Official Salutes

As we conclude our long-running monthly “Salute” to our friends, neighbours, partners, and contributors it is appropriate we acknowledge the support of this medium…The Brandon Sun.

Whenever we have an event or need to communicate the important relationship this community has with the Canadian Armed Forces they are willing to help. This newspaper is a vital organ. It informs and influences us, it exposes and analyzes for us, and it is integral to the knowledge we require to conduct our daily business in this area.

For a small committee like Brandon Salutes, The Brandon Sun is an important partner in our efforts to foster and maintain the relationship between the military and civilian aspects in our community to our mutual benefit. From visits to Brandon by crew members of the Royal Canadian Navy’s HMCS Brandon to helping advertise pancake breakfasts for military families they have consistently stepped up to help. And for this we thank them. May The Brandon Sun keep up the good work for many years to come.


Ethel Bowles salute 06 12 2023


Brandon Salutes delivered a “Salute” to Ethel Bowles, of Virden, MB. She was recognized for her incredible support of our We Care care package program.

Ethel was honoured at her residence in Virden on Wednesday, December 6 at 2:00pm. The “Salute” was presented alongside a birthday cake to also recognize her 100th birthday.

The “Salute” for Ethel Bowles is to thank her for her steadfast support of deployed soldiers from the western Manitoba area through the “We Care” care package program. She has singlehandedly assured that dozens of soldiers have been remembered and thanked for their service.

This Brandon Salutes initiative sends care packages to soldiers from the region who are deployed on overseas mission on behalf of Canada. Receiving a package, and the recognition it represents, is greatly appreciated when soldiers are away from their friends and families for many months.

The Brandon Salutes committee presents official SALUTES to members of the community who have made significant contributions toward achieving Brandon Salutes’ mission of fostering unity of the military and civilian communities in the Brandon area.



 Every year, The Royal Canadian Legion conducts their Poppy Campaign across Canada to raise funds in support of veterans and their families.

Here in Brandon, the volunteers with the local Legion branches encourage us to wear a poppy and make a donation to the Legion Poppy Fund. They also conduct the annual Remembrance Day services held at the Keystone Centre.

The Legion provides financial assistance and support to veterans, including Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP, and their families who are in need. Poppy Funds may be used for grants for basic needs for veterans, funding for Veteran Transition Programs that are directly related to the training, education and support needs of veterans and their families and many other programs.

We “Salute” the members and volunteers of the Royal Canadian Legion for their advocacy and support for veterans and their promotion and conduct of Remembrance Day activities to ensure we never forget the sacrifices of Canada’s Veterans.



Karen Gero will probably tell you she is just doing her job. But she happens to be an awesome lady with a huge heart who goes well beyond “just her job” to ensure golfers, particularly those with the Soldier On program, have a great day on the course.

Soldier On, in collaboration with the CFB Shilo Country Club, conducts an annual golf day for Soldier On military members who reside in the Shilo/Brandon area.

Soldier On provides resources and opportunities for veterans and serving members to accept and adapt to their mental health or physical injury/illness through active participation in physical activity and sport, promoting an active lifestyle.

Sure, there are those directly working for Soldier On that “organize” this event but they quickly point out that Karen pretty much plans and coordinates everything at the Club for this event. Her attention to detail, coupled with her passion for her job and her love of people in general, always results in Soldier On members departing the golf day in a much better place than when they first arrived. Her efforts over the years have resulted in many ill/injured members crediting Soldier On with helping in their recovery, overcoming their challenges, opening doors to other life opportunities, and assisting in their transition to civilian life.

Karen Gero “We salute you!” and thank you for being who you are! You are making a difference.



This month we “Salute” someone who is, literally, going the distance to help others.This month we “Salute” someone who is, literally, going the distance to help others.
Sergeant Rob Nederlof, a military vehicle mechanic at CFB Shilo, is taking to the road later this summer to raise money for a dog. Not just any dog, mind you, a specialized support dog through Wounded Warriors Canada.
Sgt Nederlof, or “Ned”, has been training for his cycling trip from his home in Wawanesa, MB to Lethbridge, AB for months. He wants to raise $5000 to pay for part of the cost of raising and training a PTSD support dog. 
With the support of his spouse, Marina, he plans to take his 1000 km trip, dubbed the “Prairie Thousand” in August. The goal is to raise funds and awareness for Wounded Warriors Canada and their support dog program.
To all the wounded, their support systems, and to Sgt. Nederlof, Thank You and Bon Voyage!



HMCS Brandon has been at sea for a couple of months as part of Operation CARIBBE.  Our namesake ship has been patrolling in the eastern Pacific Ocean detecting and monitoring illicit trafficking in the eastern Pacific region. The crew of “710” has been part of an international partnership with other nations across the hemisphere addressing the security challenges in the region. It is a small ship in a very big ocean but the crew is up for the challenge and we “Salute” them for their efforts.HMCS Brandon has been at sea for a couple of months as part of Operation CARIBBE.  Our namesake ship has been patrolling in the eastern Pacific Ocean detecting and monitoring illicit trafficking in the eastern Pacific region. The crew of “710” has been part of an international partnership with other nations across the hemisphere addressing the security challenges in the region. It is a small ship in a very big ocean but the crew is up for the challenge and we “Salute” them for their efforts.
The warships find and track vessels of interest. The US Coast Guard law enforcement then approach, intercepts, then boards and inspects the ship and cargo.  Over the past fourteen years, the Royal Canadian Navy has contributed to the disruption or seizure of approximately 110 tonnes of illegal drugs. Even though they are far out to sea and far from Brandon, Manitoba the crew still tries to connect with their namesake city in a meaningful way. They have connections to a few local charities and make contributions when they can. 
To the crew of the HMCS Brandon, Bravo Zulu!


Rheanne Gray is “Saluted” this month for her unwavering support of the Shilo Military Family Resource Centre.

For community events, professional development workshops and training events Rheanne can always be counted on to be an enthusiastic and accommodating host.

Rheanne Gray and her staff at the Russell Inn may not all come from a military background but they have been understanding and supportive. For several years, the MFRC has needed a place to meet the unique needs of military couples during counselling retreats. Rheanne has created a reliable, sensitive, obliging, and generous oasis for them.

This past year has been challenging and many planned events have not been able to be conducted due to the COVID pandemic. However, when they are able to do so, the Shilo MFRC will organize retreats and training and they know they will have someone still in their corner to help out and be an exceptional host.

We salute Rheanne Gray from Russell, Manitoba for her steadfast support of military families in this area.



Captain Robert Killam is a Troop Commander with 71 Battery, 26th Field Artillery Regiment, RCA, (26 Fd) in Brandon. Now a teacher at Birtle Collegiate Institute, Captain Killam set a high standard for community volunteerism within the Regiment.

Captain Killam joined the Primary Reserve Army in January 2015 and over time completed the necessary courses and training to become a qualified artillery troop commander. He meticulously plans training exercises for the soldiers of 26 Fd and supervises their training with great enthusiasm and dedication.

When Robert moved to Brandon in 2014 from Ste. Rose, MB to pursue not only his Reserve Army career but to pursue his education degree at Brandon University (BU) he took on the role as Editor in Chief with the university’s student newspaper The Quill. He also served as the Mess Manager for the 26th Fd Combined Mess located at the Brandon Armoury as well as the President of the Mess Committee (PMC). While serving as the PMC he planned and supervised the 69th Brandon Military Ball in 2019.

Captain Killam’s dedication to service and community continued with volunteering with Westman Immigrant Services in Brandon where he helped immigrant children feel more welcome here. For this and his continuing work we “Salute” Captain Robert Killam.



The salute is as old as history itself and is at once a greeting and a mark of respect. It is also a mark of trust and confidence and an act of courtesy, good manners, and loyalty. The Brandon Salutes committee presents official SALUTES to nominated members of the community who have made significant contributions toward achieving Brandon Salute’s mission: “to foster unity of the military and civilian communities in the Brandon area”. 



No Stone Left Alone

November is a month of remembrance and there are many ways in which we pause to reflect on the sacrifices of others in defence of our country and our values.

No Stone Left Alone is a (now) a nationwide initiative that sees students visit local veterans’ cemeteries to place flags and poppies in memory of the veterans who have served.

Seven years ago Brandon became the first location east of Edmonton to host a No Stone Left Alone Ceremony. Teacher Ryan Lawson and his wife Allison brought the idea to then principal Craig Laluk at Ecole Harrison, and he didn’t hesitate to have the school do something so unique, and with the help of a committee of teachers led by Kim Schutte, it has grown like the teachers never imagined. In 2019 over 1000 Brandon school students took part, making Brandon’s No Stone Left Alone activity one of the largest in Canada.

This year, pandemic protocols prevented a ceremony from taking place but Ryan Lawson did plan to take a very small group of students to the cemetery to place poppies, reflect and remember.

“I remember as a young boy in school going to the ceremonies and the reason for being there just didn’t sink in as to why this was important. When those students are now out at a cemetery, reading the names on those monuments, in some cases seeing how young some of the soldiers were that may have been killed in action it really hits home to those kids and it has given them a new respect for what our men and women in the armed forces do for our country.” says Ryan Lawson.

This month we “Salute” Ryan and Allison Lawson and all the teachers who have made Remembrance Day real for their students and have taught that freedoms are not free.



Penny LaRocque is a force. As a long-time military spouse, she has followed her veteran husband, literally, halfway around the world. She worked and volunteered with military families in Israel and England and continued that work when they returned to Canada being active in military Mess life.

Now she uses her organizing skills to be Treasurer for Friends of the Museum Inc., the fundraising arm for the 26 Fd/XII Mb Dragoons museum. She also helps out the museum in many other ways. She is part of the Inner Wheel of Rotary, a long-time member of Beta Sigma Phi and has been part of Brandon’s 100 Women Who Care.

Penny established and maintains the library at Rotary Villas as well as running/sorting children’s books at the annual Rotary book sale for the past 12 years. And when she isn’t doing all the above she is a wife, sister, daughter, mother and grandmother with all of the responsibilities that entails.

We are very pleased to “Salute” Penny LaRocque this month.



We “re-Salute” someone we saluted before. Mrs. Ethel Bowles, 96, of Virden was recognized by us a few months ago. But we now have her picture, and true to her character, another donation for our “We Care” care package program.

As we currently work on sending postcards to our soldiers in the Ukraine and packages to those serving in other locales her donation is greatly appreciated. Reminders of home are valued and a point of pride for Shilo-based soldiers. Ethel helps us fill those littles boxes with small things from western Manitoba that say Thank You for your service.

So we say THANK YOU – again - to Ethel Bowles of Virden. She continues to be a really good neighbor.



Bombardier Nathanial Ironman of the First Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery (1RCHA) is our “Salute” for September.

As a volunteer and founding member of the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation chapter of the Bear Clan Patrol Ironman has used his military skills and his traditional knowledge to help his home community.

Since 2018 he has used traditional Indigenous practices to provide strength and stability to his hometown. Up until an overseas deployment and COVID-19 restrictions prevented him from taking part he has been a key member of the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation chapter of the Bear Clan Patrol. He was also given a military commendation for this important volunteer work.

For his dedication to his community, for his ability to use his strengths to help others and for his service to this country we thank Nathanial Ironman and extend a “Salute”.



Every day there are hundreds of people in our community that volunteer their time, skills, and expertise to a wide variety of groups and organizations. Among this large “army” of people are members of the CFB Shilo Emergency Services department. They are the one group of DND employees that have kept up their vital volunteer work during the pandemic. A dozen members of the CFB Shilo EMS also volunteer as firefighters in Wawanesa, Carberry, Neepawa and Holland. They are a vital part of their local communities bringing vital skills to a vital job. For this dedication we “Salute” the Shilo EMS employees who are also volunteer firefighters and thank them for their additional service to this region.



We "Salute" Grace Flynn for decades of volunteerism and defining what it takes to make a community better.

Ever since her family was moved to Shilo in 1968, she has been a Shilo Beaver Leader, was on the executive of the Sprucewoods Community Club, was a member of the Sprucewoods and Area Lion's Club, ran the Shilo Ceramic Club for many years, has volunteered at the Military Family Resource Centre Thrift Shop, has curled, bowled, and been a member of the Shilo Catholic Ladies League as well as teaching at Shilo Bible School.

Today she continues to volunteer as Treasurer for the Waggle Springs Fish and Wildlife Club and loves to play Mrs. Claus for various clubs, messes, schools and senior centers in the neighbourhood and on base.

Grace, you exemplify "Good Neighbour". Thank you.



Jamie McFadden is dedicated to the pipes and his community. He has put in countless hours in his over 40 years of service as a Canadian Army Reserve musician playing in and eventually leading performances at venues across Westman and into the United States. Many thousands of people will have positive impressions of the Canadian Armed Forces thanks to Jamie's professionalism and musical excellence. He even came out of “retirement” to volunteer in the role of Pipe Major for the 26th Field Artillery Regiment Pipes and Drums to ensure the pipe band could continue.

Pipe Major McFadden proudly farms in Rivers, MB with his brother and sons. Not only does he feed Canadians and the Manitoba economy he also volunteers with Acres of Hope, a community project that grows crops and donates the proceeds to feed the hungry in developing countries. AND he has been part of the Rivers United Church, served on the board of directors with the Rivers Arena and volunteered as a hockey coach and volunteer with the local high school hockey team.

We don’t have enough space to honour all the work he does from his farm to keeping international relations. His musical proficiency and leadership have been instrumental in the success of 26th Field Artillery Regiment Pipes and Drums annual playing at the Minot International Military Ball - an ongoing, tradition continuing to foster our military-to-military ties with the United States Air Force and our province-to-state relationship between Manitoba and North Dakota.

For decades of service, volunteerism and keeping the bagpipe traditions we “Salute” Jamie McFadden.




 Brandon Salutes extends a “Salute” to Lieutenant-Colonel Shawn Fortin for his role in the community. Lt. Col Fortin is a big proponent of the Scouting movement. He first joined the Scouts in 1977 as a Beaver, Cub, Scout, and, eventually, Venturer. Later in life, he found the time to volunteer as an adult to give back to the movement in which he believes so strongly. He started in Kingston, ON as a Colony Scouter, but, after returning from a deployment to Kuwait, he became the Committee Registrar and Commissioner. Since being posted to back to Brandon as the Commanding Officer of 26th Field Artillery Regiment, RCA, he has taken on even more responsibility with the 23rd Brandon Group, as the Committee Registrar, Administrator, and Fundraising Coordinator. He also recently added to his duties as the Group Support Scouter in the Westman area. As a result of his time with the Scouts, he has received the Bar to the Medal of Good Service and the Order of the Caribou.






Master Warrant Officer Al Williston has served this country in uniform for decades. He has worked in many places, cooking and serving soldiers and VIPs. He can tell you many stories from his years of service.

Part of that service has been volunteering his time for the military families in this community. For the past 7 years, Al has volunteered his time to cook over 2500 cobs of corn (mostly by himself) for the annual Military Family Resource Centre's Corn Roast.

He takes great pride in his work, ensuring there is always a massive cake for those special occasions. He, along with a team of cooks, made the memorable Canada Day 150 edible monolith.

For his decades of service to keeping the palates of Canada's soldiers and families nourished, we "salute" MWO Williston.




Captain Brian Wiltshire has been posted in and out of Shilo several times. Each time he became involved in some aspects of the community.

Since 2013 Brian has volunteered with Brandon Regional Search and Rescue and for the past five years has been part of the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog program. Although most people know and remember his Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Aly, they are a team and make weekly visits to the residents of one of Brandon’s personal care homes.

Captain Wiltshire is a 29 year veteran of the CAF, with deployments to Bosnia and Afghanistan. While Westman may not be his place of birth it has become his home.

For his many hours of community work and sharing Aly with others we “Salute” him.


Aaron Legg deserves our ‘Salute” for September.

This month’s “Salute” is for Corporal Aaron Legg. Corporal Legg is a Construction Technician based out of RPOU (Real Property Operations Unit) at CFB Shilo. Cpl Legg has only been a member of the Canadian Armed Forces for four years but in that short time has shown great initiative and interest in his community.

For the past 3 years Cpl Legg has been an avid volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and has spent countless hours volunteering his construction skills in the building of several homes in Brandon. Additionally, Aaron is a member of Youth for Christ, and he personally mentors youth, listening to their stories and problems and offering advice through the programs offered by this church.

For his initiative, enthusiasm, professionalism, and community spirit Corporal Aaron Legg is saluted. Well done!



Edd McArthur deserves our ‘Salute” for August.

Throughout Edd McArthur’s military career he served as a communicator on land, at sea and in the air retiring from active service in 2009. During these years he was a long-time member of Scouts Canada, as a Queen Scout, Cub Master, Scout Master and Beaver Leader retiring as an Assistant Deputy Commissioner with St. Margaret’s District in Nova Scotia. For this dedication to Scouts Canada, he received the Medal for Good Service and the Long Service Medal.

In 2009, upon his retirement from the military, he took on two roles. He served for another three years in uniform with his old cadet corps, the RCSCC Swiftsure. He also became the curator of the 26th Field Regiment RCA/XII Manitoba Dragoons Museum. 

He is very proud of the Museum’s accomplishments but the Memorial Garden is his pride and joy.  The recognition of the Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen from Brandon and area who gave their lives from the South African War to Afghanistan has been a lifelong dream of his.

For his decades of service, both in and out of uniform, and for his continued efforts to preserve and honour local military history Edd earns our “Salute” this month.



Major Howie Nelson deserves our “Salute” this month.

Howie has volunteered with the 26th Brandon Cub Scouts, stepping up when the program was short a leader and was recently awarded a Certificate of Commendation for that work. He is also a volunteer coach for the Westman Youth Rugby Association, coaching 8-9-year-olds in flag rugby for the Mini Barbs and this summer will coach 10-11-year-olds in tackle rugby.

Major Nelson also sits on the Board of Directors for the RCA Museum as well as being a member of Brandon Salutes.

Howie was first posted to Shilo in 2002 and has been deployed overseas, been posted elsewhere in Canada and performed a number of jobs. Since his arrival back here six years ago he has become a valued participant in this community.





Isabelle was posted to Shilo a few years ago. She immediately got involved with a number of initiatives and committees aimed at improving the lives of the soldiers living here.

She is an enthusiastic volunteer with the annual United Way fundraising campaign and activities including the annual “Day of Caring” in Brandon. She is an advisor on the CFB Shilo Operation Honour committee (Canadian Armed Forces campaign to stop sexual misconduct and eliminate inappropriate behaviour). She also serves on the Junior Ranks Mess committee and here is where she has shown a talent for getting her fellow mess members more informed about their community, neighbourhood, and region. Her weekly list of things to do encourages everyone to get out and explore Manitoba from dinner theatre in Winnipeg to curling bonspiels and special events in Westman. The list is extensive and appeals to all interests.

Corporal Thibodeau makes a concerted effort to be a part of this community and encourages others to do the same. She deserves our “Salute” this month.




Betty Coleman helped connect the military and civilian communities in Brandon and area for decades. She served as the Honourary Colonel/Lieutenant-Colonel of the 26 Field Regiment in Brandon, was a director of the Army Cadet League of Canada, Manitoba, and co-chaired the Friends of HMCS BRANDON committee. She is best known as the "tour de force" organizer of the Brandon Military Ball for over 50 years and for serving as the Ship's Sponsor of the HMCS BRANDON.

Now residing in Victoria, BC, Betty continues to visit with "her crew". Despite being in her 90's, Betty Coleman's support for the HMCS BRANDON and her crew is the envy of many other ship's crews in the Royal Canadian Navy based in Esquimalt.

For her decades of support for the Canadian Armed Forces, we "salute" Betty Coleman.


 Chuck LaRocque is a tireless community volunteer. He is a retired veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces who spends as much time in his "retirement" working and volunteering as he did when he was a full-time member of the CAF. Chuck is a dedicated member of the Brandon Rotary Club, as well as being a member of the Shilo and Area Service Club. He has served on the Brandon Salutes committee and continues to help us out with special projects on occasion. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the RCA Museum as well as serving on several other boards and volunteering for special occasions and projects in Brandon. When he has a spare moment, he continues to work as a contractor as well as being a husband, father and grandfather. People like Chuck LaRocque form the backbone of a community. For the countless hours of service, both in and out of uniform, Chuck earns our "Salute" this month.


Every year, Brandon and area youth participate in the Cadet program. We at Brandon Salutes have honoured these youth before, but without a dedicated corps of adults to guide them, the program would not function.

In particular, we want to acknowledge the dedication of Captain Dan Fontaine, Commanding Officer of the 82 Brandon Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. Dan Fontaine has served in the Cadet Instructor Cadre (CIC) for 24 years, but he first enrolled as an Air Cadet here in Brandon in 1985.

The CIC consists of specially trained part-time members of the Canadian Forces who are responsible for cadet training, supervision, and administration. However, serving as a CIC requires countless hours of commitment and boundless patience. Dan does all of this on top of being a parent, volunteer and working full time.

The years a youth participates in the cadet program are often the only exposure they or their family may have to the military and the role it plays in Canadian society. It can be a good educational "bridge" to learning about the tapestry of their community. The role of Cadet leaders like Captain Dan Fontaine are vital to this education, and they continue to be important figures in the lives of cadets many years after they leave the program.

We "Salute" the people who serve in the CIC.



Sergeant Kimberly Wheatland is a 30-year member of the Canadian Armed Forces Primary Reserve. She has been deployed on two domestic operations and works as a clerk.

Sergeant Wheatland’s leadership, experience, corporate knowledge, and absolute dedication to 26th Field Artillery Regiment, RCA (26 Fd) here in Brandon has been nothing short of exemplary. She was awarded two Queen’s Jubilee Medals and has received other awards for her volunteerism and hard work.

Kim has served 18 years with the Reserves in Manitoba and she immerses herself in every aspect. She is a consistent member of the 26 Fd Regimental Mess and has been a part of the Mess Executive many times. She is always a key part of any unit social function but it is the annual 26 Fd Regiment Military Ball where, frankly, without her work, this event, which has been attended by citizens of Brandon for over 70 years, would not be the success it is. Each year she invests much of her spare time in September and October preparing invitations and programs, tracking participants, and creating centerpieces for each table. This year, she also organized a successful dress exchange for spouses and members.

Sergeant Wheatland makes an impact to the CAF, 26 Fd, and our community every single day. Her care for the soldiers is evident, from the care packages she ensures are sent to deployed soldiers, to the glitter of the Regiment’s annual Ball, to being a leader and mentor to others in her trade.

Sgt Kim Wheatland deserves our “Salute” this month. Thank You, Kim.




The Brandon Wheat Kings have a high profile in our community. The players, coaches, and staff work very hard on and off the ice to be good ambassadors of the city and the region.

The team includes the military in their outreach to the community. They have fun nights with cadet groups and recognize military members and families at games. They regularly contribute to care packages Brandon Salutes sends to deployed personnel. Every Remembrance Day the team takes a moment to remember and honour the sacrifices made by those who serve our country.

For all of this work and contribution to the military community Brandon Salutes “salutes” the Brandon Wheat Kings.   They are “Good Neighbours and Proud Partners”.




The Shilo and Region Service Club will celebrate 50 years of service to Shilo and area this October. Originally formed in 1968 as a men's club with members who had had a long and distinguished military career it has evolved to now include people from all walks of military life as well as the public service and civilian residents of surrounding communities regardless of gender.

Throughout its history, the Shilo and Region Service Club has made significant contributions to Shilo and surrounding communities. The club is actively involved in many annual events that fundraise for worthy causes, including the popular Lobsterfest.

The Club donates about $20,000-25,000 annually to a wide variety of causes. These donations are used to provide assistance to community members in need, as well as supporting local schools and recreational activities. The club has provided a mobility scooter and walkers to those who required temporary mobility assistance until permanent solutions were made. They’ve raised funds for hospital beds, televisions for senior citizens’ residences, and supported Cadets.

This is why Brandon Salutes “salutes” the Shilo and Region Service Club. We are a community-building project and the Service Club exemplifies community-building. They are truly “Good Neighbours and Proud Partners”.

Members of the Shilo Service Club donated proceeds from their 2018 fall golf tournament to the Brandon Regional Health Centre.



Myrna Lane is a long-time military family member and volunteer. As a military spouse, she knows first-hand the necessity of connecting and networking with the community as a way to prevent isolation.

Volunteering has always been part of her life and the bridge from her military life to the broader area. Myrna may be modest about her contributions but her level of dedication is not. The entire area would be so much less without it. Thousands of hours have been spent helping at church, the Shilo Military Family Resource Centre, the Brandon Christmas Cheer Registry, Canadian Cancer Society, Diabetes Association, the Sprucewoods Lions Club, and more.

She has fundraised, read stories, served in various executive capacities, answered phones and listened to lonely spouses during deployments. She has packed boxes, knocked on doors, and organized other volunteers. Myrna Lane is a stellar example of the contributions volunteers, and members of the military family, bring to our community. For this, she earns our “Salute” for this month.



Bombardier Mackenzie Rimmington is a 19-year-old ACC student whose enthusiasm for her role in Brandon’s military Reserve regiment has earned our notice this month.

Bombardier Rimmington is originally from Guelph, Ontario where she started her career in Canada’s Primary Reserves. She also served with Kenora, Ontario’s 116th Independent Field Battery before moving to Brandon and continuing her service with the 26th Field Artillery Regiment. Now calling Brandon home she is also pursuing an education in healthcare at ACC.

She has deployed on domestic operations here in Canada; helping fight fires in western Canada and this winter served on Op PALACI, which keeps the avalanche-prone but vital Rogers Pass in BC open to traffic. But she also keeps her community in mind and volunteers as the Assistant Mess Manager, is part of the Annual Military Ball Committee, and has assisted with local Scouts Canada groups. On top of all this, she recently received the 38 Canadian Brigade Group Command Team Commendation for her quick thinking and hard work to help combat a wildland grass fire that threatened a farm near Brandon last summer.

Mackenzie Rimmington is an example of the many people in Brandon and area who serve their county and their community. For this – she has earned our “Salute”.




A "Salute" to the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba

For many years the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba has recognized the roles that Canada’s military plays in our community. At most of their events, they designate a day and offer a special incentive to military members and their families in recognition of their service to this country. At the recently held Royal Manitoba Winter Fair the opening day was dedicated to all the services that put their lives on the line. This included the traditional opening ceremony complete with a military flag party, a 50 person guard, and ceremonial band. There were also a few military-oriented displays and demonstrations.

According to Provincial Exhibition general manager Ron Kristjansson, there has been a long connection between the agriculture and military communities in western Manitoba. Whether it be a family history of selling horses to the military during the Great Depression to family members serving in the Regular Force or the Primary Reserve. It is this connection that drives the Provincial Exhibition to recognize our local military community.

This is why Brandon Salutes “salutes” the Provincial Ex. We are a community-building project. Brandon Salutes strives to strengthen the military and civilian ties in Brandon and area. We welcome initiatives like those of the Provincial Ex which exemplify our motto “Good Neighbours and Proud Partners”.




“Salute” For Forbidden Flavours

Brandon Salutes handed out another “Salute” this morning at CFB Shilo. Ray and Leita Piche, owners of the Forbidden Flavours coffee shop franchise at CFB Shilo, were recognized for their unfailing and enthusiastic support to the military community.

“Their generosity often exceeds the expected, especially given their daily challenges of running a small business,” said Matt Bolley, Chair of Brandon Salutes.

Ray and Leita’s hard work and continued contribution to the Shilo community help people arriving at Shilo from all parts of Canada feel welcome and at home. Their shop is a gathering place for everyone and, as such, fosters the relationship between the military, civilians, and their families.

The Brandon Salutes committee presents official SALUTES to nominated members of the community who have made significant contributions toward achieving Brandon Salutes’ mission of fostering unity of the military and civilian communities in the Brandon area. This morning’s honour was presented in front of a large crowd gathered to attend the annual Winterfest event at CFB Shilo.



Harvey Dann Press Release (119 KB)


pdf document Gayle Raynor Press Release (56 KB)

shilo mens club

pdf document  Shilo Men's Club Press Release (107 KB)


pdf document  MCPL Gordon Olson Press Release (108 KB)

pdf document Betty Coleman Press Release (101 KB)

First Salute Presentation

pdf document First Salute Press Release (99 KB)