Freedom of City centennial celebration set for Canada Day
In recognition of Courtenay’s 100th Anniversary, 19 Wing has been invited along with Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Quadra for a special centennial Freedom of the City celebration July 1st.
A parade contingent comprised of serving men and women from the 19 Wing Defence Team and HMCS Quadra will march to City Hall along Cliffe Avenue between 10th and 8th St. at 9:20 am, stopping in front of City Hall for Mayor Larry Jangula’s welcoming address.
This ceremony is open to the public with viewing areas located on the west side of Cliffe Ave. across from City Hall.
Freedom of the City is an honour bestowed by a municipality upon a valued member of the community and can also be granted to military units that have earned a municipality’s trust. By granting Freedom of the City, a military unit then has the privilege to march throughout the city, and is an affirmation of the bond it shares with the citizens.
The tradition of granting Freedom of the City to a military unit dates back more than three centuries during a time when military units had to defend city walls against adversity and needed the trust of the citizens to be able to march or camp throughout the city. Freedom of the City has been previously granted by the City of Courtenay to CFB Comox in March 1996, the Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary’s) in October 1996, and HMCS Quadra in August 2008.
Granting this symbolic freedom is a private matter between civic officials and the military unit with the decision resting with municipal authorities.
The ceremony will conclude by 10:00 am at which time 19 Wing will join the parade contingent that will march down 5th St. for the annual Canada Day celebration.