National Defence and the Canadian Forces

4th Canadian Division

31 Canadian Brigade Group


RHLI Associate Officers Dinner

02 October 2010

The Fall Associate Officer?s Dinner brought together a large number of old friends and comrades, with a sprinkling of new faces as guests or new members as our Mess continues to attract new friends of the Regiment. Good food, good friends and a good time ? what more could you ask for?

LCol Dan Stepaniuk, in his first dinner address since becoming CO, addressed the gathering, highlighting the recent activities of the RHLI and noting especially our 15 soldiers currently in Afghanistan. He followed up by presenting COs coins to Rex Toews (a retired RHLI sergeant) and Lauch Harrison. Both are historical experts in their own right, especially in the time frame surrounding the general era of the War of 1812 up to the 1880s. Highly knowledgeable in weaponry, uniforms, drill and tactics, they have provided exceptional support in preparing the kit and helping with the training of our RHLI 13th Battalion Ceremonial Guard.

Our guest speaker, historian, author and TV host Norm Christie was a special delight. His breadth of knowledge and his use of it in making great television Canadian history programs makes him a national icon. He has personally walked the ground of most our country?s great battles, including those of the RHLI and its predecessor units such as the "Mad 4th" from WW 1. His research has brought him into contact with many great Canadian veterans from all theatres of war, and now his attendance at our dinner has introduced him to many more!

The RHLI, amazingly enough, is the first military unit to invite Norm to speak at a function. He came down from his home in Ottawa just to speak to us. His topic, on "The Path to Victory" traced Canada?s often unappreciated role in WW 2 in many theatres and in all branches of the Service ? Army, Navy, and Air Force. He spoke briefly on Verri?es Ridge and the Riley?s role in taking ? and holding ? the ridge against fierce German opposition ? the only unit to do so. He ranked this fight as one of our two most crucial battles in the period following D-Day leading up to the Falaise battles, the other being the Regina Rifles giving the much-vaunted 12th SS Panzer Division a bloody nose just prior to Verri?es.

You can visit www.cefbooks.ca to find out more about Norm Christie and the valuable historical productions and publications he has available on-line.

We?re looking forward to the Spring dinner ? watch for the announcement! In the meantime, ensure you book 28 December, 6-8 p.m. for the Commanding Officer?s Cocktail Party, and of course, New Year?s Day for the levee!