Of anniversaries and Tattoo Royale PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 27 May 2017 13:20

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

Regina, Sask., Ca. — Canada celebrated Victoria Day last Monday. The hoisting of the royal flag and gun salute marked the observance here at the parliament grounds. Victoria Day is a holiday in Canada since 1845.

At first, the holiday was known as the “Fete de Dollard” after a 17th century figure promoted as a nationalist hero for trying the protect New France against the Iroquois. The story goes that this hero’s stature lost its luster as it emerged that Dollard had ambushed the natives and played a less-than-glorious role in the dispossession of Canada’s indigenous peoples.

Whatever, Victoria Day is something special in Canada. It remains the only country where a day named for the British queen is declared a federal public holiday.

Also, Canada will celebrate its 150th anniversary as a confederation. Many things are happening here. For example, the Tattoo Royale majesty in motion featuring the world-famous RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) Musical Ride. We were at the Brandt Centre to witness this spectacular show of well-coordinated, wonderfully-synchronized, and beautifully-choreographed 32-black horse musical ride.

As a backgrounder, in 1882, a growing settlement known as “Pile of Bones” was renamed “Regina”, just as the headquarters of the NWMP (North-West Mounted Police) were relocated. In 1883, Regina became the capital of the north-west territories and achieved city status after 20 years. It was selected to become the capital of Saskatchewan on May 23, 1906.

In 1920, the RCMP headquarters moved to Ottawa, but the historic “Depot” Training Academy — the place where Mounties are born — remains rooted in Regina today. The RCMP Heritage Centre tells the storied history of the force and pays tribute to the skill and courage of the women and men who have served their country in that distinctive red serge.

The Tattoo Royale is a spectacular  production of entertainment, highlighted by ceremonial performances of military music, massed marching bands, competitions and displays by military, police and civilian performers, i.e. the massed pipes and drums featuring “Scotland the Brave” and “Rowan Tree”, the Harmony 2 Go Barbershop chorus singing “Stout hearted men” and “I’ve been working on the railroad.”

The grand finale was the RCMP majesty in motion musical parade. Really fantastic!

It is written that the Tattoos evolved from the 17th century practice by British military of summoning soldiers back to quarters with the beat of a drum, which evolved into larger and more colorful contingents of musicians and marchers that attracted a crowd. The word “Tattoo” came from the Dutch phrase “doe den tap toe,” a message sent to inn-keepers to “turn off the taps.” Over time, it was shortened to “tap toe”, and finally Tattoo, sometimes referred to as the Sunset Ceremony.

The RCMP Sunset Ceremony is performed each year from Canada Day until mid-August. It is recognized as the Canadian Signature Experience.

In sweet home Zamboanga, the Daily Zamboanga Times (DZT) just celebrated its 29th publishing anniversary at the Grand Astoria Hotel.

As the DZT begins a new chapter with the same journalistic vigor and appetite for real news, allow me to thank the hundreds of DZT readers who have remained loyal to this newspaper over the years.

The DZT had many custodians, from the glory days of the defunct Zamboanga Times that metamorphosed to the bolder Daily Zamboanga Times. They embodied the values, wisdom and humor of the periodical. The DZT has always been an excellent storyteller. Here, we talk about politics, economics, business, and the world of law enforcement.

Hanging on the wall directly above the desk of Mr. Efren C. Pena, the man of letters, is a frame with the words: “You don’t have to be crazy to work here. But it helps.” Mr. Pena was a reliable mentor to all living journalists who worked with him.

So, please join the DZT community in reaffirming our commitment to sharing accurate, simple, reliable and inspiring news with you, the readers, who are the soul and inspiration of what we do.

Stay cool, Roy and Liza, and the rest of the vibrant DZT staff.