A new chapter in the modern history of Hay River was written Saturday afternoon as the 58th patrol of the 1 Canadian Rangers Patrol Group held their opening ceremony in front of the community and dignitaries.
The distinctive red and green flag is now raised over the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 250 and a copy of the charter signed by Mayor Kelly Schofield, GNWT Commissioner George Tuccaro, Brig.-Gen. Guy Hamel, Sgt. Warren Gibb and Maj. Jeff Allen Commanding Officer of the 1 CRPG will hang on the wall.
Capt. Steve Watton was Master of Ceremonies for the event.
Hamel, commander of the Joint Task Force North, was the inspecting officer at the event hosted at the Legion.
He took the time to inspect and speak personally with each of the 14 attending Canadian Rangers and later addressed the crowd and patrol.
The Hay River Patrol has 19 members.
Hamel outlined the role of the Canadian Rangers in the Canadian Forces; he said the Rangers, “contribute to safety, security and defense in the North.”
According to Hamel, there are now 21 Ranger patrols serving the Northwest Territories.
“They are much more than the eyes and ears of the Canadian Forces in the North, they will be mentors for the North and mentors for your community,” said Hamel.
“The red hat is a symbol of the North. Canadians are extremely proud of the North, we are proud of you because you contribute directly to the safety and security of the North and of Canada,” said Hamel in closing.
Tuccaro was also a distinguished speaker at the afternoon event. He also expressed his pride in the Rangers.
Saturday was, “another proud moment for Hay River.”
Again the sentiment was expressed that the Rangers are not just a reserve patrol in the Forces but also a valuable asset to the communities they serve.
“When you volunteer for the Canadian Rangers you are willing to become a leader in your community,” said Tuccaro.
“Every one of you is a positive role model for what you can accomplish in serving and protecting our communities.”
“As Commissioner, on behalf of the people of the Northwest Territories I would like to extend my best wishes and congratulations to each and every one of you.”
Schofield also addressed the Rangers and expressed his congratulations to the patrol.
The 58th 1 CRPG is led by Gibb, who was impressed with his patrol’s performance and what their charter means to Hay River.
He expressed that sentiment to the Rangers at the conclusion of the ceremony.
“The entire patrol has worked hard for this day,” said Gibb.
The Patrol performed their mandatory tasking, a Type 1 patrol completed on March 25 that Gibb said proved to headquarters that they were capable of performing the duties required by the Rangers.
Hay River’s Rangers are responsible for the area around the town as well as a 150 – kilometre radius in all directions.