The business leaders and military members of Petawawa were whisked back 100 years to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele at the 2017 Garrison Petawawa Business Lunch.
An annual event to update the local community of the Garrison’s happenings, this year’s Business Lunch took a taste of military life one step further, quite literally. Everything at the event was about the Battle of Passchendaele, right down to the meal.
Passchendaele was one of the most gruesome battles of the First World War that began on July 31, 1917. It was a British offensive, however, Canadian troops were called in on Oct. 26 and by Nov. 10 the Canadians had captured the ridge and taken yet another battle for the Allied Forces. Sadly, the cost of this victory was 16,000 Canadian lives.
At the luncheon, community members were served a special “trench meal,” that mimicked what soldiers would have been served during World War One, especially created by a local chef.
The menu included three different kinds of stews and biscuits and guests were served in a canteen.
“The actual chef that did our menu explained how he was so amazing and he actually learned a lot by thinking how those cooks could have done it. They would have been limited by the supplies they had because of the rations. So, there wouldn’t be much sugar there wouldn’t’ be much flour, there was no baking powder. So, the biscuits we ate were hard but everyone enjoyed them because it put everybody in the spirit of being a soldier hundred years ago,” explained Daphny Gebhart-Turcotte, Public Affairs Officer, Garrison Petawawa.
Additionally, to mark the battle’s centenary, the Garrison museum created a special display of World War One items.
The purpose of the luncheon was for the base commander to update the community members on changes at the Garrison.
“We have a large footprint in this area so it’s important that the commander reaches out to the business community on an annual, who basically need to know about what we’re doing. So, we do our best to educate on deployments, where we’re going to be how, many troops will be out of the area, for how long. And it’s also a thank to the community for supporting the families when the troops are away,” stated Gebhart-Turcotte.
This year the community was updated on infrastructure changes, the new vision under the new defence policy, and who the Garrison Petawawa’s military community is.