On December 4th, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Barbara, the patron saint of occupations related to lightning and fire. In the Canadian Forces, Saint Barbara traditionally protects artillerymen, firefighters and, by association, combat engineers and ammunition technicians due to their use of explosives.
The legend behind this character originated around the 3rd century A.D. Barbara was locked in a tower by her father Dioscorus with the hopes of shielding her from the influences of Christianity. However, despite of the will of her father, Barbara began to convert to Christianity. When her father discovered this, he tortured and decapitated her. Prior to her beheading, Barbara prayed that all those requesting her assistance would be granted it. Immediately following the killing of his daughter, Dioscorus was struck by lightning.
In Valcartier, the annual feast day celebrations are organised alternately by members of 5 CER and 5 RCHA. This year, 5 CER organized the festivities and extended the invitation to the troops of 5 RCHA, in addition to members of the base fire service and ammunition technicians. Feast day celebrations were held on Friday, December 2nd as this year, the holiday fell on a Sunday. The day’s festivities included a variety of sporting competitions such as a broom-ball tournament, log carrying races, catapult shooting, vehicle dragging races, a dodge ball tournament and a firefighting skills competition .The day concluded with cocktails and lunch while the results of the day’s competitions were announced. Ultimately, the team representing 53 squadron from 5CER were crowned victors of the day’s competitions.
Sincere thanks to all the organizers of the event. Chimo!