RCH Honoured in Anvil Salute
Every May, the City of New Westminster is the site of a loud and colourful event that is filled with tradition – the Victoria Day salute to the sovereign by the Ancient and Honourable Hyack Anvil Battery.
Anvil Battery members have local connections tracing back well over 100 years. The early Anvil Battery’s salutes to Queen Victoria began in the 1800s, and the current formal firing takes place in Queens Park stadium.
The process of firing a formal 21-anvil salute includes placing a small portion of gunpowder between two anvils and igniting it. The firing of anvils has a long history in British Columbia of recognizing or welcoming a person or event. Early sternwheel steamboats, arriving at a location on an inaugural trip, were often met with firings of small cannon, firearms, or by “exploding anvils”.
This year, two of the 21 shots were fired in recognition of the 150 year anniversary of the Royal Columbian Hospital. The first was to recognize the hospital itself and its long history of service, while the second recognized the many dedicated people who have served through the hospital – volunteers, auxiliary, staff, nurses, doctors etc. The salute was received by Dr. Winston Gittens, Medical Coordinator for RCH, Kareem Allam, Fraser Health, and David Worthington, RCH Foundation.
Janet Kvammen is one of the most talented photographers we’ve met. She attended the Anvil Battery Salute yesterday and took many photographs, including these. She had two special reasons for taking these particular photos – she was born at RCH, and Dr. Gittens saved her sister’s life in the 1980s by performing brain surgery to repair an aneurysm.
To see more of Janet’s photos check out her Facebook page, PlanetJanetCreations here. Thank you, Janet for allowing us to use these great photos.