Supervisory Honour Guard4/29/20 11:40 AM
TTC Supervisory Honour Guard was established 25 years ago on May 24, 1995
By John W. Adams
Past Director/Founder, TTC Supervisory Honour Guard
Congratulations to all current and retired members of the TTC Supervisory Honour Guard on the 25th anniversary of our formation.
Over the last 25 years, the Honour Guard have come a long way from the rag tag group that did not know how to salute, or march or give commands when on parade. Today, it is finely tuned team that makes the TTC proud.
On November 18, 1994, I proposed to the Head of Transportation that we form a TTC Honour Guard made up of two Inspectors from each division. They would represent the TTC workforce at formal functions when the need arose.
Months earlier at the funeral of Toronto Police Officer John Knight, who was killed in the line of duty, there was a vacant spot in the marshalling area for transit personnel, but the TTC did not have anyone to represent the organization.
After several proposals to senior management, we were granted permission on May 24, 1995 to form an Honour Guard. We had no budget, but every intention to volunteer for dutiful service when called upon.
During the early years, and in order to professionalize our appearance similar to other Honour Guards, we tried to upgrade our conventional uniforms. We conducted raffles in order to pay for the leather belts that we wore around our tunics. Soon after we received permission to purchase white gloves with a small budget provided by the TTC. Then came a surprising change.
Chief General Manager Rick Ducharme requested a meeting with myself and Brian Sellwood to discuss the importance of the Honour Guard. Mr. Ducharme was a great supporter of the group and recognized how we could help to improve the TTC’s image at various functions. We were granted permission to purchase a new uniform, including: tunic, belts, shirts, ties, hat badges, winter overcoats and striped pants. Now we truly represented the TTC in the most distinguished way.
During the last quarter century, we have attended numerous parades, including Pearl Harbour Day in Buffalo, Remembrance Day ceremonies at Old City Hall and the Toronto Zoo and the CNE’s annual Warriors’ Day Parade.
Other major events included the APTA Conference in Toronto and the official opening of the Line 1 Extension to York Region. However our main purpose was to represent the TTC employees at funerals and that we did, from the tragic murder of Collector Jimmy Trajceski, to many employees who have passed away. The Honour Guard has been there to act as pallbearers and ushers and standing guard over caskets.
One of the most humbling duties Brian Sellwood and I experienced was in 1999 when we were flown to Ottawa to attend the memorial for OC Transpo employees who were the victims of a workplace shooting.
I am very proud to have been the first of many Directors of the TTC Supervisory Honour Guard and would like to commend the many members who have given up much of their personal time to attend practices and events on short notice, and who are proud to have been selected to wear the Guard’s uniform. They represent the men and women of the TTC with great dignity. I am blessed to have been part of a group of highly respected Supervisors who can call themselves Honour Guards.
In closing, I would like to extend a special thank-you to our supporters and mentors: EMS Honour Guard, Chief of Police Ceremonial Unit, TFS Honour Guard and the City of Toronto Employees Honour Guard. These groups have taken us under their care and have given our members priceless help in how to improve to the point that we are now on par with these other dignified and respected Honour Guards.
Best wishes to all past, current and future members. May we continue for another 25 years!
John W. Adams is Past Director/Founder of the TTC Supervisory Honour Guard.
Honour Guard Members – present and past
John Adams, Simone Bahia, Jagjit Bains, Maeve Benson, Sandra Billard, Adan Brisbois, Shawn Broderick, Robert Cadiou, Lincoln Calvo, Gil Carreiro, Mel Clarke, Brian Coburn, Lynford Cohall, Jennifer Conn, Ruth Ann Conrad, Jim Dillman, Greg Forbes, Stacy Garcia, Robert Gardner, Gregory Godinez, Michael Greco, Marc Guenette, Terry Hughes, Shelley Hutchinson, Juliette Layne, Joe Liotti, Myanh Mac, David Maclean, Christian Maglieri, Paul Maglietta, Devanand Mahadeo, Trevor Maillard, Maureen Manning, Naomi Marubashi, Elaine Mortenson. Dan Neely, Tim O’Brien, Alexander Olech , Matteo Pallotta, Joel Pinsk, John Pochwalowski, Maryjean Porteous, Helena Power, Nireen Qureshi, Catherine Rae, Kashif Rafiq, David Ramjattan, Christopher Sanderson, David Sardina, Brian Sellwood, Mohammed Shaikh, Rob Shank, Ron Sloan, Tim Spears, Surinder Sharma, Alan Tilley, Ron Watt, William Whelan, Nancy Whitford, Alan Wilson, Dwyke Young and Johni Zamora.
Remembrance Day ceremonies at Old City Hall, November 2019.
Annual Memorial March and Candlelight Service by Legion Todmorden Branch 10, September 2019.
Annual Toronto Fallen Firefighter Memorial Service, June 2019.
Representing the TTC at employee funeral, 2019.
Honour Guard Director Brian Sellwood at City Hall commemoration for 9/11 victims, September 11, 2002.
TTC’s 80th anniversary celebration at City Hall, September 2001.
509 Harbourfront Extension opening ceremonies, July 2000.
Honour Guard Director John Adams leads march through the CNE, 1998.
Official opening of the Harbourfront LRT, June 22, 1990.
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