The Royal Winnipeg Rifles Appoint New Honorary Colonel

Dr. Emőke Szathmáry

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Dr. Emőke Szathmáry was installed to the esteemed position, of Honorary Colonel of Royal Winnipeg Rifles (RWR) last November.

Born in Hungary, and having spent six years in a German refugee camp, HCol Szathmáry came to Canada in 1951 and became a Canadian citizen in 1956.

“I grew up, always aware of the military ethos that had ruled my father’s life: to serve his country faithfully, honorably, courageously,” HCol Szathmáry stated at the Installation Ceremony held at Minto Armoury. “I heard those concepts in a language different than I am using now, but those precepts remain etched in my memory.”

“When the opportunity arose for me to serve my country as an honorary member of The Royal Winnipeg Rifles, the route I should choose was clear. I remembered what I have always known of soldiers: disciplined men and women who live their lives by principles, and act on their obligations to their country and its citizens.”

Presiding Officer, Colonel Geoff Abthorpe, defined the role of an honorary, “The honorary colonel extends the influence of the commanding officer and that of the unit. … and can be a very vocal advocate for the rights and benefits of the soldier. … But one of the best things an honorary can do is help to promote the Esprit de Corps of their unit.”

“The appointment is more than an honour,” said HCol Szathmáry. “The current members of the regiment decided to serve Canada at a far younger age than I am now, so in my view, the appointment is my last chance to do something for my country by assisting the Commanding Officer and the Riflemen. I am grateful for that opportunity, and I will use it well in the interest of The Rifles.”

Concluding his address at the Installation Ceremony, Colonel Abthorpe said, “Honorary Colonel Dr Emőke Szathmáry, you are the 8th Honorary Colonel of these Little Black Devils. Represent them well, get involved. And have fun! Welcome to 38 Brigade!”

Dr. Szathmáry is a Member of the Order of Manitoba (2009) and the Order of Canada (2003). To view the impressive and comprehensive list of Szathmáry’s accomplishments and affiliations visit:

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