Fort Calgary GarrisonThe Fort Calgary Garrison was established in 1977, under the direction of Officer Commanding, Major David B. Jackson, an oil company executive. His wife Cathy was related to a member of the Frasers in Montreal. The Calgary Garrison was duly formed and today enjoys a current strength of about 100 Officers and Miladies.
In early July of 1978, Milady Eleanor McDonald, wife of Captain John G. McDonald, the 2 i/c of the Fort Calgary Outpost approached Rod McLeod with a view to set up and administer the training of the Fort Calgary Outpost Pipe Drum and Drill Squad.
In need of additional funding to underwrite the substantial cost of raising the youth band, John McDonald, a prominant lawyer and the owner of Ranchman Resources Ltd., a prosperous oil company, set to the envious and arduous task of having the Fort Calgary Outpost established as a Charitable Trust. This enabled his friends and associates to donate a considerable sum of money to create a 'nest egg' while receiving tax relief.
By now a Major and the OC of the Fort Calgary Outpost, his first order of business was to invite a number of his business associates, friends, and even the current serving mayor of the day - to the very exclusive Ranchman's Club for a brief late afternoon meeting. He unabashedly told them that they would all be made patrons of this new organization...then went on to say...."all I need is a cheque from each of you for $2,500.00 and you can go through that door where I will buy you dinner. If not, the exit is over there!" Within a few short minutes, 20 of Calgary's captains of industry, handed John a cheque and joined him for dinner!
McLeod, a long time member of the Alberta pipe band community, gathered the best local instructional talent including pipers: Iain MacCrimmon, Doug Smith, Rod Matheson and Allan MacLeod. A small advertisment and a column which appeared in the Albertan newspaper resulted in over 100 applications!
This was distilled down to 20 enthusiastic candidates who began their training at the Fort Calgary Interpretive Centre in September 1979. By January 1980, the drum corps had been recruited and began training under the direction of World Champion drummer Dominic Creaghan. In the spring of that year, the band tested their mettle by playing a small community parade in High River followed a few days later by their official debut in the Calgary Stampede Parade - where they won 2nd place in the Pipe Band Catagory behind the Calgary Police Service Pipe Band.
FORT CALGARY GARRISON STRUCTURE
The Garrison consists of two separate and distinct legal organizations: The Old 78th Fraser’s Highlanders (Fort Calgary) Historical Trust (the “Trust”) and The Old 78th Fraser Highlander’s (Fort Calgary) Historical Society (the “Society).
The Trust is a duly registered Charitable Trust formed and existing under the laws of the Province of Alberta and registered as a charity with the Canada Revenue Agency. The purpose of the Trust is to carry on the tradition of The Fraser’s Highlanders (Second Regiment of Foot) by:
- promoting the education of children and young people within the City of Calgary and outlying communities in the historical traditions of Canada;
- establishing and maintaining a historical replica Squad consisting of pipers and drummers drawn from the ranks of secondary and university age young men and women; and by,
- promoting the musical education of members of the Squad in both modern and ancient Highland regimental piping.
The duties and responsibilities of both of these organizations, as to each other, are governed by an Agency Agreement entered into by both organizations.