House of Commons recognizes Naval Reserve Centennial
February 13, 2023 - Royal Canadian Navy
By Lieutenant-Commander Paul Pendergast and Lieutenant (Navy) Rob Moore
Acting Sub-Lieutenant (A/SLt) Véronique Codjo from HMCS Donnacona was one of 25 members selected and had the opportunity to speak with the Minister of National Defence. A/SLt Codjo was born in France, but she is proud to serve her home country of Canada.
The Naval Reservists selected from across Canada at the National War Memorial.
Mat1 Nadia Lamontagne, from NCSM Champlain, receives a Naval Reserve Centennial coin from Commodore Patrick. J. Montgomery, Commander of the Naval Reserve.
Canada’s House of Commons formally recognized the Naval Reserve Centennial - 100 years of service to Canada at Parliament on January 31st.
“On the 31st of January, 1923, the Government of Canada authorized the organization of the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve, paving the way to today’s reserve,” said Bryan May, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence.
“Through these 100 years, the Naval Reserve has played a critical role in Canada’s safety and security as a vital element of the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Armed Forces.”
This significant event launched the Naval Reserve’s Centennial celebrations. Many Canadian leaders and dignitaries participated, including the Minister of National Defence, the Deputy Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy, and the Commander of the Naval Reserve. Members from each of the 24 Naval Reserve Divisions (NRDs) were selected as representatives from across the nation to witness and participate in the ceremonial proceedings.
“I am very proud to be selected by my unit to represent them at this historical event. It’s such an honour and an emotional moment,” said Acting Sub-Lieutenant (A/SLt) Véronique Codjo from HMCS Donnacona, who was one of members selected and had the opportunity to speak with the Minister of National Defence. A/SLt Codjo was born in France, but she is proud to serve her new home country of Canada.
“For 100 years, the Naval Reserve, and each individual Naval Reservist, have continuously played an incredibly important role both for Canada and the Royal Canadian Navy,” said Commodore Patrick. J. Montgomery, Commander of the Naval Reserve.
“The Naval Reserve has a proud tradition of excellence, and today we recognize the contributions of the Naval Reserve for a century of achievements and contributions to our nation’s military history and heritage.”
While celebrating the accomplishments of the past 100 years, the Centennial will also highlight our current sailors and encourage us to look forward to the ongoing contribution of the Naval Reserve’s 4,100 sailors across 24 Naval Reserve Divisions from Victoria, British Columbia, to St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.
Centennial events will continue throughout the year, with twelve NRDs celebrating their own centennials with local celebrations.
The Navy Bike Ride and the Nova Scotia International Tattoo will both have a Naval Reserve Centennial theme this year.
The Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa will commemorate the Naval Reserve Centennial by highlighting the sacrifice of Citizen Sailors from the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve (RCNVR) in the Second World War as a primary theme of the Festival in 2023.
There will be a restoration and rededication of the Naval Reserve 50th Anniversary Monument in Ottawa.
Members are wearing a Centennial patch or pin on their uniforms throughout 2023.
The biggest event will be the Freedom of the City parades, where 4,000 sailors will unite and simultaneously parade in each of their 24 communities across Canada on September 23rd. This demonstration of solidarity and unison will be a powerful symbol of the importance of the Naval Reserve Centennial and of the magnitude of 100 years of service.
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