A Rimbey RCMP officer will be participating in a very prestigious event in Halifax later this summer.
Constable Ted Munro is one of only two RCMP members from Alberta who will be performing in the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo from July 1 to 8. Munro will be joining 24 other members of the force as part of the RCMP’s Ceremonial Drill Team.
“The Tattoo is typically a military-police exhibition,” Munro said. “It’s probably the biggest cultural event in the province of Nova Scotia with over 2,000 performers including military, police and civilian performers from all over the world.”
A display of world-class Canadian and international performers including pipe bands, marching bands and competitions between arms of the military such as army versus navy, the Tattoo will feature entries from The Netherlands, Australia, Denmark, Germany, Trinidad and Tobago, Switzerland, Kenya and others as well as plenty of talent from Canada.
“The RCMP National Ceremonial Troop is just one of the acts that will be on display,” Munro said. “I’ve been selected as one of two RCMP members from Alberta, and one of 24 in the country that will make up the Ceremonial Troop. The RCMP is putting together the troop for the purposes of performing at the Tattoo and to represent the RCMP.”
Munro said he’ll be participating in precision drills, Calvary-type drills and marching and referred to his performance as, “the Musical Ride without the horses”. He will also be part of the opening ceremonies, the grand finale as well as several other events around Nova Scotia including marching in the Canada Day Parade in Halifax on July 1.
Performing in the Tattoo will be particularly enjoyable for Munro as he and his family are originally from the Maritime province and he added that he is looking forward to it very much.
“For me it’s pretty exciting because Nova Scotia is my home province. I’m from Pictou in the northeastern part of the province,” he said. “The one that’s held in Nova Scotia is certainly one of the biggest. It’s probably the biggest Tattoo in Canada and has a huge international flavour to it.”
The Tattoo was first held in Halifax in 1979 as part of a visit to that city by Queen Elizabeth II and has been held annually ever since. This isn’t the first time Munro will be witnessing the event, but it will most certainly be the most memorable for him.
“I’ve gone several times as a spectator. Last year was actually the first year that I was home for the summer and was able to get some tickets and go,” he said. “It was the first year that I was there as an actual member of the RCMP so it’s a really patriotic event – probably the most patriotic event or function that I’ve ever been to, so it was quite an honour to be selected.”
Munro said as part of last year’s Tattoo, crowd spectators who were members of the military or the RCMP were asked to stand and be acknowledged by the rest of those in attendance – a moment that he described as making himself “hugely proud”.
“So this year to be able to go back in the Red Surge, the high browns and breeches and to actually perform is going to be quite the time. I get pretty emotional when I think about it actually,” he said. ‘This is the first big, Red Surge duty that I’ve had since graduating and I’m hugely honoured and proud to be able to represent the RCMP. It’s quite an honour for myself to be selected.”
Munro said the Tattoo draws huge crowds to the 10,000-seat Halifax Metro Centre and sells out well in advance of the eight-day, ten-performance show.
As part of preparations for the Tattoo, Munro and his colleagues will spend one week training in Ottawa prior to heading out to Halifax and added he’ll be putting in plenty of time polishing up his boots and other pieces of the Red Surge in anticipation of the event that will see him away for 29 days.
Being from Nova Scotia, Munro said he’s been fielding many phone calls from friends and family back on the east coast seeking tickets and added that he has a huge list of requests – “probably enough to fill up an entire section”, he said with a chuckle.
And while he said he’s hoping everything goes off without a hitch, Munro was quick to add that a newcomer may through a monkey wrench into the machinery at any moment.
“Actually, my wife and two boys are in Nova Scotia now and we’re expecting a new baby and the baby is due at around the same time, so we have a lot of stuff going on right now to get in place for when I get there,” he said. “I’m planning to be there for the birth of this baby, but at the same time, there is the possibility that if it does happen when I’m performing, I won’t be able to leave. But we’ll deal with that at the time.”
Munro said he discussed the entire trip with his wife including the prospects of the new baby arriving at the same time, but both agreed performing in the Tattoo is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that couldn’t be missed.