Times Colonist

Canadian soldiers get royal salute

- GEOFF KIRBYSON

WINNIPEG — Prince Edward paid tribute to the Canadian military personnel currently serving in Afghanista­n as he began a three-day visit to Winnipeg yesterday.

At a reception on the Manitoba legislativ­e grounds for the soldiers’ families, the man who is seventh in line to the British throne said the soldiers’ efforts are most appreciate­d in the war on terrorism.

“I want you to know how much the Canadian servicemen and women are respected in theatre,” said the youngest son of the Queen.

Manitoba Premier Gary Doer came bearing gifts, but not the usual soapstone carving common to such events.

Instead, he presented the prince with a pair of framed notices naming two northweste­rn Manitoba lakes after his two children, Louise, 4, and James, five months.

Recognizin­g that two children — even royal ones — wouldn’t have much use for a piece of parchment, Doer also called upon two children of Manitoba soldiers to present the prince with two plush polar bears in honour of his visit to Churchill in northern Manitoba in 1990.

The ceremonial whirlwind which began with his arrival Sunday night continues with a visit to the RCMP’s Selkirk, Man., detachment, his first onsite visit since becoming its honorary assistant commission­er late last year.

There will also be a visit to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet to present a pair of awards and take in a short performanc­e; a stop at the Children’s Hospital to commemorat­e its centennial celebratio­ns and an evening reception at the Fort Garry Hotel.

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