Winners of the Laurie Bugle Shooting Competition members of the No 1 Company of Rifles and Seymour Battery

Winners of the Laurie Bugle Shooting Competition members of the No 1 Company of Rifles and Seymour Battery

Local regiment’s history book to mark 150 years of service

The Royal Westminster Regiment, with locations in New Westminster and Aldergrove, is documenting its rich history in a book

The Royal Westminster Regiment, with locations in New Westminster and Aldergrove, is documenting its rich history in a book which will commemorate a major milestone.

The Royal Westminster Regiment is the oldest active military unit in British Columbia. It has a 150 year history of service in the County of Westminster, a territory which extends from Burnaby to Boston Bar. The New Westminster Volunteer Rifles, predecessor to the Royal Westminster Regiment, were granted authority by Governor Douglas on November 20, 1863. Now, the regiment is producing a pictorial history book which will be available to the public in 2013.

The book is a major legacy contribution of “The Westies” C150 committee spearheaded by Colonel Baker-MacGrotty, Honorary Colonel. The volunteer book team, coordinated by Sergeant Harley, has assembled a comprehensive collection of photographs, facts, memorabilia and records, many of which are being published for the first time. The book will be hard cover, printed in full colour and will acknowledge sponsors and supporters in the preface.

Enthusiasts can support the book project at three levels. Major book sponsors who contribute in excess of $500 will receive two limited edition, numbered volumes, each in a custom slipcase. For $150, book supporters will receive one numbered edition. The Honorary Colonel and the book project team will present books to sponsors and supporters at a VIP launch scheduled for November.

A standard edition is also available for pre-ordering for $80. Books will be available in time for Christmas giving and before sales officially begin on January 1. The book is being published by Vivalogue Canada and can be ordered online at www.vivalogue.ca until September 7, 2012.

“We are pleased to contribute to the pictorial record of Canadian military history,” said Colonel Baker-MacGrotty. “With a fighting Westie spirit and incredible record of duty, tradition and service commencing before Confederation, the book will be of interest to readers of all ages and backgrounds. As The Royal Westminster Regiment celebrates 150 years of valiant military service of building and protecting our community, our country and on overseas missions, this book is produced as a tribute to all our brave men and women who have served our country with such distinction.”

The Royal Westminster Regiment has a long history of community involvement. When the Great Fire swept through New Westminster in 1898 and again when record flooding afflicted the Fraser Valley in 1948, the regiment supported the community through times of crisis. More recently, the regiment helped fight the Okanagan wild fires of 2003 and provided support to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

As a fighting force, the Westies have been involved in every major conflict of the post-Victorian era. The Primary Reserve Light Infantry Battalion has served in the Boer War, World War I and World War II. It has also augmented numerous oversees deployments on UN and NATO missions in Bosnia, Croatia, Cyprus, the Golan Heights, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan.

Members are currently serving overseas in Afghanistan and the Sudan.lynn@vivalogue.com