Winnipeg Sea Cadet Band

The band is shown here on the steps of the Manitoba Legislative Building prior to the review for the Governor General in 1927. Officers left to right, Sub. Lt. B. Thompson, assistant bandmaster; Sgt. Mattinson P.P.C.L.I., instructor; and LCdr. J.R.K. Millen.

The formation of a corps band, though discussed on many occasions, was made possible only through the untiring efforts of Lt. Cdr. J.R.K. Millen. A drum and bugle squad was formed soon after Lt. Cdr. Millen took command in the spring of 1926 however, it was not until the end of that year that the formation of a full brass band became a reality.

On the evening of November 16th a ceremony took place at the Kiwanis Club when Colonel Hossie, on behalf of the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada, presented to the club the instruments for a brass band. The instruments were in turn presented to the Winnipeg Sea Cadets by the Kiwanis president W.A. Rowlands. On accepting the gift, Lt. Cdr. J.R.K. Millen, expressed his thanks and stated that the possession of a boy's naval brass band would be a unique and noteworthy privilege for an inland city.

Among the instruments included in the donation were two piccolos, one flute, six clarinets, three saxophones, one bassoon, six cornets, four horns, four trombones, one euphonium, one baritone, three basses and the usual compliment of drums, cymbals and triangles. However, these instruments would have been of little value if it wasn't for the devoted work of three members of the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry band. Captain T.W. James assisted by Sargeants C. Mattinson and C.H. Simpson spent many hours both organizing and instructing the new and eager recruits. The jobs of future bandmasters were made much simpler by the groundwork of these patient gentlemen.

The band numbering fifty one boys paraded and practised twice a week throughout the remainder of the winter. Their first public appearance took place at the tenth anniversary celebration of the Winnipeg Kiwanis Club at the Fort Garry Hotel on Tuesday March 29th, 1927. From this start the band was to continue throughout the years and is still active to this day.

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