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Irish Regiment celebrates 100 years

With a history that dates back to the First World War, the Irish Regiment of Canada held a ceremony in Sudbury Saturday to celebrate its 100th anniversary. The regiment, formed Oct.
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Honourary Irish Regiment of Canada Lt. Col. Kevin McCormick presented Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne with a ceremonial coin Saturday, when the regiment celebrated its 100th anniversary. Photo by Jonathan Migneault.
With a history that dates back to the First World War, the Irish Regiment of Canada held a ceremony in Sudbury Saturday to celebrate its 100th anniversary.

The regiment, formed Oct. 15, 1915, and its members have served in a number of campaigns throughout its storied history, including the Second World War, Cypress, the former Yugoslavia, Somalia, peacekeeping missions in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

“One-hundred years is not something that's captured in a book. It's not something that's captured in a mere artifact, or museum. It's something that every soldier in every rank lives, breathes and understands,” said Kevin McCormick, an honourary lieutenant-colonel with the regiment, and president of Huntington University.

The regiment's presence in Sudbury dates back to 1965, when part of its second battalion reserve component settled in the city.

Depending on the year, there are between 80 and 100 reservists in Sudbury who train year-round in case they are called to support enlisted troops overseas.

“We are citizen soldiers. We are part of the fabric of the community,” said Lt. Col. John Valtonen, deputy commander, 33rd Canadian Brigade Group.

He added the sense of service with each reservist in Sudbury is “alive and well.”

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne was at Saturday's ceremony, where she received two ceremonial coins.

“It's great to be here to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Irish Regiment,” she said.

Saturday's ceremony began on a bittersweet note, only hours after the funeral of Sgt. Jesse Tait.

While Tait was not a member of Irish Regiment of Canada, many of his former colleagues, from Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, stayed at the regiment so they could attend the funeral service.

Wynne expressed her condolences to his family and her sadness at his loss when she addressed the regiment.


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