|It's quite an unusual sight to see this 1944 Sherman tank rumbling along Main Street closely followed by a parade of military vehicles.|
The Freedom of the Town tradition originates from British military history. British cities were opposed to having regular standing armies, due to their war-like impression “disturbing the peace and appearing to be a threat to the ancient civic rights of the city fathers.”
|The First and Second Guard follows the Horse Guard.|
It became a custom for any military unit to request the permission of the chief magistrate, the mayor, before entering a community.
2012 is the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.. From 1809 to 1812, the threat of invasion across the border from the United States became very real. Many influential American politicians openly urged the annexation of the Canadian provinces, by military action if necessary. Canada had to fight back. In fact, British and Canadian troops got a s far as Washington, and set fire to the President's mansion in 1814. It was repaired and the burnt bits were painted white... hence the name, the White House.
|Inspecting the troops.... Mayor Emmerson and Member of Parliament Paul Calandra with the Guard’s Lieutenant-Colonel.|
Major General Isaac Brock was sent to Upper Canada in 1810 as Commander-in-Chief to improve the defences of the colony. Part of the defence force was Button's Troop, commanded by Major John Button, a highly respected local farmer. Dr. John Button, who is a direct descendant of Major John Button, was one of the dignitaries in attendance st this event.
|The Cavalry Squadron provides a horse-mounted ceremonial presence at public and regimental events, to perpetuate Canadian cavalry traditions.|
|The Governor General's Horse Guard band includes three specialized musical sub-units: the Fanfare Trumpeters, the Brass Quintet, and the Woodwind Quintet.|
Freedom of the Town commemorates local history in relation to the War of 1812 and honours the Governor General's Horse Guards, a military unit that had their origins in Major Button's Troop formed in 1810.
|The aftermath.... all cleaned up an hour after the parade was finished.|