrs Strathy with sixty guests.

November 8 – Princess Alexandra visits Royal Agricultural Winter Fair where a Queen’s Own Rifles Guard of Honour is commanded by then Major Ed Rayment.

November 9 – Princess Alexandra proceeds to CFB Borden and visits QOR paratroopers.CinC Princess Alexandria inspects 3rd Battalion QOR

Princess Alexandria inspects members of the 3rd Battalion QORNovember 9 – Princess Alexandra attends 125th Anniversary dinner at the Metropolitan Grand Ballroom.

November 10 – Princess Alexandra attends the Cross of Sacrifice to lay wreaths then attends the Regimental Church service at St Paul’s.

1986

April 26 – Annual Sergeants’ Mess Dinner

May 31 – Ribbon cutting to open the Sergeant Aubrey Cosens, VC Memorial Bridge in Latchford, Ontario.

June 4 – Sergeants’ Mess D-Day Dinner

June 14 – Stand down BBQ held

November 1 – Regimental Mess dinner held in honour of Lieutenant General C.H. Belzile, CMM, CD

1987

February 22 – Change of Regimental Sergeant Major from CWO Rob Chan, CD to CWO Brian W. Budden, CD

April 25 – Gathering in Officers’ Mess to honour LCol WT Barnard, ED, CD, Curator of the Regimental Museum and his staff.

April 25 – Queen’s Own Rifles holds open house with marching bands, historic, modern and airborne military displays featured. Also an :at home” in the officers’ and sergeants’ messes.

May – Five members of the QOR Airborne Company travelled to Dover, New Jersey, to be guests of the New Jersey Airborne Colour Guard. 2nd Lieutenant John Fotheringham, Sergeant Scott Patterson, Master Corporal Adam Saunders, Master Corporal B. Paton and Corporal R. Vulakovich parade with the Colour Guard as part of Armed Forces Day at Picatinny Arsenal.

September 27 – Change of Command from Lieutenant Colonel B.G. Baskerville, CD to Lieutenant Colonel C.E. Rayment, CD

Maple Leaf Rifle Club recognizes 75th Anniversary

Honorary Colonel Jack Lake visited the Brigade of Ghurkas Headquarters in Nepal to reconfirm the alliance with the Ghurkas created in 1982.

1988

D-Day veteran Ted O’Halloran was champion shot among 28 competitors at the 1st Annual regimental rifle shoot at Niagara on the Lake ranges.

Lieutenant Eileen Vaughan named to skydive in the Seoul Olympics Opening Ceremonies.

April 15 – The affiliated No 17 Upper Canada College Rifles Cadet Corps officially disbanded

April 24  – Drumhead Ceremony at Moss Park Armoury to mark the Regiment’s 128th Anniversary. Special guests include the Honorable Lincoln Alexander, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario; British Lieutenant General Sir David Ramsbotham; and Canadian Legion Vice President Gaston Garceau.

December 2 – The Buglers Association hold a buffet and fun night at the Buglers Mess.

1989

January 22 – Gala Concert held at Ontario Science Centre by the Regimental Band and Bugles under Lieutenant Denny Ringler, Director of Music.

UNTAG Namibia (United Nations Transition assistance group in Namibia.) Master Corporal Frank Demaine, March 1989 to September 1989. Rifleman Steve Wolfe September 1989 to March 1990. War ceased between Angola , and Cuba vs . South West Africa (now Namibia) backed by the South African Defence force. They successfully withdrew fighting forces and held first democratic elections in 1990 and Namibia became an independent nation. Canada provided mainly logistical support. I was in transport , helped build defensive base camp , was on QRF during elections.

June 6 – 45th Anniversary of D-Day is celebrated with a dinner at the Royal Canadian Military Institute.

June – Twenty WWII veterans including D-Day survivors, were among a large party who attended ceremonies in Le Mesnil-Patry where the regiment suffered heavy losses on 11 June 1944.

1990

January – Issue of new 5.56 mm C7 rifles, 5.56 mm C9 LMG and 7.62 mm C6 Machine guns as part of the Small Arms Replacement Project.

January to July – Lieutenant John M. Fotheringham served as first reserve platoon Cdr 3CDO in CFB Petawawa

March to October – Rifleman Steve Wolfe  first reservist augmented into 3 CDO, CFB Petawawa & Yukon Territory .

April 28 – 130th Anniversary Celebration held at the QOR Branch 344 Royal Canadian Legion with the Association General Meeting, a cocktail hour, then dinner followed by a dance.

29 April – Change of Command from LCol Ed Rayment, CD, to LCol Bob Campbell, CD.

Summer – Sergeant C.R. Thomson and Master Corporal Donovan O’Halloran successfully completed qualifying as Jump Masters first reservists in the Canadian Forces to do so.

1991

Cpls Demaine and Shannon are sent on the ariel delivery course so as to be able to support the air movement tasking.

1992

Master Corporal Frank Demaine and Corporal Mark Shannon were deployed to Peace Keeping Operations Cambodia to work as part of UNTAC.

March – The Regiment hosts the 1992 Toronto Garrison Officers’ Ball at the Royal York Hotel with the Honorable Henry N.R. Jackman, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario as patron.

May 12 – Honorary Colonel H.C.F. Elliot, Lieutenant Colonel J.G.B. Strathy (then President of the Trust Fund) and their wives visited Canterbury Cathedral when Colonel Elliot turn a page of The Book of Remembrance at 1100 hrs, then The Queen’s Regiment – soon to become the Princess of Wale’s Royal Regiment (Queen’s and Royal Hampshires – followed by a visit The Queen’s Regiment Museum in Dover Castle.

May 13 – Honorary Colonel H.C.F. Elliot, Lieutenant Colonel J.G.B. Strathy and their wives had an audience with the Colonel in Chief, HRH Princess Alexandra at Thatched House Lodge.

May 13 – Honorary Colonel H.C.F. Elliot, Lieutenant Colonel J.G.B. Strathy and their wives visited the 4th (Volunteer) Battalion The Royal Green Jackets.

May 14 – Honorary Colonel H.C.F. Elliot and Lieutenant Colonel J.G.B. Strathy visited the Canadian Defence Liaison Staff in London.

May 15 – Honorary Colonel H.C.F. Elliot, Lieutenant Colonel J.G.B. Strathy and their wives visited the Regimental Headquarters of The Royal Green Jackets and the Light Division Depot which included a tour of the Green Jackets Museum and lunch in the Officers’ Mess.

June – Pioneers and Skirmishers take part in the 125th anniversary commemoration of the Battle of Ridgeway

1991 Ridgeway

Change of Regimental Sergeant Major from Chief Warrant Officer Brian Budden to Chief Warrant Officer Joshua C. Figa.

December 19 – Change of Command from Lieutenant Colonel Robert Campbell, CD to Lieutenant Colonel Steve Brand, CD.

December – QOR contingent deploys on Op Deliverance in Somalia with the Canadian Airborne Regiment. Corporal Steve Wolfe with 3 CDO , Rifleman Solares with 3 CDO, Rifleman Glover with 3 CDO , Rifleman Riberic with 2 CDO , Rifleman Brown with 2 CDO ,and Rifleman Noonan with 1 CDO.  Only one non-parachute qualified Rifleman was deployed this was Rifleman Riberic.

Rfn Gord Glover 2 Comd, Rfn Brown 2 Comd, Rfn Steven Wolfe 3 Comd, Rfn Bill Solarus 3 Comd, and missing Rfn Dereck Noonan 1 Comd
Rfn Gord Glover 2 Comd, Rfn Brown 2 Comd, Rfn Steven Wolfe 3 Comd, Rfn Bill Solarus 3 Comd, and missing Rfn Dereck Noonan 1 Comd. – Steve Wolfe’s photo
Rfn Steve Wolfe
Cpl S. Wolfe in full battle order. – Steve Wolfe’s photo
Convoy through Mogadishu
Vehicle move through Mogadishu – Steve Wolfe’s photo

1993

April – Wings exchange between members of the 194th Long Range Surveillance Detachment (Airborne) from the Iowa Army National Guard flew to Ontario in a C130, fulfilling a commitment three years in the planning. When it was over, 30 members of the QOR had earned the coveted US Parachute Wings.

September – Sergeant Donovan O’Halloran led four members of the Battalion in becoming the first Reserve team to ever enter the infamous SSF Ironman Competition.

September – Captain John Fotheringham, Master Warrant Officer Andy Sarossy, Warrant J. O’Connor and Warrant John Wilmot Parachuted into Holland for the 50th anniversary of Operation Market Garden near Arnhem. After landing with 10 Para they followed the 2 Para route to Frost Bridge 23 km away doing this for the first time since the war. Returning to England, the QOR contingent did a balloon jump from 700 and all earned their British wings.

Sgt Donovan O’Halloran becomes first Reservist to complete and qualify as a Parachute Instructor

Six QOR Reservists deploy on Op Deliverance in Somalia.

Second Lieutenant Phil Osanic was top scorer on the Canadian Army team competing at the Bisley Championships, which won the Mappin Trophy, edging the Royal Marine team by two points.

1994

June – QOR contingent around 200 traveled to Normandy to celebrate the 50th anniversary of D-Day. Travelling to many towns the QOR liberated during this campaign.

Charlie martin with LCol Brand 1994 Normandy
CSM Charlie Martin sharing a few laughs with LCol Brand – QOR Museum photo
Unveiling of plaque at Bereniere sur mer
Unveiling of a new plaque on the beach at Bernières-sur-mer – QOR Museum photo
WW2 QOR vets 1994
QOR Veteran contingent – QOR Museum photo
Then Honorary Colonel Don Pryer, CD taking salute at Normandy commemorations, 1994

1995

Sergeant Donovan O’Halloran, Corporal Gin and Corporal Smardenkas return safely from their 6 month tour with the UN in former Republic of Yugolavia (O’Halloran with the Royal Canadian Dragoons,  Gin and Smardenkas with 1 Royal Canadian Regiment.)

March 5 – Contingent from QOR attend the disbanding of the Canadian Airborne Regiment. QOR Band and Bugles was asked and accepted to play the various marches required for the numerous parades and functions held during the disbandment. The Band led the Canadian Airborne Regiment on its last march with Lieutenant Colonel Kenward leading the Regiment, to the final Laying up of Colours at the Airborne Museum at CFB Petawawa.

September – Change of Command from Lieutenant Colonel Steve Brand, CD to Lieutenant Colonel Tony Welsh, CD.

Airborne Company and friends 1995

1996

July – The QORofC Band and Bugles perform at Fort Henry, Kingston Ontario.

August – Bugler Joe Amodeo and drummer Corporal Gord Harse participated in an exchange with The Bugles of the Light Division and The Queen’s Own Band and Bugles.

Members of the QOR participated in the Marine Corps international parachuting competition in Rhode Island, USA. The team consisting of QOR members Master Corporal Chris Nobrega, Geoff Myers, Corporal Bret Lockhart, Sergeant Frank Demaine and two others from 32 Brigade, Master Warrant Officer Jim Fancy (Hatsy Ps) and a Major from Intelligence, won Top foreign team out of about 600 jumpers.

1997

January – Seven QOR reservists deploy on UN Duty in former Yugoslavia: Captain Adam Saunders, Captain R. Cunningham, Corporal C. Surrd, Rifleman D. Morgan, Rifleman M. Joanni, Rifleman L. Harrison, and Rifleman S. Simpson.

Rfn Harrison Bosnia 2
Corporal L. Harrison holding a Soviet APSH-41 1945 fully functional with 71 round drum magazine just a couple of the many weapons they came across in Bosnia.
Rfn Harrison Bosnia 3
Another common feature in the landscape are discarded or destroyed vehicles. Here, a Soviet T-34 WWII vintage, still in its run-up position left undamaged for whatever reason.
Rfn Harrison Bosnia on Cougar
Corporal Harrison as a gunner of 33C in a town called Martin Brod. A four day long range patrol was conducted there as well as several day patrols.

January 9-21 – Following a massive snowstorm, 77 Queen’s Own volunteers participated in assisting civil authorities in Toronto (Op Recuperation) at some point during this period on Class “C” Reserve Service (filling Regular Force positions).

Captain Saunders and Mayor Lastman
Captain Saunders talking with Mayor Mel Lastman – QOR Museum photo
Mayor Lastman inspecting troops
Mayor Mel Lastman inspecting troops of 32 Brigade – QOR Museum photo

1998

A Regimental website is created and maintained by Master Warrant Officer John Wilmot.

July 13 – Four QOR reservists are deployed OP PALLADIUM ROTO 3 with 3 Royal Canadian Regiment Para Company to Camp Maple Leaf in Kluj, Bosnia: Master Corporal Bill Paton, Corporal Rob Vulakovich, Corporal Rob Morton, Corporal Walt Lawlor

See also Greetings from Bosnia – 1998 by Bill Paton.

February 12 – Four QOR reservists that deployed OP  ROTO 3 returned to Canada and are awarded the Canadian Peacekeeping Medal (CPKM) and NATO-FY medal -Former Yugoslavia: Master Corporal Bill Paton, Corporal Rob Vulakovich, Corporal Rob Morton, Corporal Walt Lawlor

April 18 – About 100 members, wives and friends attended the Calgary Branch of the QOR Association’s dinner at Royal Canadian Legion Branch 264 to celebrate the Regiment’s 138th birthday.

June 6 – The Annual Association Rifle Shoot is held at Niagara-on-the-Lake Range organized by Rob Grieve

June 22 – The Calgary Branch of the QOR Association was visited by Brigadier General D. A. Pryer, Honorary Colonel, and Lieutenant Colonel John G.B. Strathy and his wife Jane. They dined at the Ranchmans’ Club thanks to Colonel Paul and Bev Hughes.

June 10 – A large silver bowl which had been presented to the QOR by The Buffs on the occasion of the Regiment’s 100th Anniversary, is returned to the Officers’ Mess from the Fort Frontenac’s Officers’ Mess thanks to the efforts of Brigadier General Kip Kirby

July 1 to 21 – Exercise Rambling Rifleman ’98 exchange of England with the 1st Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles (1RGR). Rifleman Sparks, Rifleman Hayes and Bugler Joseph Amodeo staying with 1 RGR for the duration of the exercise and Captain Adam Harmes, Corporals Chin-Leung, Pindar and Udobi, as well as Riflemen Hing, Pytlik and Sandilands, spent the ex with C (Gurkha) Coy of the 2nd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment at Aldershot.

Gurkha's with David harmes 2
QOR Museum photo
Gurkha's with David harmes
QOR Museum photo
Jumping in England
Preparing for a jump – QOR Museum photo
Rfn section in England with Gurkha's
QOR Museum photo

July 22 – Lieutenant Colonel A.R. Welsh, Commanding Officer is granted an audience with the Regiment’s Colonel-in-Chief, HRH Princess Alexandra at St. James Palace, London. He was accompanied by his wife Andrea.

August 4 to 22 – Master Warrant Officer Scott Patterson, Warrant Officer Phil ten Kortnaar, and Riflemen Amodeo, Candelario, Delaney, Lam, Morris, Pytlik, and Traynor were part of a company of soldiers training with native Rangers in “Sovereign Steadfast”, a 32 Combat Brigade exercise in Gjoa Haven Northwest Territories.

August 22 – QOR contingent in the Warriors Day Parade achieve 2nd place.

August 29 – Lieutenant W. Beardmore, attached to the Canadian Para Team (Skyhawks) had the misfortune to break a leg during a demonstration jump in Thunder Bay (PH 8-2)

September 30 – Lieutenant Colonel B.G. McEachern takes command of the regiment from Lieutenant Colonel A.R. Welsh.

November 6 – A gala dinner was held in honour of Major General H.C. Pitts, MC, CD

1999

January 10 – Lieutenant Colonel Orson Allen Nickson, DSO, CD, CM, C Company Commander on D-Day, passed away in Victoria, BC

February 21 – Colonel Charles Osborne Dalton, DSO, KStJ, ED, last surviving QOR D-Day Company Commander (B Company) passed away in Toronto at the age of 88.

Timelines:

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"In Pace Paratus – In Peace Prepared"