April 16, 2011
At about 11am, with rain threatening, the Regiment along with a contingent of Cadets, paraded in front of Vancouver City Hall. They were accompanied by an honour guard of Vancouver police including the Mounted Squad all commanded by the Deputy Chief. The acting CO, Major Scott Raesler, knocked on the door of City Hall to request permission to exercise the Regiment’s right of Freedom of the City. The door was opened by Geoff Meggs, Deputy Mayor. He read the proclamation on behalf of Mayor Robertson confirming the Regiment’s Freedom of the City and proclaiming April 16th Seaforth Highlanders Day. He then inspected the troops. The event was filmed by Global and later reported on the 6pm news. Shaw and Chinese TV also had cameras present.
At noon the Regiment assembled in Christ Church Cathedral to lay up the Old Colours. The 45 minute ceremony was led by Dean Peter Elliott and by Seaforth Padre Jim Short assisted by the Cathedral organ and choir. The highlight of the service was the performance of the tune Highland Cathedral by the Pipes & Drums and the church organ. This can be viewed on You Tube. There was not a dry eye in the congregation when the music ended.
At about 1:15 pm the Regiment assembled on Burrard Street in front of the Cathedral in the sunshine for the march back along Burrard to the Armouries. The Pipes & Drums led the troops along the same route that Seaforths have traveled to and from the two World Wars. The crowds along the street stopped and applauded. People leaned out of their cars taking photos with their iPhones. In 45 minutes, Vancouver’s Infantry Regiment had more exposure to the citizens than at any time in the last decade.