December 13, 2017 Canada 150 Servicewomen’s Salute Reception & Dinner
472 former or current servicewomen, dignitaries, and supporters attended the sold-out December 13, 2017 Canada 150 Servicewomen’s Salute – Hommages Aux Femmes MilitairesReception and Dinner held at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. Its goal was to publicly recognize and celebrate military women’s 132-year, historic, and continuing service to Canada. It was a moment in time for servicewomen and their supporters to enjoy being the primary authors, protagonists, and tellers of a larger extraordinary story “Our Past Our Story Our Future”.
Beginning at 1730hrs, December 13 2017 Servicewomen’s Salute guests gathered in the Canadian War Museum’s Lobby to meet with friends, military family members, colleagues, invited special guests and dignitaries, enjoy music played by Governor General’s Foot Guards Band musicians, and visit and talk with representatives at 12 Servicewomen’s Salute Thematic Displays. Volunteer retired and current servicemen assisted guests on arrival and departure. 12 Army, Air, and Navy Cadets and CIL officers assisted attendees’ registration.
Major (ret’d) Sandra Perron, Canada’s first female Infantry Officer, award-winning author, and evening Master of Ceremonies began the evening’s formal programme welcoming attendees, and introducing Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Harjit Sajjan
At 1850hrs, guests and the Dinner’s Head Table were piped in to the museum’s LeBreton Gallery. The Dinner programme began with a Territorial Acknowledgement of the land, unceded traditional Algonquin Anishinaabeg territory, on which we gathered. Canadian War Museum WWI historian Dr. Mélanie Morin-Pelletier welcomed guests on behalf of the museum.
RSVP regrets sent by retired Supreme Court Justice Marie Deschamps, and the Honourable Sheila Copps were read out by Master of Ceremonies Major(ret’d) Perron. The GGFG flute quartet played O Canada to the standing audience, and Chaplain Colonel Barbara Putnam led the saying of Grace.
Canadian Armed Forces Chief of Defence Staff General Jonathan Vance, and Honorary Naval Captain Sharon Johnston then gave invited speeches offering contemporary and historic reasons supporting the Canada 150 event’s celebration.
As guests enjoyed their 3-course dinner and wine, a Photo Montage, and WWII recruiting video were shown on the Gallery’s stage screen .
Chief of Staff Army Operations Brigadier-General Jenny Carignan gave the final invited speech of the evening to reflect on how far we have come as a country, and what can lie ahead for future CAF servicewomen and men.
The evening programme ended with closing remarks by Organizing Committee Lead LCdr (ret’d) Rosemary Park. Servicewomen’s Salute Organizing Committee members and Committee supporters (shown in the evening Programme) stood to receive the applause of guests.
Master of Ceremonies Major(ret’d) Perron presented a thank-you tribute to LCdr (ret’d) Park commemorating the symbolism of the Canada 150 Servicewomen’s Salute event, and a personal poem and memento gifts for all attendees.
Broadcast difficulties prevented showing NATO College in Rome LGen Whitecross and staff’s video greeting, plus screening of the new November 2017 CAF recruiting video for women recruits.
A recording of LCol (ret’d) Susan Beharriell’s 1885-2017 storyline that includes reflections written by both Canadian Armed Forces servicewomen attending the October 8, 1992 Servicewomen’s Salute Dinner on Parliament Hill, and by servicewomen attending the December 13 2017 Dinner will be posted on the website.