Latha math to our active unit and cadets, our veterans/former serving members, and our current serving and extended regimental family!
Covid-19 has certainly provided us all with challenges. For me personally, it has been a time of reflection and gratitude. I am proud of how our regiment has pivoted, finding opportunities to stay connected and fit during this time of physical distancing. As an example, it has been fun watching the leaderboard and competitive spirit at work with the Ruck March Challenge. It’s a great way to “see” active unit Highlanders (and some retired too). Our improved online presence and social media engagement, along with the new Regimental Association are examples of the collaboration, resourcefulness and commitment of our community – I second HCOL MacIntyre’s comments and thanks to the teams who have worked tirelessly on these projects. Well done, teams! Ours is a caring community with people who are actively investing in our legacy and our future. In addition, the photo challenge is also keeping our family connected and engaged. Please keep sharing! One of the silver linings of Covid is that we have all learned how to connect on platforms such as zoom and Microsoft Teams. Our Senate is reviewing new ways to engage with our 48th community in the near term and post-Covid. More to follow.
Like our HCol, I have not served in the active unit, but as a regimental family member, I have always felt at home in our community. I will always be grateful for feeling accepted as an LGBTQ person when I appeared at Moss Park Armouries with a female partner many years ago. At a challenging time in my life, I always felt at home. This acceptance has allowed me to bring my authentic self amongst the regimental family and in other areas of my life, including my work as a wealth advisor at ScotiaMcLeod along with my volunteer and charitable commitments. It positively inspired my commitment to equality and helping others to achieve their potential.
Attached is a photo of me, my partner Constance and my first cousin, Capt. Bill Darling. I have a daughter, Brooke, and three bonus daughters, Grace, Alice and Eleanor. Along with our children, my partner Constance and I also have fur family, a cat and dog (both foster fails and super shedders – the cat remains the alpha in the house).
The Army’s values are: Duty, Loyalty, Integrity and Courage along with STRONG. PROUD. READY. Recent communications from our CO have beautifully underscored many of the values of our regiment: fitness, mentally and physically; tactical agility + responsiveness; community protection + rebuilding; honour; respect; and faithfulness, which is essentially our motto: Dileas Gu Brath (faithful forever). These values aren’t just words. They require critical thought and action, continually. It takes work and learning by all of us to be committed to our regiment’s objectives, to bring about change, to ask for help, etc. LCol Alkema has advocated for these values, showing leadership not just with his communication, but also with consistent action. A big thank you to our CO for setting such a great example for us all, along with the leadership of our RSM Reesor – his comprehensive knowledge of our regiment, and generosity in sharing his time and resources has provided ballast during this time.
I am inspired by this new generation of Highlanders and the contributions that you are all making in your service to our community and beyond, especially during this relentless pandemic. Many of you in our active unit and our regimental family are doing work and showing leadership that is unseen. Please know that you are appreciated!
Post-Covid, I look forward to gathering in person again and participating in events such as the always exciting McKenzie shoot.
DILEAS GU BRATH
HLCOL Sasha Darling