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Minto Armouries turns 100

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From left: Sgt. Jeff Daquigan, Pte. Eldon Sinclair, Pte. Nick Petuhoff, Mcpl. Steven Kulbaba and Pte. Tom Denysenko of 17 Field Ambulance toured visitors through a display of a medical facility that would be the first line of medical care from the battlefield.

JORDAN THOMPSON Enlarge Image

From left: Sgt. Jeff Daquigan, Pte. Eldon Sinclair, Pte. Nick Petuhoff, Mcpl. Steven Kulbaba and Pte. Tom Denysenko of 17 Field Ambulance toured visitors through a display of a medical facility that would be the first line of medical care from the battlefield. Photo Store

Minto Armouries, one of Winnipeg’s most distinctive military buildings at 969 St. Matthews Ave., celebrated its 100th anniversary on Sat., Nov. 2.

Activities included tours, displays, a teddy bear MAS, and an opportunity for attendees to try out a small arms trainer (SAT) simulator system — a virtual firing range.

The event, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., was free of charge, but children had the chance to check their teddy bears into a play hospital for a loonie, with the proceeds going to the Children’s Hospital.

Capt. Donna Riguidel, 38 Canadian Brigade Group public affairs officer, said the event was actually to celebrate when the construction and planning of Minto Armouries began.

"It was originally built using 100 horses and a steam shovel," Riguidel said.

Construction of Minto Armouries began in 1913, and finished in1915. Riguidel said there was initially a squabble about where the establishment should be built.

"When they were going to go forward with it, they kept the location a secret," Riguidel said. It was built in the West End of Winnipeg because it was a more central location, she said.

Minto Armouries was originally built for military training and as a storage facility for weapons and ammunition. Today it is the home of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, a reserve unit that is part of  38 Canadian Brigade Group.

"The main function (of the Minto Armouries) is the brigade square. It’s huge," Riguidel said.
Minto Armouries will hold a Remembrance Day ceremony on Nov. 11.

For more information on the building and the history of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, visit mintoarmoury.com

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