Monday, 22 November 2010

Stolen Seaforth Highlanders' ceremonial mace recovered

Further to our previous post, the stolen ceremonial mace belonging to the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada has been recovered.

From "The Province":

The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada have their regimental mace back.

The five-foot staff made of Malacca cane and brass has been to war with Vancouver’s storied infantry regiment in two world wars and numerous missions, most recently to Afghanistan.

It was in the drum major’s pickup truck when it was stolen from a parking lot in New Westminster on Oct. 28.

The regiment put out a public appeal to have it returned in time for this week’s celebration of the Seaforths’ 100th anniversary, and Thursday night their prayers were answered.

On Friday, the New Westminster police handed the historic mace back to the Seaforths.

“It has been a great day,” Lt.-Col. Paul Ursich, the Seaforths’ commanding officer, told The Province.

“The mace is in exactly the same condition it was when it left our possession. It’s great,” he said.

“We had a ceremony [Saturday] morning to thank the lady who called the police and give her the reward,” Ursich said of Gail Blinkhorn.

“We presented her with the regimental coin as a keepsake and gave her three cheers on parade.”

No one in the regiment was happier than its drum major, whose truck was stolen with the mace inside.

He was on his way to the Seaforth Armoury to drop the mace off, but stopped at Queen’s Park Arena to play one last game of hockey before shipping out to Afghanistan.

The thief broke into the players’ dressing room and stole a number of wallets and the keys to the drum major’s truck, said Ursich.

New West police received a call from Blinkhorn and found the stolen vehicle five blocks away in a hospital parking lot.

It is the lone remaining article still in use that was given to the regiment by the Imperial Seaforth Highlanders 100 years ago, but it could be much older than that.

“It could go back to the Battle of Assaye (1803),” said Ursich.

“It had that battle honour on it, so it’s somewhere between that battle and 1910 that the mace was made, we’re not sure when.”

The 100th anniversary of the formation of the regiment falls on Wednesday, but the milestone will be celebrated on Saturday at UBC’s Thunderbird Stadium.

Staff-Sgt. Paul Hyland of the New West Police Department said forensic investigators are going through the stolen truck with a fine-tooth comb to attempt to identify the thief.

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