Scout House Salute To Canadian Veterans Returning From Afghanistan
Preston Scout House Alumni Band, including four members who in their earlier years served in the Canadian Armed Forces, will take part in a ceremony honouring military veterans beginning at noon on Saturday, September 10. The event takes place one day before the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center towers in New York City.
The ceremony is similar to events being organized across the country to welcome Canadian veterans home from Afghanistan.
Canadian Forces are winding up combat responsibilities in Afghanistan, although Canada will still be involved with various rebuilding projects. The conflict in Afghanistan began just a few weeks after the 9/11 attack, with the first regular Canadian troops arriving early in 2002. One hundred and fifty seven Canadian soldiers have died there since then.
On Saturday, Scout House will be the first band to perform during ceremonies at the downtown Preston cenotaph commemorating those who fought in World War II. Following the ceremony, Scout House will lead a short parade to Preston Branch 126, Royal Canadian Legion and be the first to perform in a tattoo at Preston Legion Square. Members of the community are encouraged to bring lawn chairs to enjoy the music then remain for a barbecue and other entertainment lasting until midnight.
All members of the community have also been invited to attend a Friday evening ceremony at Preston Legion officially opening the weekend tribute. The Friday program will include opportunities for Cambridge residents to meet and talk to Canadian Forces veterans. The weekend events will wind up Sunday morning with a community breakfast from 8:30 to 11 am. Members of the public can participate for $5, with all veterans receiving a free breakfast.
Scout House Alumni Band also honours Canadian veterans on the first Sunday of each May by participating in Waterloo Branch 530, Royal Canadian Legion’s Battle of Atlantic Sunday memorial ceremonies.
The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest continuous battle of World War II, lasting from September 1939 to May 1945. Convoys of ships crossing the North Atlantic with supplies for Great Britain were escorted and guarded by men and women of the Canadian Merchant Navy, the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force.
During the years of conflict with German forces, the navy suffered more than 2,000 fatalities and the loss of 24 warships. Canada’s merchant marine crews suffered more than 1,700 fatalities and the loss of more than 70 ships. The air force lost more than 900 aircrew members.
New season starting
Although there are still a number of parades on the Scout House 2011 performance schedule, preparation for the 2012 marching season will begin shortly.
Band practices are held from now until next May each Sunday afternoon from 1 to 4 pm at the Band’s indoor rehearsal facility at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 333 Speedsville Road in Cambridge.
One of the first major events of the new season will be brass, percussion and guard clinics to take place on Sunday, September 25. The Time to Step Out clinics are designed to benefit brass players, drummers and colour guard members of all ages. Registration fee for each of the concurrent sessions running from 10 am to 4 pm is $5. Lunch will be available.
The morning sessions will concentrate on basic concepts and techniques. Following the lunch break, participants will learn Malaguena and all three groups will perform together at the end of the day.
The brass session with Dave MacKinnon will benefit musicians who play B flat or G horns and read on the treble or bass clef. Drummers attending the percussion session with Lee Beddis should bring their own instruments and sticks. The colour guard session with Doug Cann will cover such areas as marching style, flag and rifle spinning and tossing. Participants should bring their own flag and/or rifle if possible.
Some extra equipment will be on hand for all three sessions.
Registration deadline is September 19. To register, contact Scout House Alumni Band president Bruce Witmer at wwitmer [at] rogers [dot] com or telephone (519) 756-0245 or contact Jim Fraser at telephone (519) 743-5164 .
Anyone interested in participating in Scout House activities over the coming year as a marching member, support worker or associate member can obtain more information by visiting the web site at: http://www.scouthouseband.com/