Message from the Commanding Officer
Lieutenant-Colonel (LCol) rank insignia
LCol Alkema
LCol Alkema

Hello Highlanders –


It’s a great day to be a Highlander!


Tomorrow, 16 October 2021, is the 130th anniversary of the founding of our Regiment; and we celebrate 130 years of service to Canada and Canadians.


We had planned a weekend of celebrations and events to mark this significant milestone – an Open House & Smoker at Moss Park Armoury, the WO & Sgts Mess Dinner, and the culmination of the weekend being the Regimental Change of Command Parade.


However, COVID got in the way of our plans.  We all know that “no plan survives first contact with the enemy”, so we did what all infantry soldiers do – “adapt and overcome”.  Instead of the Open House, we put together a video that marks our 130 years of service.  This video goes live at 2000hrs on Friday 15 October, 2021.  I hope that you’ll join in with the Active Regiment tonight and watch with us.  Here is the link:

130th Anniversary Video: 

2000hrs on Friday 15 October, 2021

This video is also viewable on YouTube by clicking on this text


The WO & Sgts’ Mess Dinner will be held on Saturday night, but instead of being held in the Mess, it will be held at Legion Branch 344 on Lakeshore Blvd.


The Regimental Change of Command will take place at 1400hrs on Sunday 17 October 2021.  At that time, I will hand over command of the 48th Highlanders of Canada to LCol Jason Morische.  This will be a livestreamed event, and will be conducted in the Officers’ Mess, in the presence of Comd 32 CBG, Col John McEwen, a former CO of the 48th Highlanders and HCol John MacIntyre.  Here is the link to this event:

Regimental Change of Command Livestreamed Event:

1400hrs on Sunday 17 October 2021

Highlanders – while COVID has a huge impact on all of us, on all Canadians, and the entire world, we have refused to be beaten.  The Regiment has continued to train, to deploy soldiers, and to recognize and honour our significant events and traditions.  I hope that you will join in to witness these events, and to celebrate our milestone of 130 years of service.  As you do so, I encourage you to do so with pride, and to recall fondly, your service, your time with the Regiment, and the friends and comrades you served with.  And remember that you are part of our history, that each and everyone of you played a part in making the 48th Highlanders of Canada the Regiment that it is.  Thanks to all of you for your service.


At this point, I want to shoot a new bearing for a minute.


This is my last blog as CO.  I’ve been privileged to serve as Commanding Officer for the past three years – to be entrusted with leading our Regiment.  The past three years have been incredibly busy, incredibly challenging, incredibly exciting. and incredibly rewarding.  Commanding the Regiment has been the best “job” I’ve ever had.


While COVID prevented us from accomplishing a number of things that I had in mind (training with 48 IBCT and 7 Scots), and made us drastically change how we honour our traditions (Act of Remembrance Parade, Remembrance Day, Change of RSM events all done virtually rather than as Regimental Parades), we found new and effective ways to conduct these events with dignity and appropriate ceremony.


But I didn’t do this on my own – there is a team of very dedicated Highlanders, serving soldiers and members of the Regimental Family who have provided outstanding support and assistance to me during my time as CO: the Honouraries, the Senate, and the Regimental Association.  I wouldn’t have any success without the serving soldiers, NCOs and officers of the Regiment  – thank you for your dedication, your commitment, your efforts and your service.  You are what makes the Regiment; and because of you, we can step forward into the next 130 years with confidence.


On that note, I’ll sign off the net.  I hope to see a number of you over this weekend at our various events.  And if not, then may our paths cross again soon.  Stay safe.



Niner – Out

R.A. Alkema



Contact webmaster

Use this form only for one of the available subject selections. Requests for information about former Highlanders or about the museum will not be answered. Click here for such requests.

Fields marked with an * are required.