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Princess Anne to present new colours to the Royal Newfoundland Regiment


CORNER BROOK, NL - Not too many people can say they have participated in the changing of the colours for their battalion twice in their lifetime.

Maj. Clayton Ereaut will be able to after today.

The officer commanding of A Company with the Royal Newfoundland Regiment’s 2nd Battalion in Corner Brook was in St. John’s when Prince Charles presented the 2st Battalion with its new colours back in 1983.

Today, it will be the prince’s sister, Princess Anne, who will be doing the honours. The princess, who is the regiment’s colonel-in-chief, will present the new colours to the 2nd Battalion during a formal military ceremony at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University.

“This would be the highlight of any soldier’s career to have Her Royal Highness present the colours,” Ereaut, who will be one of four guard commanders during today’s ceremony, said Tuesday.

The colours are flags that embody the spirit of a regiment. They are considered the most treasured and respected symbols and bear the regiment’s history by the battle honours emblazoned on them.

They are consecrated by a military chaplain and are presented by a sovereign, a member of the Royal Family or by the Governor General on behalf of the sovereign.

The plans to get new colours for the battalion began around four years ago, said Ereaut. The plans kicked into high gear about two years ago when the regiment found out Princess Anne would be coming to Corner Brook to unveil First World War-themed statues at Grenfell Campus.

After 33 years, the time had come to replace the long-serving colours.

“With the number of parades we’ve had, the colours we have now have tears in them and are a little dilapidated,” explained Ereaut.

The new colours had to be tailor-made and approved by the Royal Family before they could be presented.

“There is a lot of intricacy in the way they are done and it’s not like going downtown somewhere and getting them done,” said Ereaut.

The two new flags to be presented today will include the Queen’s colour and the regimental colour.

The colours will feature three new battle honours for the regiment. They will reflect the Royal Newfoundland Regiment’s participation in battle at Detroit in 1812, at Maumee in 1813 and in Defence of Canada from 1812-1814.

Prior to the new colours being presented by Princess Anne, the battalion will march off the old colours. Brig.-Gen. Guy Chapdelaine, the chaplain general of the Canadian Armed Forces, will then bless the new colours.

The retired colours will be publicly displayed in a prominent, reputable location, said Ereaut, adding the most likely destination for them will be somewhere on Grenfell Campus.

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