GREETINGS HIGHLANDERS – SERVING SOLDIERS, FORMER SERVING MEMBERS, AND MEMBERS OF THE EXTENDED REGIMENTAL FAMILY –
As I write my first contribution to the weekly blog, I am reminded that the new website is the result of a significant amount of dedicated time and effort in getting us to this point. It clearly demonstrates what can be accomplished when the Active Battalion, Senate and Regimental Family work together. Of significant importance, in this achievement, was the involvement of the CO, Capt Lau, and senior retired officers on the Senate- Col Elms, Col Jensen and BGen Young along with Senator Jaime Watt (who brought the capability of his firm, Navigator into the project) and the steady technical capability of Sgt (Ret) Adam Bernard.
Observing this teamwork and energy has enhanced my enthusiasm in my new role as your Honorary Colonel. I am the first civilian to have this role with the 48th Highlanders and recognize that civilian Honoraries must bring value through their work and community experience. I grew up in Northern Ontario, but I have spent my working career in the finance industry in Toronto. I am married to Jan, with three adult children, and two grandchildren. My business activity is centered in Toronto and involves investing in and working with Canadian companies. In addition to my work, I am active with community involvement that has included in the past supporting microfinance in emerging countries, cancer support in Canada, community foundations in Canada, St. Michael’s Hospital. I am currently active as the Vice-Chair of the YMCA of Greater Toronto; and Chair and founding supporter of Our Children’s Medicine, an organization that places indigenous young adults into full and part time employment. As your HCol, I am here to support the CO, the Senate and the Regimental Family, and work to better connect and inform the business and not for profit sectors in Toronto about the 48thHighlanders of Canada.
I will close with a note on my Highland background. My ancestors came to Nova Scotia from the Scottish Highlands around 1800, and I am reading a book, ‘Flight of the Highlanders, The Making of Canada’, about that migration. The large Scottish influx to Canada started after the Battle of Culloden in April 1746. But after that battle, some of the clans that were not part of the fight began forming reserve regiments. When the English tried to blend the Highland regiments into their units, the Highlanders successfully resisted the integration, and refused to give up their kilts for breeches, and, since they only spoke Gaelic, they could not, in any case, understand the English officers.
Those reserve regiments are the roots of 48th Highlanders of Canada, and I am proud to wear the kilt, and say-
DILEAS GU BRATH
HCol John MacIntyre