TORONTO – Two Canadian Rangers from Lac Seul had a prominent role in a major military ceremony in Toronto that marked the change of command for the general commanding the Canadian Army in Ontario.
The Rangers – Master Corporal Denise Ningewance and Corporal Rita Brisket – were parade markers, which meant they stood on both sides of the saluting platform. They wore their distinctive Ranger red sweaters and held long cavalry lances during the hour-long ceremony.
The parade was held in front of the Parliament Buildings at Queen’s Park and marked the change of command for the 4th Canadian Division, which is the Canadian Army in Ontario. The new commander is Brigadier-General Stephen Cadden, who replaced Brigadier-General Lowell Thomas.
The parade featured a 100-member guard of honour and a military band. One member of the guard fainted in the 28 degree heat.
“‘I saw him fall,” said MCpl. Ningewance, “and I said to myself, no, I’m not going to be next. It was hot and a couple of times I was kind of drifting off in the heat. But I made it. It was all very colourful. I liked the military band and everyone was so professional. It all looked really good.”
General Cadden, the departing commander, praised the role of the Canadian Rangers in northern Ontario, saying they served their communities and Canada with professionalism.
Lieutenant-Colonel Matthew Richardson, commanding officer of the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, which commands the 630 Rangers in 23 First Nations in northern Ontario, said giving the two Rangers from Lac Seul such a prominent position in the ceremony recognized the importance of the Rangers, who are part-time army reservist, to the Canadian Army.
Cpl. Brisket said it was the first time she had participated in such a big military event. “It was good,” she said. “Yes, it was hot but I enjoyed it. It was different. It was definitely worth coming to and being a part of it.”
(Sergeant Peter Moon is the public affairs ranger for the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group at Canadian Forces Base Borden.)