On Thursday, February 8, 2024, the Town of Sidney will be honouring the 80th anniversary of the 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron and the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Air Force by holding a Freedom of the Town of Sidney Parade.
This military march is a tradition that occurs approximately once a decade in Sidney. The event is an opportunity for residents across Sidney and North Saanich to recognize and show their support for the service of the 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron.
Beginning at 10am, members of the 443 Squadron will march from the Mary Winspear Centre along Beacon Avenue to Second Street to Town Hall with drums beating, colours flying, and bayonets fixed. At Town Hall, there will be a short ceremony, including a Proclamation, speeches, and a CH148 Cyclone Flypast . Community members of all ages are invited to attend.
The 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron base is located near Pat Bay in North Saanich, alongside the Victoria International Airport. The Squadron provides helicopter air detachments in support of the Royal Canadian Navy’s Pacific Fleet and frequently embarks on Canadian warships abroad. Locally, the 443 Squadron works with the Royal Canadian Navy in supporting government efforts to combat drug, fisheries, and environmental violations in Canadian waters.