The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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150th Anniversary of the Black Watch Royal Highland Regiment

Montréal, Saturday, September 29, 2012


Today is a wonderful day for the Black Watch, which has been so steadfast in its service to Canada for so many years.

In fact, this regiment predates Canada itself, having received its colours 150 years ago from Lady Monck, the wife of my predecessor as governor general.

And it was 100 years ago that members of the Black Watch gathered right here, on Fletcher’s Field, now known as Jeanne-Mance Park, to celebrate the regiment’s 50th anniversary with another of my predecessors: the Duke of Connaught.

The Black Watch has a long and distinguished record of service to Canada—one that continues to the present day.

Just this summer, your reservists were on duty at Rideau Hall and Parliament Hill, as part of the Ceremonial Guard that serves as such an important touchstone of our heritage as Canadians. Allow me to take this opportunity to thank you for your contributions to this wonderful summer tradition.

For 150 years, members of the Black Watch have been on the front lines of Canadian military history, serving in many significant battles and conflict zones.

Members of this regiment served in the Boer War, the First and Second World Wars, and with NATO and United Nations forces as peacekeepers. Black Watch soldiers have been deployed to Cyprus, to the Golan Heights, to Bosnia, Haiti and Afghanistan, as well as to parts of Africa.

That you are reservists make this record even more impressive. As governor general and commander-in-chief, I have issued a call to service to all Canadians to help in the building of a smarter, more caring nation, and the contributions of Black Watch reservists are a wonderful example to follow.

I know that each of you takes great pride in being part of this regiment. You are driven by a sense of honour and duty, and you are committed to defending the common good and our democratic way of life.

For this, Canadians are grateful.

Thank you for your continuing dedication to our country. I wish you a wonderful anniversary celebration.