August 9, 2014 7:44 pm

Edmonton Garrison plays host to PPCLI centennial events

Watch above: Thousands were at CFB Edmonton Saturday to take part in a special celebration. It was the 100th anniversary of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. As Eric Szeto reports, it was an opportunity for PPCLI members to give back after all the support over the years.

EDMONTON – Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry is celebrating a century of service this weekend.

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Public festivities were held at the Edmonton Garrison throughout the day Saturday to commemorate the occasion. The pomp and circumstance was fitting for a regiment so deeply tied to Canada’s history.

“There’s a storied history and throughout every deployment we’ve been on, through the wars — Korea, peace support operations, peace keeping and the latest missions to Afghanistan — we’ve been a part of every piece of it,” said Captain Rob Clarke.

The Regiment was born in August 1914 in Ottawa, as a result of the offer from Captain Andrew Hamilton Gault to provide $100,000 to finance and equip a battalion for overseas service.

The Charter of the Regiment was signed on August 10, 1914 and mobilization began the next day.

“This battalion was fully manned eight days later,” said Clarke.

“They were then sent to England for training and they were, as I say, first in field,” said PPCLI Colonel-in-Chief Adrienne Clarkson.

“They were already in the battle field in February of 1915 in the Battle of Ypres, very important to the history. And then of course played an enormous role in all the battles that are important in the First World War.”

The public support of the PPCLI has followed ever since and was clear on Saturday when thousands of people showed up to take part in the centennial festivities.

One of the day’s biggest events was the ceremonial parade, called the Regimental Centennial Parade, which was led in with a CF-18 flyby. The Canadian Armed Forces parachute team, the SkyHawks, did a parachute jump.

“It’s always a treat when we have the Patricias marching in Edmonton and to have all of the units here together, as well as the old guard veterans welcomed back to march together, it’s quite a thing for Edmonton to play host,” said Mayor Don Iveson.

Spectators were even able to watch members demonstrate a mock military exercise.

WATCH: Mock military demonstration at PPCLI’s 100th Anniversary

“It’s our chance to connect with Canadians and open our base to basically say thank you to Edmonton and surrounding communities for the support that they’ve given to us through our numerous deployments,” said Clarke.

“It’s quite the spectacle to see. This is a one in one hundred-year event.”

Saturday’s celebration also coincided with a military heritage display.

With files from Eric Szeto, Global News.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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