A Lesson in Perseverance - Moreuil Wood 2009
Captain Rebecca Evans
11 May 2009
With A Squadron fighting in Afghanistan and C Squadron en route to take their place, this year’s Moreuil Wood event served as a prominent reminder that the Regiment continues to persevere. As the Strathcona family gathered to commemorate C Squadron’s critical victory over the Germans during the First World War, many were also reminded of the current acts of bravery against the Taliban overseas. Despite the high operational tempo, from 27-28 March 09 the Strathcona family gathered to honour the Regiment’s many past accomplishments.
With Recce Squadron’s first launch of a rock down the ice, the Moreuil Wood curling bonspiel was well underway. Under the direction of Captain Fred Hayward, many soldiers took to the ice for the first time to test their curling skills and sportsmanship. Despite Maintenance Troop’s distinct advantage in the competition (the EME branch is known for bringing in ringers) the championship game was fought between B Squadron and Headquarters Squadron in a nail biting match that came down to the final rock. Although this year’s sports day did not end in an arm wrestling match, Quartermaster Troop pulled through at the last minute, throwing the tournament winning rock.
The large turnout at the Moreuil Wood parade on 28 March 09 demonstrated the exceptional support to the Regiment from the Edmonton community. The stands were packed as the Regiment gathered for the formal commemoration of the battle of Moreuil Wood. The crowd listened attentively as Padre Richard Larsen prayed for strength and perseverance, reminding both soldiers and their families that the fight ahead is not yet over and the sacrifices made both on the front line and on the home front must continue to be made bravely. Although the focus remains on Sabre Squadrons, Headquarters Squadron was recognized for their hard work and dedication behind the scenes. For their efforts, they were presented with the Prince of Wales Trophy and moved to the right of the order of march. The Regimental parade marked the end of the formal festivities for Moreuil Wood 2009.
The Mixed Dinner and Dance provided a good opportunity for soldiers and their spouses to relax and enjoy an evening of fun and camaraderie. Fantasyland hotel was a welcome change for this year’s event as the fully catered meal ensured minimal labour for the soldiers - even the cooks were relieved from their usual cook duties and were able to fully enjoy the celebration. Support from the Edmonton community was immense and numerous local businesses showed their appreciation for the Regiment by donating door prizes. Officer Commanding C Squadron, Major John Cochrane and Sergeant Major C Squadron, Master Warrant Officer Richard Stacey attended the function, representing the final elements of C Squadron deploying to Afghanistan. As the Moreuil Wood activities came to an end, the Regimental family was left with the resonating message of perseverance and a revived spirit of strength to continue the fight that lies ahead.