A Brief History
Incorporated by a special act of Parliament September 20th 1917, and amended August 31st, 1946 The Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans in Canada holds the proud distinction of being the oldest Veteran organization in this country. The Association's history is closely identified with the Canadian tradition As Canada in the year 1967 celebrated it's 100th Anniversary of Confederation, the Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans in Canada commemorated the 127th year of its formation. Documentary evidence shows that the organization was in existence in 1840 under the title of the Army and Navy Veterans, and it is reasonable to believe that Units of the association were active before that date. Membership in the earliest Units was recruited from the ranks of Veterans of the War of 1812 -14 and migrating Veterans of the Navy and Wellington's Army. So it is even possible to assume that some form of organization was in existence even as early as 1812. The first actual record of the Army and Navy Veterans in Canada indicates its existence in the City of Montreal in 1840, and that date is arbitrarily accepted as the time of founding. From 1812 to 1871 the Imperial Government kept a garrison in Canada for defence against the possibility of an American invasion. Many of the soldiers left the service to become settlers but retained affiliation with the Army and Navy Veterans. Similarly, many young Canadians took commissions in the Imperial Army and served as a connecting link between the service of Canada and England. Soldiers who served in various campaigns abroad, such as the India Mutiny in 1858, the Fenian raids of 1866 and 1870, the Red River Rebellion of 1869-70, and the North West Rebellion of 1885 produced not only pride in military achievements of Canadians but a sense of comradeship born of dangers faced together. And from this comradeship grew always increasing membership in the oldest of all Canadian Veterans organizations. During the South African War Canada had in service nearly 9000 men, probably half of whom served in South Africa, but most of whom comprised the bulk of the membership of the Army And Navy Veterans up to the time of World War I. When the Country was confronted by the grave crisis of August 1914, members of the Army and Navy Veterans in Canada of that day were foremost in volunteering their services and in aiding the authorities to recruit men for the first Contingent. As an instance of this effort, reference to the history of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, by Ralph Hodder-Williams, this paragraph is included: "Major Goult went to Toronto, where the Army and Navy Veterans Association co-operated to such good purpose that a full company under the leadership of Sargeant Major A. Fraser reported at Ottawa before the end of the week" The activities of the Association in World War II are of recent memory. Added to the numbers of those who served in the Army and Navy from the outbreak of hostilities to the eventual collapse of Germany and Japan, was the very large contingent which fought in the RCAF. By Act of Parliament passed in 1946 the name of the Association was changed to Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans in Canada. From the ranks of those who served in World War II came strength of purpose and achievement and the greatest increase in numerical strength of the Organization. Veterans of the Korean Conflict and those who served in the Special Forces in Peace-Keeping Missions have been added to the membership of the Association. Army, Navy Air Force Veterans in Canada also were the first to recognise and accept into its membership Vietnam Veterans and members of the Merchant Marines. The Association is also a member of the World Veterans Federation, which consists of Veteran Associations from every continent in the World with a total membership of more than 20,000,000. Among the principal aims of the Federation are establishment of permanent relations between associations of Veterans, aid to Veterans through the exchange of information on Legislation and rehabilitation, and the promotion of international peace and security through support of the United Nations Charter.
British Columbia Command organized in 1919 celebrated its 85th Anniversary this year 2004. It was organized by joining together five units of the Army and Navy Veterans in Canada which were already in existence in the Province of British Columbia. Those units at that time consisted of Vernon No.5; Trail No.8; Victoria No.12; Vancouver No. 20 and South Vancouver No. 23.
There were 24 members in attendance at the first convention, held in the Capital City of Victoria. The first resolution adopted created the British Columbia Provincial Command.
The members of Victoria Unit # 12 and Vancouver Unit
#20 were the driving force behind the organization of the Command.
Major M.J. Crehan of Vancouver Unit #20
was the first Provincial President. The first Provincial
Headquarters was situated in Victoria, but in 1921 was moved to #25
West Hastings in Vancouver. Headquarters is now located at #200-951
- East 8th Avenue, Vancouver.
Throughout the years, under our motto, “Shoulder to
Columbia members through Dominion Command have continued to petition
the Federal Government, through Veterans Affairs Canada, for
benefits for veterans, their spouses and dependents.
Throughout the years, under our motto, “Shoulder to Shoulder”, British Columbia members through Dominion Command have continued to petition the Federal Government, through Veterans Affairs Canada, for benefits for veterans, their spouses and dependents.
The present British Columbia Executive Board is:-