The ‘Freedom of the Town’ event will be celebrated in Qualicum Beach on May 7.
The event is a historic ceremony with roots dating back to the 15th century when towns were endangered by invading military units. Before a military unit would be admitted to the town, council would need to grant the unit Freedom of the Town, which would entitle the unit to enter with drums beating, banners flying and bayonets fixed.
This high honour was only afforded to military units with a long and co-operative relationship with the municipality.
Qualicum Beach council on April 6 passed a resolution that bestows the right, privilege, honour and distinction of marching with colours flying, bayonets fixed and drums beating to 19 Mission Support Squadron, 19 Wing Comox within the bounds of the Town of Qualicum Beach.
The event is being organized in collaboration with Royal Canadian Legion Branch 76, the 19 Mission Support Squadrons (19 MSS), 19 Wing Comox. It will feature a formal military parage through town with an array of festivities lined up on May 7. There will also be a military fly-over and performances by the Esquimalt Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy.
Starting at 2 p.m. at the Civic Centre on 747 Jones St., in keeping with the historic ceremony, 19 MSS, will request permission of council to march through town.
The squadron will then parade from the Civic Centre to town hall on 660 Primrose St., where the mayor will present the ‘Key to the Town’ to 19 MSS. The parade will continue to the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 76, where there will be refreshments and entertainment.
The public are invited to attend this historic event and watch the parade from the Civic Centre to town hall on Second Avenue East.
— NEWS Staff, submitted