Westville grants Freedom of Town to Highlanders

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Ceremonial event will mark change of command

The town of Westville will be a centre of military activity this weekend. A Change of Command for the First Battalion of the Nova Scotia Highlanders (North) will be held Saturday. 

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The ceremonial event will mark the passing of the responsibility of command from Lt. Col. Shawn Hale to Lt. Col Stephen Hale, both of whom have close family connection to Westville.

Also as part of the ceremony, the battalion will parade through the town and lay a wreath at the Westville Cenotaph on Main Street.

“There will be a parade route that the Nova Scotia Highlanders will follow, from Victoria Park to the Cenotaph on Main Street,” said Westville CAO Scott Fraser. “As a result the road will be temporarily closed for the parade.”

If the weather cooperates he said there should be a good number of spectators that come out to watch the event, Fraser said.

The Nova Scotia Higlanders (North) are a battalion of the Primary Reserve in the Canadian Army, many of whose soldiers are drawn from Pictou County. A Company makes it’s home in Pictou County with Armouries in Pictou and New Glasgow.

The town of Westville has granted Freedom of the Town to the Highlanders to hold their event in town.

The Freedom of the Town is an ancient custom, dating to Roman Times, allowing the military unit to march through the streets of the town with drums beating, colours flying and bayonets fixed.

The event will be held at 1:30 p.m. in Victoria Park.

Organizations: Westville Cenotaph, Primary Reserve, Canadian Army

Geographic location: Westville, Pictou County, Victoria Park New Glasgow

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