By: Sgt Al Kowalenko, OMC (Retd)
48th Veterans Services Coordinator
CALLING ALL 48TH VETERANS!
The month of November brings with it Remembrance Week and Remembrance Day on Saturday, November 11th.
We are calling on all our 48th Highlanders Veterans past and present (from the 1950s through the 2000s) to attend and support two important upcoming Remembrance events for the Regiment.
Let’s show the public our pride, our strength and our historic legacy in commemorating these key events together:
MOUNT PLEASANT CEMETERY
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4TH
Each year, members of the 48th Regimental Association, Active Battalion and Regimental Family pay tribute to the several 48th Highlanders who are buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto. The special memorial service is held at the Regiment’s monument located at the main entrance to the grounds off Mount Pleasant Road.
Please note the service details:
DATE: Saturday, November 4th
TIME: 10:30 am Form Up-11:00 am Service
LOCATION: Mount Pleasant Cemetery, 375 Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto
SUGGESTED DRESS CODE for 48th Veterans marching in the ceremony: 48th badged glengarry, blazer and medals.
(Members of the 48th Active Battalion may attend with their CAF uniforms if desired.)
ATTENDEES: All veterans and members of the 48th Regimental Family, as well as the general public, are welcome to attend.
PARKING: Available free at the main Mount Pleasant Cemetery parking lot.
POST-SERVICE EVENT: This year there will be a post-service informal lunch gathering at “The Bull: A Firkin Pub”, 1835 Yonge Street. Drinks and lunch are at each person’s expense. (Parked cars at the Cemetery may be left there until after the lunch. The Pub is about a 10-15 minute walk.)
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 11TH
QUEEN’S PARK 100th ANNIVERSARY REMEMBRANCE SERVICE (1923-2023)
This years’ Remembrance Day service at the 48th Highlanders of Canada Regimental Monument/Cenotaph will be very special.
It was in November, 1923, that the 48th Monument/Cenotaph was officially unveiled and we will be marking its 100th Anniversary with a significantly larger Regimental Family attendance, our Pipes & Drums and Military Bands, full Active Battalion and numerous veterans from all eras. The service is open to the public.
Most importantly, we will be commemorating all our 48th war veterans who fell in past wars –Boer War, WWI, WWII, Korean War, and Afghanistan.
These war veterans helped secure the 50 “Battle Honours” that were awarded to the 48th Highlanders during its history, a significant achievement by any measure.
Please note the service details:
DATE: Saturday, November 11, 2023
TIME: 10:30 am Form Up; 11:00 am Service
LOCATION: 48th Highlander Regimental Monument/Cenotaph, Queen’s Park, Toronto
SUGGESTED DRESS CODE for 48th Veterans at the service: 48th Badged glengarry, blazer and medals.
N.B. 48th Veterans will form up on the east side of the Monument. At 10:30 am.
PARKING: Limited parking in the Bloor-Avenue Road area and University of Toronto grounds. TTC is recommended and Veterans ride free on Remembrance Day. (Also note that this year there will be no buses for veterans from Moss Park Armoury to Queen’s Park.)
RECEPTION: Following the service, there will be a special reception at the Royal Ontario Museum (Philosophers Gallery) for all members of the Active Battalion, veterans, and members of the 48th Regimental Association and Family. There will be refreshments, food and a cash bar. Attendees may also tour the ROM afterwards at no cost.
Let’s have a great turnout of 48th veterans to the service and show our “Dileas Spirit”!
48TH HIGHLANDERS MUSEUM -
"ARCHIVAL VIDEO INTERVIEW PROJECT" (AVIP)
The next few months are a good time to consider arranging an interview with the 48th Museum staff to talk about your experiences while serving with the 48th Highlanders or remembering family members who also served with the Regiment.
The goal of the AVIP is to record in video/digital format the reminiscences of 48th Highlanders veterans, Active Battalion, and Regimental Family members (post WWII) for inclusion in the Museum archives.
These interviews are informal and can be arranged at either the Museum or at your premises. (N.B. The Museum is open every Wednesday and Thursday, 10 am to 2 pm).
For more information, and to book an appointment, please contact Mr Peter Olsen, 48th Museum, St Andrew’s Church, 73 Simcoe St, at his telephone # 647-774-5164, or email email@example.com.
Tell us your stories and be part of the 48th video history for future generations!
Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) Updates
Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) regularly updates its website at www.veterans.gc.ca with information of interest to all veterans.
This month there is a large section on their website devoted to “Remembrance Day and Veterans’ Week” which is promoting the theme “Service, Courage, and Sacrifice – At Home, Around the World, and Across Generations”.
Some of the topics highlighted include:
• Remembrance Events in Canada 2023
• Peacekeeping (A 75 Year Perspective)
• People and Stories (CAF Veterans and their Families)
• Indigenous Veterans
• Mental Health and Wellness
• Services and Benefits
For clarification, VAC has published on its website the definition of a “Veteran” as follows:
“Any former member of the Canadian Armed Forces (Regular Force or Reserves) who successfully underwent basic training and was honourably discharged.”
This definition has been in use by VAC for the past 20+ years, and as VAC states
“…recognizes the risk Canadian Armed Forces members assume by wearing the uniform and pledging allegiance.”
This means that all former serving members of the 48th Highlanders of Canada who meet the criteria are “Veterans” and should be aware of their status with VAC should they require any future assistance.
If you need more information, you can also call VAC directly at toll free 1-866-522-2122. They also have a toll free line at 1-800-268-7708 known as “VAC Assistance Service” which is offers 24-hour counselling with a mental health professional, if required.
SUNNYBROOK VETERANS CENTRE – TORONTO
During late September, one of our senior 48th veterans was admitted to Sunnybrook Veterans Centre in Toronto for permanent long term care.
Sgt Oswald Reece, CD, affectionately known to his friends as” “Ozzie” served with the 48th Highlanders for more than 30 years from 1975 to 2008 and was the Regimental Quartermaster for 20+ years during that time.
On a recent visit with one of our Veterans Services Team members, Ozzie was in good spirits and says he would like to see Warrant Officers and Sergeants from his era to talk over old times again. He also welcomes all members of the 48th Regimental Family as well.
If you would like to drop by and visit Ozzie, he is located at the Sunnybrook Veterans Centre K2 West Wing. Please call him at his cell phone 647-381-4125 first to arrange a visit time.
Sgt Al Kowalenko, OMC (Retd), 48th Veterans Services Coordinator
48th Highlanders Regimental Association
Cell: 416-219-4967 (message service available 24/7)
(Note: The “Veterans Services” Blog on the 48th website contains details of the various areas we help veterans and their families.)
There are a number of volunteers in our Veterans Services Team network who are available to help you. They are all 48thveterans who can discuss veterans’ issues and ways to obtain support.
Please call or email us if you have any questions about Veterans Affairs Canada applications, government veterans’ service programs, or 48th veterans’ events for 2023-24.
We will do our best to assist you as required and lend a helping hand.