Friday, 8 November 2013

Lest We Forget Jerseys

For a long time, the Canadian Hockey League has been extremely supportive of the Canadian military on a number of fronts. In fact, the biggest prize in the CHL - the Memorial Cup - was created by Captain James. T. Sutherland as a memorial to those soldiers who gave their lives during World War I, and was rededicated in 2010 for all who soldiers who fought in conflicts around the world. If there is one league who honours the military for all they have done and all they have sacrificed for this great nation, it is the CHL.

I was watching the Moncton Wildcats battle the Halifax Mooseheads tonight, and they paid tribute to the Department of National Defence by donning special jerseys that recognized the 50th anniversary of the Sea King helicopter. The Sea King, also known as the Sikorsky Cyclones, is specifically built for the Royal Canadian Navy under the CH-124 designation, and first arrived at CFB Shearwater on August 1st, 1963. Clearly, there is a strong tie in Halifax to the Royal Canadian Navy, so kudos to the Mooseheads for wearing these incredible jerseys. Alas, I have yet to find one available on the Internet, but it will be posted shortly, I assure you.

We move from the QMJHL to the OHL, and the Kitchener Rangers were wearing their Remembrance Day jerseys long before Halloween! On October 25, the Rangers donner the uniforms to the right and pays homage to the Royal Canadian Air Force. There is a special tie to the Rangers in this uniform as local favorites Bobby Bauer, Milt Schmidt and Woody Dumart all enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1942, joining the Ottawa RCAF hockey team. It was this team that would win Canada's senior men's champioship - the Allen Cup - in 1942 and would go on to win the gold medal at the 1948 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland. The numbers and fonts are identical to those found on RCAF aircraft and ships, so a big thumbs-up from this writer to the efforts made by the Rangers to honour the men and women of the RCAF as accurately as possible.

Another great OHL team in the Peterborough Petes looked fantastic on Thursday night in their Remembrance Day uniforms, and I'll go directly to their website for an explanation on these uniforms. "The jersey design features a special Petes tri-colour logo with a poppy in the middle of the 'T' which represents the cross on a cenotaph, as well as a battle scene around the lower hem of the jerseys and the Hastings & Prince Edward Regiment crest." Great design so far, and I was really impressed with the shoulder patch of the Hastings & Prince Edward Regiment crest.

So exactly who is this regiment? "The Hastings & Prince Edward Regiment is one of Canada's most prestigious reserve infantry regiments. The Regiment forms part of 33 Canadian Brigade Group, with headquarters in Belleville and additional companies in Peterborough and Cobourg. The Regiment was made famous in Farley Mowat’s book The Regiment, and were recently featured in a booklet of stamps issued by Canada Post, highlighting the Regiment’s Assault on Assoro during WWII. The 'Hasty Ps' celebrated their 150th anniversary in 2013." Fantastic work by the Petes in honouring this regiment, and the uniforms look amazing. Well done!

Finally, the OHL's Kingston Frontenacs were front and center in their hometown as they worked with Reebok to come up with a complete uniform - jerseys and socks - in the CADPAT Camouflage design for their game last night against the Kitchener Rangers. Kingston is, of course, home to Canadian Forces Base Kingston, but also is the home of the Royal Military College of Canada. There are strong ties to the military community in Kingston, and the Frontenacs are proud to support the men and women in the Canadian military. "As a garrison community, we are proud of our military roots, the soldiers who serve, and the military families who help form the heart of Kingston," said Justin Chenier, Executive Director of Business Operations for the Kingston Frontenacs. "Being able to honour our soldiers and their families is a privilege to our club." As much as I don't like the camouflage look, the idea of making the uniform in the CADPAT design is pretty cool. Thumbs-up, Frontenacs!

All four clubs should be extremely proud of their efforts as we honour the men and women and their families of the Canadian Armed Forces. These are the men and women who fought for our freedoms, defend our liberties, and keep us safe from threats abroad. More importantly, Canada seemingly always is involved in peace-keeping roles, and that's something that I am extremely proud of when it comes to making people abroad safe in their homes as well.

To all the men and women who are currently serving, thank you. Thank you with all I have for your bravery, your courage, and your determination in keeping Canada and our friends around the world safe. To those who have lost someone serving in a conflict, I want you to know that your loss will not go unnoticed by this writer, and your loved one who gave his or her life is a true hero in my books.

Until next time, thank you on behalf of all of HBIC's readers!

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