Camp Aldershot. File
By Kirk Starratt
The Black Watch Atlantic Branch Association is holding its 2013 reunion at Camp Aldershot this weekend.
President Arthur Snow of Amherst said more than 320 people had registered for the event. Members from across Atlantic Canada are attending and some coming in from as far away as Australia, England, the United States and Montreal.
“In just about every reunion I meet someone who has never been here,” Snow said.
Although the association started holding reunions in 1979, there are still members attending for the first time. Snow said there are five new association members registered for this year’s reunion, including one Second World War veteran.
“I can’t wait to meet him,” Snow said.
Snow said, sadly, the association has lost 115 members since their last reunion two years ago. However, even if members are ill, the reunion is important to them and they work hard to make it. Snow said the reunion is important to him, too, as the members are very appreciative of his organizing efforts. Snow said the part he enjoys most is getting to see his friends again, although he also enjoys meeting new members with a connection to the Black Watch.
The activities got underway Aug. 30 with a meet and greet - a chance for everyone to get reacquainted, reminisce about days gone by and talk about what is currently happening in the association. The association’s annual general meeting will be held Aug. 31, as well as a dinner and dance.
The reunion includes some special presentations this year. Saturday at 2 p.m., members in uniform, led by the pipes and drums, will march on the Camp Aldershot parade square. The reviewing officer will inspect the soldiers and there will be a presentation of Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals to 10 members. An 11th medal will be presented to a member in New Brunswick who is unable to make the trip following the reunion.
In 1953, the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada returned from service in the Korean War and the First and Second Battalions were stationed at Camp Aldershot, along with additional units at Camp Debert. From 1953 to 1959, Camp Aldershot saw significant use while housing this regular force unit. At one point, some 2,300 soldiers were stationed at the facility.
The Black Watch rotated to West Germany in 1959 and was stationed at the newly constructed Camp Gagetown in New Brunswick upon its return.