The new Honorary Colonel of 424 Transport and Rescue (T&R) Squadron was invested formally on April 16, 2009 at 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario - an honour the recipient said ranks far above the many accolades he has received over the years.
Ed Robertson--member of the popular band Barenaked Ladies--entered the room following military tradition, flanked by Colonel Mike Hood, Commander of 8 Wing, and Lieutenant-Colonel Tom Dunne, Commanding Officer of 424 Squadron. LCol Dunne welcomed Mr. Robertson to the 8 Wing family before inviting him to sign the official investiture documents.
Following the signing, Col Hood extended an 8 Wing welcome to HCol Robertson.
"It is my pleasure today to introduce the squadron's new ‘performer', said Col Hood. "It was interesting to see Ed making sure he was wearing his hat correctly and practicing the salute a few minutes before our entrance." Col Hood applauded him for being "passionate" about aviation, the military and its traditions, and about people."
LCol Dunne said that Mr. Robertson is a "perfect fit" for the role of Honorary Colonel as a person who has demonstrated a long-standing interest in the Canadian military and aviation, and one whose "vitality, talent, intellect and great sense of humour" make him "an outstanding addition to the squadron."
"What does [being] Honorary Colonel mean?" LCol Dunne asked in front of approximately 100 military and civilian personnel gathered for the ceremony. "It means many things to me and to the men and women of 424 squadron: it means a proponent for the Canadian Forces, the Air Force, 8 Wing and for 424 Squadron in particular; it means a proponent for our service and our mission; it means an active voice and a tangible link with the Canadian public; it means a guardian of our traditions and ethos; it means a mentor, and it forms an important part of our squadron fabric, thus adding to our morale."
The squadron's Commanding Officer also poked a little fun at HCol Robertson, "You choose one of the best ways to join the military - to bypass all those pesky little ranks like recruit, Officer Cadet, Second Lieutenant..." LCol Dunne said. "I guess you might as well start big in this military career."
HCol Robertson said that the investiture was "the most incredible honour" he has received, "I have always been thoroughly blown away by the incredible work of our military." "It's a day I thought I would never see come. When I got the letter from the Defence Minister, I was like, ‘This is real; I am actually going to be an Honorary Colonel'."