Canadian Forces Base Shilo was recently granted Freedom of the City of Brandon. The honour was bestowed on the unit during a parade and ceremony recently at Brandon City Hall.
About 100 soldiers marched to Brandon City Hall and were inspected by city mayor Rick Chrest and granted the freedom to march through the city.
The granting of the Freedom of the City is a traditional means for a municipality to honour a unit of the Canadian Forces. It had its beginning in medieval Europe, when cities were walled and the citizens looked to their defences at the approach of a threatening army. When the force was friendly, however, it was permitted to pass into or through the city without first being required to disarm; that is, with bayonets fixed, colours flying and drums beating.
The granting is a private matter between civic officials and the unit concerned and the decision to grant this symbolic freedom rests with the municipal authorities. A unit may exercise its freedom as arranged between the civic authorities and the unit.