This year has already featured news of the 150-year anniversary of The Royal Westminster Regiment and the antecedent groups that make up its history.
The New Westminster Volunteer Rifles formed in late 1863 when the Royal Engineers disbanded.
A newspaper notice regarding this seminal event stated: "Shoulder arms - let every male British subject of full age go to the Hyack Hall this evening and participate in the praiseworthy act of organizing a Volunteer Rifle Company."
Over its history, the members paraded, practiced and worked out at a number of locations, including the early drill hall on McKenzie Street at Carnarvon Street, at the battery overlooking the river near Albert Crescent, in the area of Queen's Park, in the area of the former Royal Engineers' camp and at spots on Columbia Street.
Even with all those places with military connections, many people connect the regiment only with the armoury (or armouries, depending on your definition) at Sixth Street and Queens Avenue, which has been the group's home since it opened in the 1890s.
The city block occupied by the armoury has been shared by the Duke of Connaught High School and its large playing field, a portion of Tipperary Park, a small structure that served as a meeting hall and fire hall a long time ago, and of course, today's city hall.
Throughout its history, this armoury building has been vital to the military of the Royal City and has been the focal point for their involvement in such actions as the Boer War, the first and second world wars, and ongoing participation where needed during past decades.
During the same period of history, this building has also played a vital role in the community with matters completely unrelated to the military. Perhaps the greatest role the building played occurred early in its life in 1898, when it became the centre for supplies and assistance after the city's Great Fire wiped out the downtown area.
The armoury was set up as a "refugee centre."
In 1984, the city's 125th anniversary, the regiment played an ongoing role throughout the year's celebrations. A prominent event that year was an historical presentation on the Royal Engineers and its local history. For that occasion, the armoury welcomed a very large audience to a show with stories, pictures, music and refreshments.
Later this year, the New Westminster Historical Society is planning a presentation to look at the many non-military events and connections in the armoury's story. These have included agricultural displays, sporting events, a gala evening for the Fraser River Discovery Centre, and a number of May Day banquets and related festivities. It will be interesting to see what other events occur during this anniversary year.
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