The Courier

4 Wing Commander, Colonel David Turenne asks the mayor of Cold Lake, Craig Copeland for permission to take control of Cold Lake during the Freedom of the City parade on 23 May 2024, in Cold Lake Alberta. (Photo by Cpl Brock Curtis, Royal Canadian Airforce Imagery technician)

Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Cold Lake Members, led by 4 Wing Commander, Colonel Dave Turenne, marched proudly in the streets of Cold Lake on Thursday, May 23, 2024, after receiving the Freedom of the City.

The ceremony took place starting at Cold Lake City Hall, where Mayor Craig Copeland granted the parade the honour. The parade then made its way downtown, where a ceremony took place. Copeland also presented Turenne with a framed scroll on behalf of the city.

Freedom of the City honours date back to ancient Rome, where historians say the boundaries of a city were considered sacred.  Military members given Freedom of the City would allow them the right to enter as they were.

In medieval times, the tradition granted military units the right to march through a city with drums beating, colours flying, and bayonets fixed.

Rainy weather and low cloud cover cancelled a planned flyover due to take place during the ceremony.

This isn’t the first time the city has granted the base the honour. The most recent example would be in 2014, as the base celebrated its 60th anniversary of operations.

The ceremony is part of a week of events at CFB Cold Lake helping to celebrate 100 years of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). On Friday, the base played host to a special edition of the RCAF Run, celebrating the centennial and taking place on the runway.

Saturday night saw a centennial RCAF gala hosted at the Colonel J.J. Parr Sports Centre.

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