The Fort Henry Guard Club of Canada and St. Lawrence Parks Commission announced that the distinguished Canadian engineer and community leader Annette Bergeron has been named the new Honorary Commander of the Fort Henry Guard. Ms. Bergeron will succeed Major-General Lewis MacKenzie, who has held the position since 2021.

A recognized national leader in the field of engineering, Ms. Bergeron has demonstrated an inspirational commitment to public service through leadership in the highest offices of her profession. She is a past president of Professional Engineers Ontario, the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers, and Engineers Canada, and a former chair of the board of the Electrical Safety Authority. An active contributor to the Greater Kingston community, she has served as chair of several committees at Kingston General Hospital and is a past General Manager of the Queen’s Alma Mater Society.

Ms. Bergeron has received numerous honours and awards for her contributions at the community, provincial, and national level. These include the 2023 Office of the Order of Honour for Professional Engineers Ontario, a 2020 Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers, a 2018 Fellowship at the Canadian Academy of Engineering, 2018 Ontario Volunteer Service Award, Top 25 Women of Influence-Canada, among many others.

“The Honorary Guard Commander plays an important role in inspiring and advocating for the Fort Henry Guard, and we are delighted to see such a strong leader taking on this role,” said Michael Murphy, President of the Fort Henry Guard Club of Canada. “On behalf of the former Guard who have worn the uniform during the past eighty-six years, I want to extend a warm welcome and hearty congratulations to Annette Bergeron as she becomes our sixth Honorary Guard Commander.” 

“Fort Henry is proud to have Ms. Bergeron, a two-time Woman of Influence and champion of the city of Kingston join the Fort Henry Guard as its new Honorary Guard Commander,” said Geoff Waycik, Director of Historic Sites, St. Lawrence Parks Commission. “She brings with her a connection to the community that exemplifies the type of integrated role the Fort can play in this city and we look forward to benefitting from her leadership.”

A Change of Command ceremony will be scheduled early in Fort Henry’s 2024 summer season.

Past Honorary Guard Commanders:

  • The position of Honorary Guard Commander of the Fort Henry Guard began in 1955 in recognition of General Lemuel C. Shepherd, then Commandant of the United States Marine Corps. General Shepherd was a significant force behind fostering the unique relationship between the Fort Henry Guard and the United States Marine General Shepherd was awarded Guard number FHG #1 and served as Honorary Commander of the Fort Henry Guard until his death on August 8, 1990.
  • FHG #2 and former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Honourable Henry N.R. Jackman, became the second Honorary Commander of the Fort Henry Guard. He served in this capacity from 1992 until May 2003 and now has Guard Commander Emeritus status.
  • The Honourable Peter Milliken, Speaker of the House of Commons and M.P. for Kingston and the Islands, FHG #3, served from 2003 to 2006 and also has Guard Commander Emeritus status.
  • The Honourable Hugh Segal, who served in the Canadian Senate from 2005 to 2014, FHG #4, was Honorary Guard Commander from 2006 until 2020, and continued as Guard Commander Emeritus until he passed away last year.
  • The outgoing Honorary Guard Commander, FHG #5, is Major-General Lewis MacKenzie. General MacKenzie served 36 years in the Canadian Armed Forces and received the Order of Canada and two Meritorious Service Crosses in recognition of his leadership and commitment to cooperation. General MacKenzie will continue to hold Guard Commander Emeritus status.

The full press release is available here.

We are saddened to learn that David Vrooman, FHG 513, passed away on January 31 at the age of 81.  Martin Blaser, FHG 1022, shared some memories of Dave via Facebook:

Dave received his guard number in 1961 and was one of the few among us to attend the Royal Tournament held at Earls Court exhibition building in London England. Dave once told us “Queen’s Meds and football were a large part of the Squad and U of T music students were a major part of the Drums” during his time with the Guard. “We were very lucky in our timing to be a part of the Royal Tournament experience.”

Here’s a photo of Dave and some of his comrades on the plane heading to London in 1963, with Dave sitting left front, Bob Lawrence (FHG 524) sitting directly behind Dave, Lawrie Garnett ( FHG 436) sitting right front, Paul Munroe ( FHG 480) on the right side in the dark t-shirt and Dick Gates (FHG 498) standing waving his arms.

We extend our condolences to Dave’s wife Rosemary, their four children, and seven grandchildren.

Kingston Whig-Standard obituary.

Dr. Richard James, FHG 298, passed away on December 19, 2023 at the age of 92.

Dick joined the Fort Henry Guard in 1955, and was a member of the winning Armstrong Gun team in 1958.  During his studies at Queen’s University, he was also a member of the Queens Comets and the Golden Gaels Football Team.  Dick practiced medicine for 50 years, and was Amhertsview’s first doctor, establishing the Amherstview Medical Center.

Dick James pictured with fellow Fort Henry Guard Wally Mellor (FHG 296), Ron Stewart (FHG 280), Gary Schreider (FHG 279) and Bill Surphlis (FHG 272)

We extend our sincere condolences to Dick’s Sally, and his many family and friends.

Kingston Whig-Standard obituary.

We are saddened to learn of the passing of the Honourable Hugh D. Segal, OC, OOnt, CD.  Hugh, FHG #4, was the Fort Henry Guard’s Honorary Commander from 2006 to 2021, and he was a wonderful advocate and champion for the Guard during his many years of service.  We offer our sincere condolences to his family and friends. 

The Honourable Hugh Segal has for many years observed the unique and strong character of the Guard and a wonderful advocate he has been. Hugh has faithfully attended the Guard’s annual Awards Ceremony, providing inspiration and sage advice that was always so keenly absorbed by young and impressionable minds; an opportunity and an honour that was so deeply appreciated. Hugh, we sincerely thank you for your faithful and dedicated service to the Guard since 2006. You are a dear friend whom we all will miss very much, although we hope you will continue to visit the Fort and support the Guard by your presence from time to time. We wish you all the best going forward.

Remarks from FHGCC Past President Michelle Foxton, FHG 1670, at the 2021 Change of Command Ceremony

You can read an interview with Hugh that appeared in The Guardsman in 2007 here

The Fort Henry Guard Club of Canada’s 2023 Annual General Meeting took place on Sunday, August 6 in Magazine M at Fort Henry.  Thanks to all of the members who attended, both in person and on-line – it was by far the largest turnout for an AGM we’ve had in many years.

During the AGM, four new members were elected to the Board of Directors for two-year terms.  We are happy to welcome:

Michael McKitrick, FHG 2283
Zoe Robinson, FHG 1267
Cole Strange, FHG 2188
Colin Watts, FHG 2334

And we offer our sincere thanks to those Directors who are leaving the Board:

Sara Briginshaw, FHG 2084
Sean O’Donnell, FHG 1737
Daniel Rose, FHG 2186
Cameron Smith, FHG 2358

In addition, the following Directors will continue in their current roles on the Executive for 2023-2024:

Michael Murphy, FHG 2231  President
Chris Dearlove, FHG 1692  Vice-President

The Fort Henry Guard Club of Canada’s Annual General Meeting will take place at Fort Henry on Sunday, August 6, 2023 at 12:30 pm.  Members in good standing are invited to attend the AGM, either in person, or online.  More details about how to access the meeting via Zoom will be shared shortly.

The nomination list for this year’s AGM can be found here.  We are seeking four Directors to join the Board, and two Club members have agreed to stand for election.  Nominations from the floor will be accepted should any members wish to run for election.

We look forward to welcoming as many members as possible as we celebrate the 85th Reunion, and look back at a very successful year.

Great news for those who’ve been waiting with bated breath…Reunion registration is OPEN!
We had to work through some obstacles this winter and opted, after much back and forth, to change our Reunion venue.
Long story short, the Four Points by Sheraton (now Kingston Market Square Hotel) was our original choice, but it was purchased last year and the new management decided to proceed with a full renovation in 2023. We could not ensure, based on the timelines that were presented to us, that our reunion would be unaffected by these renovations, so we found a different venue for this summer’s event. The Holiday Inn – Waterfront was our next best option, and happily, we have now booked our event with them.
To register for the Reunion, please use this Google Form. Payment can be made by credit card, PayPal, or by cheque (please write “Reunion Registration” in the memo line) mailed to:

The Fort Henry Guard Club of Canada
P.O. Box 1955
Kingston, ON  K7L 5J7
There are hotel rooms set aside with both the Holiday Inn – Waterfront and Kingston Market Square Hotel. Information about rates and how to reserve hotel rooms will be available shortly.
We can’t wait to see you in Kingston from August 4 to 7!

Christy O’Neill, FHG 1761
Reunion Committee Chair