Pitt Meadows Grants Freedom of the City in Historic Ceremony

October 3, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 01/10/2012
For further information contact
Mayor Deb Walters
Mayor, City of Pitt Meadows
Phone: 604-465-2416 or
e-mail
dwalters@pittmeadows.bc.ca

Pitt Meadows Grants Freedom of the City in Historic Ceremony

The City of Pitt Meadows marked a historical milestone on Saturday, September 22 as it conveyed the Freedom of the City to the Royal Westminster Regiment in a historic tradition dating back to the Roman and Medieval times.

The ceremony kicked off with the traditional approach of the guard as the Royal Westminster Regiment was led into civic square and came to a halt in front of the doors of City Hall. The commanding officer knocked three times on the “gate” of the City Hall, and was answered by the mayor of the City.

Mayor Deb Walters addressed the attendees on behalf of the City and expressed pride in the importance and significance of the ceremony.

“Freedom of the City is the highest honour a City can bestow on a military unit,” she said. “Not only has the Regiment served to protect our local communities and the country, The Royal Westminster Regiment has provided personnel for many United Nations missions.”

The scroll of the Freedom of the City of Pitt Meadows was unravelled and signed by Mayor Walters and Lieutenant-Colonel of the Royal Westminster Regiment Doug Poitras.

The colours of The Royal Westminster Regiment were then marched into place at the middle of the formation while the regimental anthem, “The Maple Leaf Forever” announced its arrival. As the Freedom of the City was declared, the Regiment soldiers were ordered to fix their bayonets and officially enter Pitt Meadows.

The bestowment of the “Freedom of the City” is an honour dating back to the time of the Romans and the Medieval Age, when cities were encircled with walls and gates. It was an enormous show of trust by the granting city's inhabitants to an outside group. Traditionally, the Freedom of the City granted access to an army, unit, brigade or otherwise militarized force to enter the city "with drums beating, colours flying, and bayonets fixed.” Today, the honour is largely a ceremonial tradition to acknowledge service to the community.

Photos of the ceremony are posted on the City's Facebook page at facebook.com/pittmeadows.