Prince Charles recalls his military service at CFB Gagetown as royal tour begins

The Canadian Press ~ OBJ
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FILE - Oct. 27, 2009 file photo, Britain's Prince Charles, left, and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, file)

THE CANADIAN PRESS

CFB GAGETOWN, N.B. — Prince Charles and his wife Camilla have kicked off their Canadian tour at the same New Brunswick military base where the Duke of Cornwall trained as a military pilot.

Charles said he was delighted to begin his trip at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, where he flew as a naval helicopter pilot in the 1970s “at an exercise area in the middle of nowhere,” drawing a smattering of laughter.

He also extolled the virtues of service to community — a prominent theme of the royal couple’s visit as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

“The roll-call extends from remarkable schoolteachers who, against all the odds, are giving their students the best possible start in life, to senior businessmen and women who are working creatively to share their practical skills and experience with communities who need a bit of help,” Charles said.

“I can only hope their example will inspire others as it inspires me.”

Gov. Gen. David Johnston, federal Heritage Minister James Moore and Premier David Alward welcomed the couple under sunny skies following a 21-gun salute.

Later Monday, Charles and Camilla are scheduled to attend a citizenship ceremony for 12 new Canadians — two for each decade of the Queen’s reign — and a Victoria Day celebration in Saint John, N.B.

They will then tour Hazen White-St. Francis School, an elementary school with about 145 students who are predominantly from low-income families, before flying to Toronto in time to view a Victoria Day fireworks display.

On Tuesday, the Ontario government will host a reception in the historic Distiller District for the royal couple before Charles visits the Yonge Street Mission.

They will depart Toronto on Tuesday evening for Regina. The next day, Charles will have a private audience with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and be treated to a concert by the Regina Symphony Orchestra before the tour concludes.

Organizations: Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, Francis School, Yonge Street Mission.They Regina Symphony Orchestra

Geographic location: New Brunswick, Toronto, Saint John Ontario

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  • Terry Ritchie
    May 21, 2012 - 16:34

    ROYAL VISIT THAT NEVER HAPPENED As the newly elected mayor of the flood-ravaged village of Perth-Andover, New Brunswick, I have to say that I deeply regret the decision of those arranging the current tour of Prince Charles and his wife Camilla to our country not to at least try to fit in a brief flying visit by the royal couple to our people who are so deeply in need of encouragement and support. The invitation was extended to Prince Charles and our prime minister more than three weeks ago. More than a third of our village was inundated in the icy flooding of the Saint John River that engulfed it almost two months ago. Most of its victims are still waiting for some substantial form of assistance or relief, although many hundreds rallied to our support, from all over the province, at the time. It is not clear to what extent, or in what form, it now can survive. This community was founded over 200 years ago by men and women who gave up nearly all they had because of their fierce loyalty to the Crown. Their descendants have rallied to its cause in every war since, from the War of 1812 to the present conflict in Afghanistan. This is the village where meetings over a century and a half ago brought Canada, as Quebec and Ontario were then known, into the discussions that led to the Charlottetown talks and the founding of our beautiful country. We have never hesitated to give. With God's help and guidance, and with the backing of our fellow citizens and governments, we hope to be in a position to be able to again soon. But at the moment, we cannot do it alone. All the same we wish Prince Charles and his wife all the best on their tour of our province and country, where they will be almost as welcome as they would have been here. Believe me, believe us, we understand all too well what it means to have your best laid plans upset in any way. Or in every way. TERRENCE PETER RITCHIE Mayor-elect Village of Perth-Andover, New Brunswick

  • Edmund
    May 21, 2012 - 14:20

    Who freaking cares about anything that this guy did, has done or will do. The best thing he and his sidekick could do is get back on the plane (they should use a British RAF plane instead of the Canadian Government one that brought them here at the taxpayers expense) and go home to his mommy. What a waste of out tax dollars every year for one of this Winsor family visits. We have a major homeless problem, fishermen and plant workers out of work, a hurting seal hunt, students rioting in the streets of Montreal and we are paying a few million dollars for them to have a paid vacation when most Canadians would rather catch the flu than have them here sponging off us. If the whole lot of them want to do something good for this country why don't they open up their royal chest full of money and send those in need some help. A good start would be to come out publically in support of our seal hunt, if they have the guts to do so. Their ancestors didn't object when seals and whales were being killed to provide oil for their lamp posts in the streets of London. Hey Charlie and all you aristocratic Winsor folk, it's time to start giving back instead of always taking. We don't need to celebrate any of their family events, they do a very good job doing that by themselves. Harper, you have enough issues to deal with instead of playing host to the rich and famous. Be a PM with guts and make your decision to try and manage our country and spend your taxpayers dollars where it will make a difference and not on a royal expense account!!!

  • Joseph McGrath
    May 21, 2012 - 11:45

    Chuck is as much a military man as the Queen of England is a coal miner!!!!! We are losing SAR in NL and this waste of tax dollars continues on at our expense year after year after year.Do these people have a Social Conscience at all????.