Author Topic: Fates of former armouries  (Read 56874 times)

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Re: Fate of Amerst NS Armoury?
« Reply #75 on: July 24, 2017, 23:31:14 »
For all the practical reasons posted to close this building, has anyone considered the military connection to the community that will be lost?

"Mile wide-Inch deep" support can shift both ways.

 I've been to that armoury in the past few years, to instruct first aid. It's condition is the same as many armouries I've observed over the years. I agree, if the building upkeep is too costly, level it and build a smaller foothold in the community. To move "out of town", to Springhill abandons another connection to a community. As the CAF changes, we seem to be consolidating in the major urban centers, and deserting the outlying areas who support those cities.

I like how NavRes encourages it's NRDs to host parades, ceremonious, and other public events in communities outside of the city that the unit is based in.
If all units did this, we would not need so many "historical" buildings. Sadly, while we shut down one part of our community connection, on the other end all too often, the public is seeing the disconnect.
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Offline dapaterson

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Re: Fate of Amerst NS Armoury?
« Reply #76 on: July 24, 2017, 23:39:53 »
Can the CAF afford to maintain facilities in every town and hamlet across the country?  Is a declining population of under 10,000 people enough to justify that expense?
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Re: Fate of Amerst NS Armoury?
« Reply #77 on: July 25, 2017, 13:57:45 »
For all the practical reasons posted to close this building, has anyone considered the military connection to the community that will be lost?

"Mile wide-Inch deep" support can shift both ways.

In my experience many people in the local communities viewed the reserves as a bunch of drunk kids/adults playing soldier, except on Remembrance day. Canadian's don't like the reality of soldiers/sailors/airmen, they like shiny medals, parades, and nostalgic movies about the world wars.

The community footprint is likely better served by bussing people in for parades, and driving by on a semiregular basis in SMP vehicles.

Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: Fate of Amerst NS Armoury?
« Reply #78 on: July 25, 2017, 14:20:49 »
For all the practical reasons posted to close this building, has anyone considered the military connection to the community that will be lost?

"Mile wide-Inch deep" support can shift both ways.

 I've been to that armoury in the past few years, to instruct first aid. It's condition is the same as many armouries I've observed over the years. I agree, if the building upkeep is too costly, level it and build a smaller foothold in the community. To move "out of town", to Springhill abandons another connection to a community. As the CAF changes, we seem to be consolidating in the major urban centers, and deserting the outlying areas who support those cities.

I like how NavRes encourages it's NRDs to host parades, ceremonious, and other public events in communities outside of the city that the unit is based in.
If all units did this, we would not need so many "historical" buildings. Sadly, while we shut down one part of our community connection, on the other end all too often, the public is seeing the disconnect.

The "connection to the community" argument always seems to come up when discussing the viability of a particular Reserve organization or property.  I've always thought that it is usually bullshit.  What exactly does it mean?  Let's be realistic.  The purpose of having military forces is to do the things that military forces do . . . even the tangential things they do simply because they are a ready source of cheap dumb labour.  However, I'm sure that someone can come along and make their argument that maintaining a "connection to the community" is found within one of the Principles of War (maybe Maintenance of Morale . . . though I would counter with Economy of Effort).

Back in the day when the majority of these armouries and the plethora (yes, word chosen specifically for its meaning) of units that (or did) inhabit them, the military plan was to be able to raise divisions of men to defend the national territory.  Then, most of the initial training was done in the armouries by the units themselves.  That no longer happens.  In the particular case of Amherst, not only is no military training taking place, but the only DND affiliated activity is Cadets and DND is not "responsible" for providing accommodation for cadet organizations, the department has only undertaken to accommodate them in DND property when there is available excess capacity.  There is no requirement to maintain properties that do not have a military function.

Unfortunately, there seems to be this unhealthy (to departmental economy) fascination with equating the buildings used to perform functions with the esoteric aspects of military heritage which may be demonstrated in comments quoted in this RUSI piece concerning a Halifax armoury.

https://rusi-ns.ca/rehabilitation-halifax-armouries/
Quote
. . . . .

In recognizing the importance of work to be done to the historic3 building, Lieutenant-Colonel Marcel Boudreau, Canadian Army (retired), former commanding officer of the PLF who once was officer in charge for the Armouries, said, “This is not a building.  This is a home”.

He continued, “We trained soldiers when we sent them to war.  We welcomed them back.  We stood up for emergencies when the city needed it.  We’ve celebrated our successes, and we’ve mourned our losses in the building.  We’ve hosted rock stars, we’ve heralded royalty.”

Lieutenant-Colonel Boudreau concluded “I look forward to the building standing a lot longer, and continuing to serve the country, the city, the soldiers and the many other people who have served within it.”

Ms Howes (DND Senior Heritage Architect) concluded her presentation to the crowd, saying, “There are intangible values in landmarks and heritage buildings that you can’t readily put a price on.”

Rosanne alluded to someone who may be thinking about joining the military.  She said “If someone walks by the Armouries and sees all that history and sense of respect for all those who have come before us and knows that if they are (potentially) going to give their life for the country, he or she will be honored as well.”  That is a huge drawing card for recruiting more people.

“In terms of why we want to invest the money here, is that we do respect those who have gone before us.”

While I can agree with Ms. Howe (but don't get me started on dealing with architects when I was at NDHQ) that there are "intangible values" in preserving historic buildings, it should not be anywhere near a priority (out of 1000 things, maybe somewhere way down in the nine hundreds) for the military to spend money on.  Especially when we spend 3.61% of defence expenditures on infrastructure (for comparison the US is 1.22 and UK 1.95 as per this NATO document)
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Re: Fate of Amerst NS Armoury?
« Reply #79 on: July 26, 2017, 00:56:25 »
I am not surprised the former PLF CO said that stuff; from my limited time around him, I would peg him as the "leading effective change" type. 

Not sure about now, but at one point anyone walking near the Hfx Armouries was likely wondering if the wooden structures built over the sidewalks around it would really stop anything that fell off the walls or roof...
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Re: Fate of Amerst NS Armoury?
« Reply #80 on: July 26, 2017, 14:44:17 »
The armoury in Moncton was turned into a Soup Kitchen a few years back which was used for Army Cadets and I believe a parade square for the local reservists. The Moncton building is more of the post-WW2 asbestos-built (Ha) style of building than both Halifax and Amherst armouries so probably it was easier to convert to something.
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Offline rick7475

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Re: Fates of former armouries
« Reply #81 on: March 05, 2018, 13:44:50 »
Some armories were completely torn down. The 3 Field Engineer Squadron of Ottawa used to meet at Lees Avenue, right on the Rideau River close to the now Ottawa U campus. I have great memories of weekends building Bailey Bridges in the yard and taking assault boats up and down the river. Not a real picturesque complex, like many others such as the Cartier Drill Hall of red brick Gothic Revival style, just simple Quonset huts and garages, but still we had a drill hall and great mess dinners there. All gone and torn down in the early 1990's, just an empty field. The giant old oak is still there, where we as raw recruits would congregate, climb, and chat during bridge building breaks.

If anyone has any pictures of the armories, I sure would be grateful to see them.         

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Re: Fates of former armouries
« Reply #82 on: March 05, 2018, 14:46:49 »
Some armories were completely torn down. The 3 Field Engineer Squadron of Ottawa used to meet at Lees Avenue, right on the Rideau River close to the now Ottawa U campus. I have great memories of weekends building Bailey Bridges in the yard and taking assault boats up and down the river. Not a real picturesque complex, like many others such as the Cartier Drill Hall of red brick Gothic Revival style, just simple Quonset huts and garages, but still we had a drill hall and great mess dinners there. All gone and torn down in the early 1990's, just an empty field. The giant old oak is still there, where we as raw recruits would congregate, climb, and chat during bridge building breaks.

If anyone has any pictures of the armories, I sure would be grateful to see them.       

I'm not sure when you were with 3 Fd Sqn but your post brought back some memories from my youth. I would have to look for an image of the actual armoury which I may or may not have (it has been a while  :nod:). I do have this shot of building Bailey in the yard on Lees Ave. It was taken around 1972-73.




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Re: Fates of former armouries
« Reply #83 on: March 05, 2018, 21:59:15 »
Excellent photo, thank you! I was there from 83 - 84 then transferred to Peterborough for university.