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443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron celebrating 80 years with Sidney parade

The parade will feature around 150 military members and a band
The 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron will be celebrating its 80th anniversary with a parade. (Black Press Media file photo)

The 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron is preparing to celebrate its 80th anniversary and the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

The squadron will hold a parade in Sidney on Feb. 8 with approximately 150 military members and a band.

The event is expected to be held between 9:30 and 11 a.m. to avoid peak midday traffic.

The squadron was formed on Feb. 8, 1944.

Sidney council unanimously approved the squadron’s request to close roads for the parade at the regular meeting on Jan. 8.

“I just want to congratulate the 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron on their 80th anniversary,” Sidney Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith said at the meeting.

Sidney staff recently met with the squadron to gather more details.

The squadron plans to kick off the parade at the Mary Winspear Centre, have it continue down Beacon Avenue and through the downtown area and end at the Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans in Canada Sidney Unit #302. The parade route may be changed based on the town and the RCMP’s needs.

A plaque will be unveiled in front of 2485 Beacon Ave. and a ceremony will be held at town hall.

Town staff will provide traffic control similar to how traffic is managed for the Remembrance Day parade and ceremony. Staff time can be accommodated within the downtown celebrations operational budget.

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