3 Score, 10 years and 13 days later
MWO TC Holland
Let’s face it, the world easily forgets. That’s why they always go over the top when it comes to anniversaries such as the recent D-Day 70th Anniversary. It’s proper that they would show their respect for that day but sometimes they need to be reminded of the other events that made it possible. Such as the bold push of the allied forces in Italy that held up large amounts of resources and manpower of the Germans which could have turned the tide of the invasion. Twelve days before D-Day, one battle took place that would send the Germans running and the Strathcona’s were the key; the Battle of Melfa River.
Fast forward 70 years and 13 days and you will find our Regiment still celebrating this feat. To do that, the Strathcona’s of the Royal Canadian Armour Corps School, hosted a BBQ Dinner at the Warrant Officer and Sergeant’s Mess at 5 Canadian Division Support Base, Gagetown. Of note, the same Division the Regiment was a part of during the Second World War. All Strathconas were invited in the area including the Atlantic Chapter of the Association.
It was a full day of activity starting with the first annual Melfa River Golf tournament, sponsored by the Atlantic Chapter of the Association. The weather actually cooperated this year with a hot, dry day (last year was a deluge). There was a good mix of serving and retired Strathconas this year. Of note were LCol (Ret’d) David Rogers and LCol (Ret’d) Joe Lund and family joining us from PEI. Capt Chris Kitching (I’m not 60 yet!) and Sgt Ed Pickell put together an excellent tournament enjoyed by all.
With 9 teams participating this year, close to double the number of teams from last year’s tournament, the day was off to a smashing start. The top team trophy was taken this year by a team consisting of WO Greg Moon, Sgt Ed Pickell, Sgt Larry Leamon, and Sgt Dwaine Barker. Apparently the ARTW course is so easy these days they let students out on weekends. Capt Mike Dullege won the closest to the hole and longest drive award. Sgt Larry Leamon won the longest putt award.
The rest of “Gagetown” Squadron (there are 105ish of us down this end of the country) gathered at the Gagetown Warrant Officer and Sergeant’s mess, with spouses and as many Old Guard as we could gather to have a BBQ and celebrate the occasion.
The evening started with Rob Stoney handing out golf tournament awards. He also thanked LCol Dwaine Parsons for his outstanding work in standing up the Atlantic Chapter as the Vice President and acting as the senior serving Strathcona in Atlantic Canada. Maj Dan Hone was welcomed as the incoming Chapter Vice President. Finally, a quick recounting of the events of Melfa River was given by the author (extremely quick as they were all eyeing the food behind me) and the banquet began.
The day was a great success in promoting our Stathcona family and remembering a major event that helps define us all as Strathconas. As our Atlantic Chapter becomes stronger each year, we will continue to gather in a larger format inviting all former and currently serving “Down Home Strathconas” to the family fold once again.