Canada Day at the Alberta Legislature
By Lieutenant Stephanie Clubine
At 0530 hrs on Canada Day, two armoured vehicle crews and some members of Historical Vehicle Troop gathered at the Regiment. Our plan? Drive through downtown Edmonton with a Leopard 2 and a Coyote to the Alberta Legislature. With our destination in mind (and praying that the rain wouldn’t get out of hand) we set off. After using some improvised hand signals to convince people that cutting off or “sneakily” passing an army convoy containing a tank on the right wasn’t a good idea, we safely arrived at the Alberta Legislature.
After we quickly set up our vehicle stands, we set off for the pancake breakfast that was provided. By 0630 hrs we were setup and quickly had groups of people gathering around all of the vehicles asking questions. By noon, the crowds were impenetrable, with people from all over amazed at our equipment and at how young most of us were (or looked, anyways). Tpr “Yes, I get to drive this thing” Deringer turned Canada Day into something better than Christmas for some kids, as they were given special permission to help start up the Coyote so the batteries wouldn’t die. The looks of joy and awe on their little faces only convinced us more that being soldiers in the finest Cavalry Regiment in Canada is, in fact, the coolest job on Earth.
As the day went on, the Leopard, Coyote, Sherman, and Ferret received a lot of attention from families who wanted to see what their troops used in battle throughout the past 60 years or so. The Sherman alone saw roughly 4000 people go through the turret that day, and the Leopard perhaps more. Our static display was easily the most popular on the Legislature grounds, and the support that Canadians showed for us was overwhelming.
We rolled out at 1800 hrs after nearly twelve hours of lifting small children onto vehicles and handing them back down. The event was tiring, but we all left with smiles on our faces from an extremely rewarding day. We really do have the coolest job on Earth.