In 1968, about 70 surviving Rangers met to hold their first reunion. This group became the Newfoundland Ranger Force Association. The Association ceased to be active in August of 2009.
The idea for the formation of The Newfoundland Ranger Force Association evolved from conversation during a social evening at the home of Regimental #72 John Fagan at which #24 Gordon Fitzpatrick and #34 Walter Rockwood were in attendance. The idea germinated and these three quickly contacted other ex-members to appraise the interest that might be entertained in such an association. They received immediate support and the group grow to include #55 Rex Dingwall, #44 Ewart Peckford, #67 Bert Jenkins, #50 Dawson Bishop and #37 Nelson Forward. This expanded group met on October 19, 1967 at the home of Nelson Forward and decided to contact as many ex-members as possible to ascertain their interest. This was followed by another meeting on February 23, 1968 when #69 Bob Chancey was added to the group. At that meeting it was decided to proceed with the formation of the Association and also to hold a reunion. Accordingly the “Summons” as shown opposite was issued to all ex-members who could be traced at the time.
Some seventy ex-members responded to “The Summons” in a very positive manner. With this encouragement the dates of June 21 and 22, 1968 were set for the first reunion and organizational meeting. The organizational meeting was held in Building 308, Pleasantville, St. John’s at 8.00p.m. on June 21, 1968. A dinner-dance was held the following evening at The Department of National Defence Composite Mess, Pleasantville in St. John’s.
A copy of the constitution shows the intent in founding the Association. This copy was found in the Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Constitution of the Newfoundland Ranger Force Association (excerpt)
- The organization shall be known as the NEWFOUNDLAND RANGER FORCE ASSOCIATION. The office of the Association shall be situated in St. John’s, in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
- The objects for which the Association is established are:
- to unite fraternally in the Association all former members of the Newfoundland Ranger Force;
- to establish, encourage and foster a spirit of comradeship and mutual help among former members of the said Ranger Force;
- to perpetuate the memory of deceased members of the Newfoundland Banger Force;(d) to effect or promote the compilation of the history of the Newfoundland Ranger Force;
- to join, contribute to or assist any combination of persons engaged in pursuits similar to those of the Association;
- to impose upon the membership of the Association such fees or assessments, from time to time, as may be required for the maintenance of the Association and for the carrying out of its objects;
- to do all such other things as are, or may be deemed to be incidental or conducive to the attainment of the above objects.
History of the Ranger Force
Shortly after the formation of The Newfoundland Ranger Force Association, it was realized, that because all records at detachments had either been destroyed or abandoned and a similar situation also applied to headquarters files, there was very little documentation to perpetuate the history or memory of The Newfoundland Rangers. These regrettable facts prompted the association to undertake steps to correct this serious lack of records in the history of Newfoundland and Labrador. It was decided, that in addition to holding an annual social reunion, efforts would be made to ensure that whatever records were possible to retrieve, would be collected and deposited with the proper authorities, mainly the Provincial Archives, to be held in perpetuity for future research and historical use. With this in mind all known ex-Rangers were contacted and requested to forward any files, documents, items of uniform regalia or other materials which they may have in their possession. The response was very positive. This encouraged the Association to continue efforts to document history of the Ranger Force and be remembered in a tangible manner.
- 1969: Cornerstone of the Whitbourne Headquarters building was retrieved. Artifacts contained within were deposited with the Provincial Archives. (See a list of items from the cornerstone)
- 1978: Recorded interviews with several ex-Rangers. (Available at Memorial University’s Oral History Centre)
- 1980: Ranger Force Memorial Plaque unveiled at the Colonial Building in St. John’s. (See the plaque)
- 1982: Mount Hogan in the Hawkes Bay area was renamed in memory of #70 John Hogan.
- 1984: CBC Television aired documentary on the Ranger Force compiled by Jerry Jones.
- 1985: Hogan Trail in Hawkes Bay was opened in memory of #70 John Hogan.
- 1986: The History of the Newfoundland Ranger Force by Harold Horwood was published.
- 1991: Artifacts presented to the Whitbourne Museum for a Ranger Force exhibit.
- 1991: Newfoundland Ranger Force Scholarship established at Memorial University of Newfoundland.
After the success of their initial reunion, the Association decided to make it an annual event. Reunions were held every year from 1968 to 2009.
See a full list of Newfoundland Ranger Force Association reunion dates, locations and venues:
|Founding Reunion||June 21-22||1968||St. John’s.||Building 308, Pleasantville|
|1st Annual||June 14||1969||St. John’s.||Hoyles Home; Hotel Nfld|
|2nd Annual||Sept. 26||1970||St. John’s.||Hoyles Home; Holiday Inn|
|3rd Annual||Sept. 18||1971||St. John’s.||Hoyles Home; R.C. Legion; Pleasantville|
|4th Annual||Oct. 21||1972||St. John’s.||Hoyles Home; Hotel Nfld|
|5th Annual||Sept. 22||1973||St. John’s.||Prov. Archives; Hotel Nfld|
|6th Annual||Sept. 21||1974||Gander||Hotel Gander|
|7th Annual||Sept. 20||1975||Corner Brook||Glynmill Inn; K of C. Club|
|8th Annual||Sept. 18||1976||Grand Falls||Prov. Bdlg; Logging Camp; R. C. Legion|
|9th Annual||Sept. 24||1977||St. John’s.||Corrections Office; Hotel Nfld|
|10th Annual||Sept. 19||1978||Lewisporte||Kinsmen’s Club|
|11th Annual||Sept. 22||1979||Kilbride||Lions Club|
|12th Annual||Sept. 20||1980||St. John’s.||Hoyles Home; Holiday Inn|
|13th Annual||Sept. 19||1981||Corner Brook||Glynmill Inn|
|14th Annual||Sept. 18||1982||St. John’s.||R. C. Legion|
|15th Annual||Sept. 24||1983||Gander||Hotel Gander|
|16th Annual||Sept. 22||1984||Whitbourne||Lions Club|
|17th Annual||Sept. 20-21||1985||St. John’s.||Constabulary Headquarters; City Hall; R. C. Legion; Hotel Nfld|
|18th Annual||Sept. 27||1986||Grand Falls||Mt. Peyton Hotel|
|19th Annual||Sept. 19||1987||Corner Brook||Glynmill Inn|
|20th Annual||Sept. 17||1988||Springdale||Pelley’s Inn|
|21st Annual||Sept. 16||1989||St. John’s.||Littledale Conf. Centre|
|22nd Annual||Sept. 22||1990||St. John’s.||Littledale Conf. Centre|
|23rd Annual||Sept. 21||1991||Corner Brook||Mamateek Inn|
|24th Annual||Sept. 19||1992||Deer Lake||Driftwood Inn|
|25th Annual||Sept. 18||1993||St. John’s.||Battery Hotel|
|41st and Final||2009|
In 1991 it was decided that an annual scholarship should be provided to a first-year entrant at Memorial University of Newfoundland. The amount of the scholarship to be one thousand dollars, with the requisites for the award to be left to the discretion of The Awards Committee of the University. Again, the funding for this endeavour was solicited from Association members and willingly accepted with positive response. The initial contribution to cover this scholarship, was made on December 20, 1991 and subsequent contributions have been made on a continuing basis.
For more information visit the Scholarship Page.