Royal Visit in Kitchenuhmaykoobib
THUNDER BAY – Canadian Rangers and Junior Canadian Rangers played a leading role in helping to organize and support an overnight visit by Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, to Kitchenuhmaykoosib.
They provided a guard of honour for her arrival and departure. They also prepared and served her and her entourage a traditional breakfast. The breakfast consisted of moose, three kinds of fish, porridge, two kinds of bannock, and fruit.
Rangers caught the fish the previous evening. “Oh, they were fresh all right,” said Master Corporal Ralph Hudson, who managed to get a “selfie” of himself with the princess on his cell phone .
“She was very kind,” said Master Warrant Officer Robert Patterson of 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group. “When she was leaving she spoke to me and thanked us for the role we played in her visit to Kitchenuhmaykoosib. She wished me good travels and I wished her good travels.”
At the breakfast for the Countess and her entourage she was presented with a red Canadian Ranger hoodie and made an honorary Ranger along with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Elizabeth Dowdeswell, who was installed as Ontario’s new lieutenant-governor the week after the visit. They joined Ruth-Ann Onley, who was present, as the only four honorary Rangers in Ontario. At the time of the visit Ms Onley’s husband, David, was still the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario.
“What the Rangers did was quite an achievement for a small Ranger patrol to organize,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Matthew Richardson, commanding officer of the Rangers in Ontario. “They performed very well. The Junior Canadian Rangers did a huge amount of voluntary work and were part of the guard of honour. I was very proud of everyone. And they should be proud, too. I know the Countess was impressed.”
There were 17 Canadian Rangers and 12 Junior Rangers in the guard of honour.
“People said we did a good job and we looked good,” said Sergeant Roy Cutfeet, commander of the local Ranger patrol. “The Rangers and the Junior Rangers thought it was great to get out and do something we’ve never done before. It was nice to get involved in the visit. It involved quite a bit of work but it was worth it. We’ll do it again if she comes back.”
Sergeant Peter Moon
(Sergeant Peter Moon is the public affairs ranger for 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group at CFB Borden.)