The Bay Street Armoury has been part of our community for 100 years and on Sunday it celebrated by opening its doors to the public. The event was very well attended and the guest of honour was the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, the Honourable Judith Guichon OBC.
The day-long event included a 90-minute commemoration program that traced the history of the building and the units that have called it home for the last century. These include The Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary’s) and the 5th (BC) Field Regiment, RCA both of whom opened their regimental museums to large crowds of curious visitors. They also set up a number of displays on the main floor, as did the 11 (Victoria) Field Ambulance. On loan from the Provincial Legislature and on display in the Canadian Scottish museum were the Pipes once belonging to Pte. James Cleland Richardson VC.
The event was a great opportunity to connect with a number of local organizations including Archives staff from Saanich, Oak Bay and Esquimalt. It was a pleasure meeting Sonia Nicholson, Caroline Duncan, Greg Evans and Jack Bates. I also had the opportunity to meet Jack Azar, President of the CEF100 Commemoration Society and the MC for today’s commemoration program.
The drill hall echoed with the sounds of 5th Field Band and later the Pipes & Drums of the Canadian Scottish Regiment. The latter made several appearances, one of which I captured on video. The most poignant moment of the day took place when The Last Post and Flowers of the Forest were performed next to the battlefield cross erected at Vimy by the 16th Battalion (The Canadian Scottish) in 1917.