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.

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

In October, Alex McLean shared the news that he would be stepping down from the FHGCC Board, and the role of President.  The entire Board extends its sincere appreciation to Alex for his many contributions as a Board member, as well as his leadership during a particularly challenging time for the Fort Henry Guard, and we wish him all the best.

At the November Board meeting, the Board elected Michael Murphy, FHG 2231, to the Board, as well as to the position of President.  Michael will serve in this position until the next AGM in August 2023.

Michael joined the Drums in 2014, reaching the rank of Ensign. He met his wife Sara (FHI 14-02) during this time, and they were married at Fort Henry in 2019. He is part of a long-running FHG family that includes his father Pat Murphy (FHG 1261), his uncle Frank Murphy (FHG 821), and a number of cousins.

Michael was previously a member of the FHGCC board of directors from 2017 to 2021, and has served as editor of The Guardsman since Fall 2019. Beyond the Fort, Michael received a PhD from the University of Ottawa in International Relations, and currently works as a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow and adjunct professor at Queen’s University.

Please join us in welcoming Michael back to the Board, and we’re thrilled that he’ll be leading the FHGCC in the lead-up to the 2023 reunion.

The Guard of 2022 was an underdog if ever there was one. How else would you describe 40+ brand new members, and the 16 fearless returnees who took them from civvies to their first sequence to spectacular Sunset Ceremonies in just a few short weeks?

Remember your recruit phase? I’m willing to bet that you benefitted not only from the NCOs on the square, but also from the returning Guard in your locker room. Those invaluable tips on getting a good shine, drill technique, favourite tour lines, and how to keep smiling with you’re asked for the millionth time, “Aren’t you hot in that?”.

Now imagine the only folks in your locker room are other rookies just like you.

I know I don’t have to tell you about the value of Guard returning to Fort Henry summer after summer. That’s why I hope you’ll join me and many other Guard alumni and supporters this Giving Tuesday in making a gift in support of the Fort Henry Guard Foundation’s new Commitment to Excellence Award – cash awards to encourage the return of programming staff each summer.

At the annual Awards Night that took place in August, the Guard Club presented each of the 16 extraordinary returnees with a $500 award in recognition of their dedication, leadership, and the crucial role returning staff have in keeping alive the very best of our FHG traditions.

And this past summer was just the start. We know that rebuilding the Guard will take several summers, and its future success will rely on members who return year after year. Your gift today will help the Foundation deliver Commitment to Excellence Awards to returning members again next summer, encouraging the entire Guard of 2022 to continue the great work they started.

Huzzah to the Fort Henry Guard of 2022, and huzzah to the generous Guard alumni like you who help make the future of the Guard even brighter!

With thanks.

Matt Archibald, FHG 1826

Director, Fort Henry Guard Foundation

Board member Tom Little has put together the annual FHGCC Work Plan, which provides a great overview of the numerous projects and activities that the board will be undertaking this year.  It includes special events, such as the 85th reunion and the annual awards night, as well as ongoing activities, such as the newsletter and Guard merchandise.

If there are any members who might be interested in volunteering to assist with any of these activities, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

The annual Fort Henry Guard Awards Night, which took place on August 30, concluded with a very special announcement.  Rob Hamilton, FHG 1741, shared the news that the Fort Henry Guard Foundation has created the Commitment to Excellence Award, which recognizes the importance of returning Guard.  16 members of Fort Henry’s programming staff were each presented with the inaugural $500 award in recognition of their significant contributions this past summer rebuilding the Fort Henry Guard. 

We extend our sincere thanks to Shaundra Buelow, Jordan Clark, Anna Holden, Ethan Krause, Nicholas Lafreniere, Hailey Leslie, Caitlin McAllister, Amberlyn McDougald, Jeff McPherson, Anthony Pacheco, Cameron Turner, Michael Valiquette, Josh Vivian, Colin Watts, Peter Webb and Erin Woznow.  Without their dedication and perseverance, it’s hard to imagine the Guard would have returned as quickly, and as strongly, as it did over the past four months.

Learn more about this vitally important initiative, and about how you can support next year’s Commitment to Excellence Award, in this message from FHGCC President Alex McLean.

 

THE FORT HENRY GUARD FOUNDATION COMMITS TO THE REBUILDING OF THE FORT HENRY GUARD

The Fort Henry Guard Foundation promotes and supports the Fort Henry Guard as a military animation/interpretive unit at Fort Henry National Historic Site of Canada, a living museum for the display of authentic British military music and drill of the mid-19th century for the education and enjoyment of Fort Henry visitors.

As has been felt in performance groups and living history sites around the world, the Fort Henry Guard saw great reduction in its operations since the global COVID-19 pandemic began. The Fort Henry Guard is a group of Victorian-era military and civilian living history interpreters consisting of university and college students working at Fort Henry each spring and summer. Fort Henry’s living history programming relies on experienced programming staff returning year over year at all levels to provide stability and to pass on their knowledge and experience to new staff. The key to the Fort Henry Guard’s world class renown, excellence in performance, and future growth rests with these returning staff and the acknowledgement for their hard work deserves recognition and support.

The Fort Henry Guard Foundation’s mandate is to support the Fort Henry Guard and therefore has established the Fort Henry Guard Foundation Commitment to Excellence Award to recognize the importance of returning Fort Henry programming staff. At the Fort Henry Guard Club Awards Ceremony held in August 2022, sixteen returning programming staff members each received $500.00 in recognition of their commitment to excellence, their outstanding work in leading the rebuilding of the Fort Henry Guard and espousing its traditions. Recognizing that the Fort Henry Guard rebuild is a multi-year process, the Fort Henry Guard Foundation has committed to continue this award program for the 2023 season and will award returning eligible Fort Henry programming staff members at the Annual Awards Night in August 2023. The Fort Henry Guard Foundation stands with the Fort Henry Guard and truly embodies the motto of the Fort Henry Guard: Et Nos Meremur – We Also Serve.

The Foundation wishes to thank the incredible generosity of the Fort Henry Guard Club members and Fort Henry Guard alumni and supporters who have donated over the years. It is thanks to those donors that this new award program exists. Those wishing to donate can do so here.

Alex McLean (he/him)

President

Fort Henry Guard Foundation & Fort Henry Guard Club of Canada

For the first time since 2019, the annual Fort Henry Guard Awards were presented on August 30, 2022.  Members of this year’s Guard, FHGCC board members, and invited guests, including Honorary Guard Commander Major-General Lewis MacKenzie, gathered in the Great Hall at Fort Henry to celebrate the Guard’s many accomplishments over the previous four months.

This year’s award winners, presenters and guests.

This year’s event was hosted by board member Matt Archibald, FHG 1826, who did a fantastic job, and featured the presentation of 14 awards, including the newly created Domestic Interpreter award, which recognizes the Domestic Interpreter who best exhibits excellence in leading guided tours, portraying the domestic life of the garrison, and other interpretive duties. 

The event concluded with a very special surprise – the announcement of the Fort Henry Guard Foundation Commitment to
Excellence Award, which recognizes the importance of returning Fort Henry programming staff.  Board member Rob Hamilton, FHG 1741, presented sixteen returning programming staff members with the $500.00 award in recognition of their commitment to excellence, their outstanding work in leading the rebuilding of the Fort Henry Guard and espousing its traditions.  Stay tuned for more information about this important initiative, including how you can lend your support to next year’s program.

Click here for a list of all of this year’s nominees and award recipients, as well as photos of the winners and presenters.

Special thanks to everyone who donated to support this year’s awards – your sponsorship is greatly appreciated.

The Annual General Meeting of the Fort Henry Guard Club of Canada took place in a hybrid format on August 30, 2022.  Twenty members were in attendance, either in person in the Great Hall at Fort Henry, or online via Zoom.

A total of six members were elected to the Board of Directors for a 2-year term:

FHG 2100 Alex McLean
FHG 1826 Matthew Archibald
FHG 1741 Rob Hamilton
FHG 1692 Chris Dearlove
FHG 593 Tom Little
FHG 2172 Emilie Coyle

In addition, Alex McLean was acclaimed as President, and Chris Dearlove was acclaimed as Vice-President.

Thank you to all those members who took part in the AGM, and to those members who agreed to stand for re-election.