Thursday, January 6, 2011

An Urgent Appeal to our Supporters

Dear Friends of the RCN and RCAF,

You are one of the more than five thousand patriotic Canadians and organizations who have already expressed your support in the appeal to the government to restore the ‘Royal Honour’ to Canada's Navy and Air Force. Thanks to you, we believe that our voice is beginning to be heard!

The Senate of Canada, on 14 December 2010, passed a motion to encourage the Minister of National Defence to officially change the identity of ‘Maritime Command’ to a name that includes the word ‘Navy’; the term that is already being used unofficially, along with ‘Air Force’ for ‘Air Command’, as part of the recent revitalization of the Canadian Forces. This natural return to the traditional and more inspiring identities of our Armed Forces is only logical. Most Canadians would be surprised to learn that Canada has not had an official Navy, Army or Air Force since unification in 1968!

It is now one hundred years since the 'Royal Honour' was first granted to the Navy by HM the King in 1911 and then to the Air Force in 1924. This was a recognition deepened in succeeding years by the tremendously loyal and devoted service and sacrifice of Canadian men and women whose legacy, forged in battle, remains for all of us to honour.

From the RCMP to many of our famed regiments, like the Royal 22e and Royal Newfoundland, as well as in hundreds of other Canadian institutions, we live in a country that since Confederation has celebrated and known thousands upon thousands of ‘Royal Canadians’ in every generation. It makes no sense to continue to deprive our Navy and Air Force of an honour that is so well-deserved and that rightly belongs to all of them in all ranks; those serving as well as veterans. To be ‘Royal’ is an iconic honour and also shared by hundreds of non-military Canadian institutions and organizations that, like the Armed Forces, are deeply embedded within the history and fabric of Canadian society and culture.

The government will soon decide whether to rebrand and reimage Maritime Command (yet again), or respectfully return it to its rightful identity - the Royal Canadian Navy. It naturally follows that this same dignity be restored to the Air Force whose heritage and tradition, like that of the Navy, equally deserves our respect.

Just as the continuation of the Army’s ‘Royal Canadian Armoured Corps’ and ‘Royal Canadian Dragoons’ has not altered the continued unified structure of the Canadian Forces, neither will the restoration of the prefix ‘Royal’ to the Navy and Air Force. This is not an appeal for a return to separate forces and organizations. The RCN and RCAF subsist de facto within Her Majesty’s Canadian Armed Forces.

The time to act on this is now and the Minister and Prime Minister need and want to hear directly from all of us. Please write to the Minister of Defence (with a copy to the Prime Minister) expressing your wishes. Alternatively, you can visit our official campaign website and send a message from there.

Write to:
Peter Mackay

Copy to:
Office of the Prime Minister

Yours very truly,

Michael J. Smith
Restore the Honour!
Veteran's campaign to restore the royal designation to Canada's Navy and Air Force

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The Petition moves along...

May 1: Laurie Hawn, M.P. agrees to support petition
April 30: Sent draft petition to The Dominion Institute to seek their sponsorship
April 28: Sent draft petition to Captain(N) Pickingford, Project Manager, Canadian Navy Centennial Project
April 27: Sent petition to Blaine Barker of the Royal Canadian Naval Association and Bob Nixon of the Naval Officer's Association of Canada and Peter Dawe, Executive Director of the RMC Club
April 26: The Monarchist League of Canada members are supportive
April 25: Interesting - even heated - debate over at the Navy, Army, Air Force Forum, where the "Yeas" have it by a two-thirds majority.