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Page 10 Humboldt journal November 9, 2011

Page 11 Humboldt journal November 9, 2011

Legion museum honours Canadian military history

Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 28 Humboldt, Sask

by Elodie Adams Journal Staff Writer

A tour of the Benson-Hingley Military Museum at the Humboldt Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, No. 28, with Reverend Al Hingley reveals a wealth of information on Canada’s military history. Hingley, originally from Nova Scotia, served in the postal corps in the late fifties and is the Branch Padre and museum curator.

10:30 Gather in lobby of St. Augustine Church 10:45 Parade into Church 11:00 Lastpost - 2-Minute Silence - Reveille 11:05 Remembrance Day Service 12:00 Wreath Laying Ceremony (in church) 1:00 Lunch at Legion Hall 2:00 Social in Clubroom and Museum (Entertainment - The Beer Tent Gang ) A display of the Canadian Armed Forces’ WWII uniforms, from left: Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Air Force (regular dress and mess uniform), Canadian Army, and Canadian Army Medical Corps.

Supper in Main Hall 5:30pm (Catered by BV Inn) Social in clubroom until closing Supper tickets -$15.00ea/Adult - $8.00ea/Child (under 8yrs) Available at Legion Clubroom or Poppy Table in the Humboldt Mall

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On August 16, 2011, Defence Minister Peter MacKay restored the historic nomenclature to the air force and the navy to honour the military’s royal roots. More than 40 years after Canada’s navy, army and air force were amalgamated into one unified service and renamed the Canadian Armed Forces, Ottawa decided to restore the original names. “Instead of all being lumped together as the armed forces,� said Hingley, “we are once again the Royal Canadian Air Force, the Royal Canadian Navy, and the Canadian Army.� Hingley says these “little� things, the designation of the troops, are very important to service personnel. The museum offers a display of many uni-

forms Hingley has collected or had donated over the years, including the Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Air Force regular dress and mess uniform, Canadian Army, and a nursing sister with the Canadian Army Medical Corps. These uniforms date from the second world war.

Rev. Al Hingley, branch padre and curator of the Benson-Hingley Military Museum in Humboldt has collected items from people and places all over the world, including this 1933 original magazine, Der Tag von Potsdam. It may seem odd to see items from the German military among the memorabilia in the museum. A glass showcase displays German military badges, medals, insignia, and a Hauser gun, to name a few. “According to museology,� Hingley explained, “you can have this kind of thing in your museum as long as it isn’t mixed up with other displays.� Hingley picks up an original 1933 magazine with photos of Hitler before he took over as Chancellor of Germany during the war. “This is a very, very rare document,� said Hingley about one of the photographs in the magazine. “This was the swearing in of Hitler as vice chancellor, and to the best of my knowledge, this is the only picture I’ve ever seen of Hitler dressed in civilians. Hingley had the idea of reconstructing a wartime trench in a narrow cupboard-like space

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photos by Elodie Adams

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Left: Tucked away in the back corner of the museum, visitors can get a feel for what a wartime trench looked like. Hingley put this display together especially for the benefit of children because everything else in the museum is static. Below: The newest exhibit in the museum honours the cavalry that were stationed at Original Humboldt under the command of Colonel Denison in the late 1800s.

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marched off to the glory of Batoche. “There were 450 soldiers under Denison’s command,� Hingley said. “Imagine a cavalry outfit protecting stores, while Middleton marches off to the glory of Batoche.�

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tucked away at the back of the museum. An artist friend of Hingley’s, Dr. Zygmond Kondzielewski, painted the sky and landscape that brings this scene to life. “This is a little display I put together so the kids could have some idea of what the trenches looked like,� said Hingley. In the trench, a soldier sits with his ammunitions around him. It must be a quiet moment, because the soldier is catching up on the news in a newspaper. “It is intended to illustrate to the kids – because everything else in the museum is static, and this helps their imagination – that people lived in that kind of a trench.� A tour of the small, basement museum gives the visitor a fairly complete overview of Canadian military history. With barely a square inch of empty space on the four walls of the museum, Hingley has managed to find room for one more exhibit, and it’s the one he is working on now. “This is Original Humboldt from the military perspective,� said Hingley. “The story is quite interesting, and here is a facsimile of the head of Colonel Denison, considered an authority on cavalry in the British Empire’s time, left in charge of a stationary post. � Hingley explains that the governor general’s bodyguard — the British General Middleton — looked with disdain at the colonialists. Perhaps he was envious of Denison and of his knowledge of the cavalry, but he put the colonel on a stationary outfit and

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In Memory of WWII Veteran Mervin Hessdorfer Humboldt: 682-1912 After Hours: 231-6499 Fax: 682-1914 Hwy #5 West in Humboldt, SK. Lambert & Linda Stumborg


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