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48th Highlanders Old Comrades Association

The Old Comrades Association (O.C.A.) is responsible for linking the Regiment with those who have served, but are no longer active in military matters. We are pleased to welcome you as a new member to the 48th Highlanders Old Comrades Association.

Some of our annual events are:

The Association does not have regular meetings but two groups within the Association have monthly meetings.

lf you have any questions regarding the Association I can be reached at 705-722-0250

Thomas R. Thompson

An OCA membership application in "Rich Text Format" is offered here for interested Highlanders.

Note: The 48th Highlanders Old Comrades Association is recognized as a Veteran's Club and Non-Profit Organization.

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Continuing Sergeants Association

While most regiments have some form of Sergeants' association, the 48th Highlanders are unique in that ours is called The Continuing Sergeants Association. Before the First World War, this name was specifically chosen to make it clear that although a senior NCO may have retired from the Regiment, he is still a part of the Warrant Officers and Sergeants Mess of the 48th Highlanders and will be for life.

Members of the Continuing Sergeants Association (CSA) enjoy the same rights and privileges as serving NCO's and are always welcome in the Mess which is a second home for all 48th Senior NCO's. Members of the CSA take an active role in the administration and upkeep of the mess and generally try to "pitch in" wherever their help is needed. Several social functions and parades are held during the training year to allow retired senior NCO's to maintain strong ties with their Regiment and their comrades in the mess, both retired and serving. Admission as a full member is restricted to senior NCO's who have served in the 48th Highlanders, although Associate Membership may be granted to NCO's from other units or friends of the Regiment.

Membership dues are not charged but individuals are solicited for donations during the year. All members are sent an Association newsletter, membership card, and notification of all Regimental functions. For information contact:
48th Highlanders Continuing Sergeants Association, WO Ron Denham, Treasurer, 50 Graydon Hall Drive, #206, Toronto, ON M3A 3A3, Tel: 416-444-3080, Email:

2018 CSA Executive Committee (All Retd)
Chairman: Sgt Al Kowalenko; Vice-Chairman: MWO Mark McVety
Treasurer: WO Ron Denham; Secretary/Newsletter: Sgt Guy Bowie
Membership Lists: WO Dianne Love
Members At Large: WO Alex MacKinnon and Sgt Gord Holmes
Past Chairman: MWO Larry Fullerton

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48th Highlanders Officers' Association

The primary mission of the Officers' Association is to maintain the link between former serving officers and the active Regiment. The current membership is as diverse as the city of Toronto. Retired 48th Highlanders of Canada officers can be found guiding Bay Street and in nearly all other sectors and professions from judges, teachers and clergy to IT, mining and manufacturing professionals. Our membership automatically includes all former commissioned 48th officers and those officers attached to the Regiment from other units. There is also an extended Associate Membership category for family members of former officers and community supporters of the Regiment. Members attend social and memorial events throughout the Regimental training year. Our special annual event is held in May when the Association gathers for our Officers' Dinner in the mess. During the event we reconnect, share stories and honour our comrades. Most importantly, the Officers' Association membership continues to pay tribute to our fallen. In their memories we strive to remain Dileas Gu Brath.

The Officers' Association can be reached at

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Ladies Auxiliary

I remember at the age of seven, the Ladies Auxiliary were women who baked, knit, sewed & did crafts, for their bazaars and threw a great Christmas Party every year with Santa as the guest of honour, who brought me a special present that I wished for that year because I was especially good. I remember the nights when my Grandmother, Aunt and Mother all dressed up in their lovely gowns or beautiful customs as they went dancing at the club and how I wished I could go. Then I grew up, or as I thought in my teens. I had my own life then, but my Grandfather, who was big on traditions, when it came to the 48th Highlanders. I guess you could look at it that in my family the 48th’s was like having peanut butter in the panty. When I became a member in 1976, it was so wonderful for all those ladies who came out to welcome me with open arms. It was a night, that I have never forgotten. These ladies became so dear to my heart and how proud I was to be a Ladies Auxiliary member. Throughout the years as I got to know them and hear these ladies tell their own stories of their past during the wars,when their husbands, fathers or sons where overseas, how they struggled every day keeping their homes and their families fed. The jobs they did to make ends meet, it was so amazing to me. Each and everyone, in one shape or form became comrades with one another for support. The support they needed from one another in order to get by on a day to day. How they all shared that special bond, something I would never experience. But I understand what Dileas mean.

But after the wars, of 1945-1948, they grouped as the Willing Works, focusing to support the wives and families who lost their loved ones or where injured. In 1948, they became known as the Ladies Auxiliary under the charter of the 48th Highlanders Association. And from there the Ladies Auxiliary to the 48th Highlanders Old Comrades Association. These ladies focused to fundraise for the veterans of the 48th Highlanders. They are the wives, mothers, sister, daughters, nieces and daughter-in-laws. Their friends who had family in any Armed Forces made up as their associates. But all were equalled as one. In 1976 when they allowed the granddaughters, this is when I realized, these ladies where not getting together for a night, but they were busy working on different projects to help the many groups of the 48th Highlanders home. They worked very hard for the men, serving dinners, raising funds to help maintain the old club. Support for the veterans in Sunnybrook, with entertainment, luncheons and so on. Various donations to support the Regiment, Cadets and working side by side with the I.O.D.E. on various projects to achieve the same goals for the Regiment. Do you remember those cold damp days in November after the Memorial parades, when a good hot bowl of soup and a sandwich went hand in hand with that wee nip to get you warm again? Getting together with old friends sharing memories and a few laughs.

In 1972, our President Germaine Spence presented to the Board of Directors a uniform for the Ladies to wear and help designed a Crest that we so proudly wear along with Lt. Col. R. Read and Brigadier General Cameron. 1974 the Ladies formed a Marching Unit where they wore this uniform ever so proudly and with the help of Ken Pierson and Doug Chappell who trained them to march as grand as the Old Comrades Drill Team and won many awards. Wow, there were some great memories. I can remember Mrs. Jean Oliphant, Mrs. Jean Donaldson and Mrs. Louise Deering, our elder ladies in their late seventies and eighties who marched with us, one who marched with two knee replacements. They were great motivator to the team.

As years go by I realized that these ladies have helped to mould me to whom I have become today. And although our group is getting smaller, it seems their motto is “the past is the past, but our spirits move onwards.” They’re intelligent, full of wisdom, and feisty. And as their president today, these wonderful ladies are within my heart and it gives me pride and such an honour to represent these amazing ladies as they celebrate their 60th Anniversary.

If you wish to be a member of the Ladies Auxiliary and qualify as mentioned above, please feel free to contact me. We love to have you.
Respectfully yours;
Patricia Ritchie

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Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire (IODE)

The Beginning:
Recognizing the need for loyal support for Canadians departing to fight with the Empire forces in South Africa, Mrs. Clark Murray (1844-1927) of Montreal, formed a women's organization based on the foundation of Patriotism Loyalty and Service. The first chapter originated in Fredericton NB and the federation the Daughters of the Empire became official on February 13 1900. A Constitution was adopted and Municipal and Provincial levels were established under the jurisdiction of the National Chapter. A badge was designed and ,with slight alterations over the years is worn by members today.

War Effort:
The Boer War- Members raised funds to honour the 90 Canadian soldiers who gave their lives in South Africa. A monument was unveiled in Bloemfontein, South Africa, by the Earl of Athlone ( later Governor General of Canada) and IODE funds have helped maintain the graves in the intervening years.

From clothing and comforts for Canadians in the Boer War to the $12,000,000 raised in two World Wars to purchase hospitals, hospital ships, ambulances, bomber and fighter aircraft, IODE war services came full circle with providing field comforts for Canadian serving personnel. Relief to prisoners of war and refugee camps, libraries and canteens for servicemen and thousands of volunteer hours were among the many contributions in both wars. In 1939 the IODE was the first Canadian organization to send civilian relief to Britain and continued with the adoption of two children's hospitals there.

Following World War II the organization supported the Canadian forces United Nations efforts in Korea. Germany , the Middle East and most recently the Balkans. In addition the IODE have provided goods and services to assist refugees, senior citizens and emergency relief.

48th Highlanders Chapter:
The Chapter was formed through the efforts of Mrs. John I Davidson, wife of the first Commanding Officer, and first Vice Regent of the National Chapter and Mrs. MacKenzie Alexander whose son would command the Regiment in later years. In the Spring of 1907 they asked the then Commanding Officer, Colonel DM Robertson for his consent to form the Chapter. This consent was given on the understanding that the Chapters efforts were to be confined primarily to the Regiment for the benefit and welfare of the men. The membership was to be restricted to the wives, mothers and sisters of the Officers, Non Commissioned Officers and Men of the Regiment. On May 3rd 1907 at 3.00 PM in the General Mess of University Avenue Armouries the first meeting was held with 32 members present chaired by Mrs. JI Davidson. It was moved and seconded that a Primary Chapter of the IODE be formed from this meeting and thus the 48th Highlanders Chapter came into being with it's motto to be the same as the Regiment "DILEAS GU BRATH" faithful forever.

At the first Annual Meeting the membership had increased to 70 and in October 1908 the Chapter offered a handsome shield to the Regiment for competition. This shield is now in the Regimental Museum on display. During the years 1911 to 1914 Captain John Slater and Pipe Major Fraser assisted the Chapter in raising funds for welfare work by conducting band concerts throughout the City of Toronto. During this time there was a combined band concert to aid the SS Titanic survivors at which the Chapter also had a booth and assisted in the tea room.

During World War I the Chapter raised funds and purchased supplies and comforts for those serving overseas with the Regiment. They assisted with the Visiting and Relief Committee to visit hundreds of families to bring comfort, counsel and tangible help where needed.

Auxiliaries were formed by the women whose menfolk belonged to the 92nd and 134th Battalions (48th Highlanders) meeting with the Chapter and reporting to it. Nearly $10,000 (1914 dollars) were raised in the war years and generous sums were given to the Red Cross. Patriotic fund, Maple Leaf fund, Tobacco fund and to Belgium and Serbian relief. On the unforgettable day of May 10 1919 Colonel Bent and the famed 15th Battalion (48th Highlanders) were enthusiastically welcomed home and Mrs. CW Darling had the privilege of placing bronze laurel wreaths on the Colours that led them to victory. These bronze laurel wreaths now reside in the Regimental Museum at St.Andrew's Church.

During the depression years between the wars the Chapter did much relief work with the help of the Regiment to provide welfare to the men and families of the 48th Highlanders Regiment.

After the outbreak of World War II the Chapter which then had a large membership raised money to support their activities. The 48th Highlanders Chapter IODE packed gift parcels for the men of the Regiment overseas and for the Canadian prisoners of war. Much was done to aid the families of the Regiment and all trains bringing the 48th Highlanders to Toronto were met. The members of the Chapter helped staff service canteens and packed parcels for the families of those serving overseas.

After World War II the Chapter has continued to actively supported the Regiment. In 1955 when it was decided to have the Regiment go back into their traditional full dress scarlet uniforms it was the IODE ladies that assisted in the restoration of these magnificent uniforms. The 48th Highlanders Chapter IODE has continued to provide bursaries and assistance to worthy projects and also supports selected schools in Northern Canada. The Chapter through its fund raising activities is continuing to provide gifts and parcels to members of the Regiment serving overseas with the UN Peacekeeping forces. On May 4 1997 the 48th Highlanders Chapter IODE celebrated its 90th anniversary and was recognized by the National Chapter of Canada. The Chapter meets on a regular basis in the Sergeant's Mess or Officers Mess at Moss Park Armoury 130 Queen Street E Toronto.

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48th Highlanders Pipes and Drums Association


Harry Hodgson, Bob Taylor, Jimmy Raffan, Nick Birch, Sandy Dewar, Larry Fullerton, Peter MacLeod

Contact E-mail

Peter K. MacLeod, Secretary/Treasurer,


Peter K. MacLeod
70 Aberfeldy Cr.
Thornhill, ON
L3T 4C4


Open to all that are interested in the 48th Pipes and Drums, piping and pipe bands worldwide, and any related news about these topics. The P & D Association is also a medium for retired members to keep in contact and updated on Band activities and continued support for current Band activities.

Key Activities Today

With membership scattered from the Atlantic to the Pacific, US and Europe, the P & D Association issues 4 Newsletters a year with updates on Band activities, updates on what members are involved with, and any current or historical articles on pipers and pipe bands throughout the world. In May each year, we have a Wine and Cheese Social in the Band room, Moss Park Armouries, for all the members that can travel to Toronto for the very popular event.


As the years passed from the end of World War II, interest grew among many former members of the Pipes & Drums in creating a distinctive group within the 48th family that would continue the camaraderie they had experienced together. Lieutenant-Colonel Cam Fraser, who had started his military career in the band, formed a committee with two Pipe Majors, Archie Dewar and Ross Stewart, and sent out invitations over the signature "Corporal Bugler Cam Fraser" (a designation he seemed to treasure most as his place in the 48th). On 24 April 1974, thirty new members of the Pipes & Drums Association met in the band room at Moss Park Armoury and soon membership grew to 150 names. That level has been maintained to this day as their practice of maintaining close ties to the active Pipe band has meant that retiring or departing band members naturally became members of the Association.

If you look at Pipe Bands across Ontario, indeed across Canada, most often you will find a piper or drummer trained originally in the 48th Highlanders Pipes & Drums applying their expertise and passion for the enjoyment of Canadians everywhere.

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St. Andrew's College

The asociation of the regiment with St. Andrew's College started in 1905 when 80 boys from the school decided to form a cadet corps. They requested assistance from the regiment and permission to wear the scarlet tunic with the Gordon kilt. Officers in the 48th had strong ties to St. Andrew's and permission was granted quickly. The regiment provided instructors to establish training, drill, shooting and dress. In 1915, the school formed a cadet band of pipers, buglers and drummers under the direction of Pipe Major James Fraser, and that November the corps escorted the 92nd Battalion (48th Highlanders), in which at least eight Old Boys were serving, to Union Station when they left for service overseas.

Today the cadets and the 48th keep the ties of family and tradition. Just watch them on parade together on Remembrance Day.

Click here to visit the St. Andrew's College website.

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St. Andrew's Society of Toronto

The City of Toronto was established in 1834. Two years later, in 1836, the St. Andrew's Society of Toronto was born. Scots who had already found their feet in this new city set out to assist immigrant Scots just arriving here. Over the years the St. Andrew's Society has maintained a keen interest in its people and its mandate. These days we have expanded our charitable endeavours through the legacy of our St. Andrew's Charitable Foundation. Each year we provide grants to help organizations across Toronto. Our Grants Committee takes a hands-on interest in our recipients and their work.

The St. Andrew's Society holds quarterly meetings for our membership to address aspects of our Scottish heritage here and overseas, as well as topics of other interest to the members. We meet in the historic Officers' Mess of the 48th Highlanders of Canada. Our long association with this valiant Canadian Regiment is a source of pride.

We also reach out to touch other cultural organizations within the Scottish-Canadian community.

The St. Andrew's Ball, co-hosted with the 48th Highlanders of Canada, is perhaps our best-known public expression. For over one hundred years, many, many citizens of Toronto, and from elsewhere, have danced the night away to the skirl of the pipes in gowned and kilted splendour.

The homepage for the St. Andrew's Society of Toronto

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