Lt.-Cmdr. Michael Irwin was unable to be the guard commander at the opening of the legislature this week due to the snow, but that didn’t stop him (and his dog, Xena) from running through the drill. (Facebook/ Karen Hough)

Victoria Guard Commander leads group of snowmen after ceremony cancelled

Lt.-Cmdr. Michael Irwin wasn’t going to let a bit of snow strip him of his duties

Rough weather may have cancelled school and work for many people, but not for Lt.-Cmdr. Michael Irwin.

Irwin was scheduled to be the guard commander for the opening of the legislature on Tuesday, and lead the 100-man Guard of Honour. Due to snow, however, the ceremony was cancelled, which prompted Irwin to use his rehearsals elsewhere.

“My wife, Karen, and I were walking our dog Xena along Fort Street when we noticed a line of snowmen near the Royal Jubilee Hospital,” Irwin said. “So I popped over and began giving orders there… it was pretty funny.”

Irwin has led the guard command several times previous to this, but felt like he should still do something after all the preparation had been put forward.

“We’d practised the previous week, and to prepare like that and not be able to do it is a bit disappointing, but understandable with the weather,” Irwin said. “It’s very gratifying to do it, because the public never gets to see sailors when they’re working on the base or on a ship.”

Since the video was shared on Facebook, fellow Navy members and strangers alike found it to be greatly entertaining, commending Xena for her dutiful inspection and the snowmen for their best efforts, despite being short of “arms.”

Irwin noted that the snowmen were all very obedient.

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