William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD
NEW YEAR THOUGHTS
As 2007 becomes 2008 we will continue our joint debate
Making things better for veterans without attempting fate?
DND and VAC will again be working to make things right
Protecting our recent soldiers who were wounded in the fight!
The Government folks at VAC made progress during this year
Compensation for agent orange many shed a Gagetown tear
Don Bernicky of our USA test site lads had to give up his wait
Packing his large pack he has left for duty up at St Peter’s gate
Oh East is Least and West is Best as both groups make a meet
With our own CAVUNP and our CPVA taking a combined seat?
Will we all join the Legion and then all speak with one weak voice?
Or will we speak as many and have a varied but stronger choice?
At least we are all talking now perhaps we’ll now work things out?
Let’s attack the pension claw back – let us all scream and shout
The PCs can right this Liberal wrong they can start a house debate!
Let’s together support the Wall of Honour and raise the funds in 2008
©Copyright December 30, 2007 by William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD
CANADIAN PEACEKEEPING VETERANS ASSOCIATION
CPVA Headquarters: PO Box 905, Kingston, Ontario, CANADA, K7L 4X8
THE NEW YEAR’S LEVEE
A CANADIAN TRADITION
As in our society generally, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are times of merry-making and good fellowship throughout the Canadian Forces and the RCMP. It is a long standing custom of the service and this continues to be so even in retirement. It is an occasion to meet and greet members of the military, our veterans, as well as active members of the community and important official personages.
THE ORIGINS OF THE LEVEE
The annual New Year’s Levee, hosted by the Governor-General, the Lieutenant-Governor, military establishments, municipalities and other institutions, has an unusual and interesting origin. The word itself originally meant the action of rising, specifically from one’s bed, coming from the French verb lever (to rise). As early as the seventeenth century, a levee was a reception of visitors on rising from bed, a morning reception by a king or person of distinction. French aristocrats used to receive guests in the morning after they had gotten up. In the eighteenth century, British sovereigns held their levees in the early afternoon. From this tradition, it follows that the military hold their levee in the morning as in the French custom and government and civilian organizations do so in the afternoon in accordance with the British custom.
A CUSTOM OF THE SERVICE
The levee has a long tradition in the Canadian Forces as one of the activities associated with New Year’s Day. Hospitality is dispensed in a variety of forms, from special alcoholic concoctions to traditional meals of all kinds. As is the custom, a military unit celebrates the arrival of the New Year by having a New Year’s Levee. Visits to all three Messes are made amongst each other, and any other units who wish to pay their respects to the members of the appropriate mess. It is also customary to invite members of the public to a levee at City Hall or at Government House. New Year’s Day in the messes epitomizes the camaraderie and goodwill between all ranks. In most units of the Canadian Forces the officers as a group call on the warrant officers and sergeants in their mess and then, in turn, the NCOs are entertained in the officers’ mess. This custom in its various forms is long standing. Veterans are always welcome in messes, the Legion Hall, City Hall and Government House. The New Year’s Levee is one of the major events of the year for veterans.
WHEN AND WHERE TO ATTEND A LEVEE
The New Year’s Levee is normally held on January 1st but some are held a day or two earlier and some later. The military and the RCMP hold a reception in the forenoon and most government offices hold the levee in the afternoon. Check your local paper or with City Hall for dates and times. For the Governor-General’s and Lieutenant-Governor’s Levees, these may be found by typing ‘New Year’s Levee” in Google on the Internet. There is no shortage of places to go in most communities. Levees are held at City Hall, the local Legion Branch, military messes on bases or local armouries. So Veterans, rise from your bed on the first of January, maintain the tradition, the custom, and the decorum, dress up in full regalia and attend a levee. If ever there was a time to make connections, this is it!
Karl O. Morel, CD, BA
CPVA Communications Officer