LS Amber Oldland to stand guard at Ottawa vigil

Portrait LS Amber Oldland

LS Amber Oldland to stand guard at Ottawa vigil.

An HMCS Winnipeg sailor will be in the spotlight for the whole of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) this Remembrance Day.

LS Amber Oldland will ship out to Ottawa for the country’s largest Remembrance Day Vigil, standing guard for the RCN as one of four ceremonial sentries along with representatives from the Army, Air Force and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

“It’s a very exciting opportunity obviously,” she says. “This is a big deal for me. I get to represent the navy I love so much on the national stage.”

The selection came as a shock, as LS Oldland was initially nominated in secret by Winnipeg Deck Officer Lt(N) Anthony Morrow.

“He came up to me and told me to write a bio and get my ceremonial dress ready,” she says. “We got some pictures taken, it was all sent off, and I kind of forgot about it.”

Last month the good news came in: she’d been selected.

“The feeling was indescribable,” she says. “I’ve been begging to get on a Cenotaph team for Remembrance Day since I joined, and now I get to go to the biggest vigil in Canada. It means so much to me.”

LS Oldland will fly out and spend a week in Ottawa with her two-year-old son and parents, who live in Niagara Falls. From there they will be put up in a hotel and tour the various military and historic sights around Ottawa, including a luncheon at the Royal Canadian Legion, a tour of the War Museum, and a visit to the House of Commons.

“It will just be so interesting to see the ceremony from the inside,” says LS Oldland. “I couldn’t be more honoured to be a part of it.”

To prepare for the ceremony, in which LS Oldland and the other sentries will present arms and stand guard for around an hour and a half, some training has been scheduled upon arrival. However, LS Oldland says at this point in her life she is used to long parades.

“On top of being in the navy for nine years I was a Sea Cadet as well,” she says. “Not a lot of people know this, but being a cadet makes you a pro at standing still for hours. They do it all the time.”

LS Oldland’s excitement is one born from military pride. As a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, as well as a member of a military family, she says it’s important for Canadians of all stripes to show respect to those who serve.

“Even if you don’t serve, everyone knows someone who does,” she says. “Throughout our history the military has done so much for the people of this country, and showing the proper respect is our duty and responsibility.”

Shawn O’Hara, Staff Writer

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  1. PO2 (Ret) Norman Joyce says:

    Congratulations Amber! I know you’ll do the navy proud. I’ll be watching for you. Best wishes.

  2. Capt. D. Tyre (former RCN CPO) says:

    You do us all proud LS Oldland and I know you will represent us well. On this day you stand for all of your comrades.

    I thank you for this and for your service. Well done sailor.

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