120th anniversary of the first granting of Freedom of the City in Ottawa

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Navy News / September 4, 2014

Major-General Paul Wynnyk, Commander of Canadian Forces Intelligence Command, represented the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) today at Ottawa City Hall during the 120th anniversary of the first granting of Freedom of the City.

As part of this special occasion, Ottawa City Council unveiled a montage honouring the 17 CAF units and one cadet corps that have been honoured with Freedom of the City. Three of them are associated with the Royal Canadian Navy: the frigate HMCS Ottawa, Royal Canadian Naval Reserve Division HMCS Carleton, and Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps Falkland.

“It is an honour to represent the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces on this very special occasion,” said MGen Wynnyk. “The 120th anniversary of the first granting of Freedom of the City in Ottawa recognizes the service, professionalism and commitment of those military units and cadet corps that have played an important part in the history of the City of Ottawa and Canada.”

The granting of Freedom of the City by a municipality is one of the most valued honours to bestow upon a CAF unit or cadet corps. Over the past 120 years, the City of Ottawa has bestowed the honour of Freedom of the City upon the following 17 CAF units and one cadet corps:

         14th Battalion, The Princess of Wales’ Own Rifles, granted by His Worship George Cox in 1894;

         1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, granted by Her Worship Charlotte Whitton in 1953;

         2nd Battalion, The Canadian Guards, granted by Her Worship Charlotte Whitton in 1964;

         30th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, granted by His Worship Don Reid from 1965-68;

         1st Battalion, The Canadian Guards, granted by His Worship Don Reid in 1968;

         The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa, granted by His Worship Don Reid in 1969;

         Governor General’s Foot Guards, granted by His Worship Pierre Benoit in 1972;

         3rd Field Engineer Squadron, granted by His Worship Lorrie Greenberg in 1977;

         763 (Ottawa) Communications Regiment, granted by Her Worship Marion Dewar in 1978;

         The Canadian Grenadier Guards, granted by Her Worship Marion Dewar in 1979;

         Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Carleton, granted by Her Worship Marion Dewar in 1980;

         4th Princess Louise Dragoon Guards, granted by Her Worship Marion Dewar in 1981;

         28th Service Battalion, granted by Her Worship Marion Dewar in 1981;

         Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, granted by Her Worship Marion Dewar in 1985;

         Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps Falkland, granted by Her Worship Jacquelin Holzman in 1995;

         Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Ottawa, granted by Her Worship Jacquelin Holzman in 1996;

         3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, granted by His Worship Jim Watson in 1999; and

         33 Canadian Brigade Group, granted by His Worship Jim Watson in 2013.

The montage honouring the 17 CAF units and one cadet corps will be permanently displayed in Ottawa City Hall, providing an opportunity for all citizens and guests to learn more about this special honour and the CAF units and cadet corps that have received it.

“It is an honour to host representatives of military units and the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps who have been granted Freedom of the City in Ottawa over the past 120 years,” said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. “This tribute to this historic tradition, and to the trusted military units that have received this honour, is an important and significant gesture to acknowledge the support and contributions of the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces.”

This symbolic, traditional recognition has been bestowed on military units located in communities ranging from small towns to cities, or military units who have earned battle honours. This designation entitled military units to “march through the street with drums beating, colours flying and bayonets fixed.”