Bucks will allow Battery to boom again

The anvil battery will boom again.

New Westminster council agreed on Monday to grant up to $1,700 to the Ancient and Honourable Hyack Anvil Battery so it could stage its annual “21-gun” salute to Queen Victoria on her birthday.

The salute is actually the ignition of gunpowder poured between two heavy iron anvils.

It’s a tradition that dates back to the late 1800s when the city’s fire department, known as Hyacks, didn’t have any cannons to fire in honour of the Queen’s birthday. So they improvised with the gunpowder and anvils.

The ceremony, held at Queen’s Park Stadium on Victoria Day, endures as part of the week-long Hyack Festival.

While the battery initially asked council for only $1,100, Dean Gibson, the city’s director of culture, parks and recreation said the ceremony’s actual cost would likely be closer to $1,700.

That includes the rental of a tent and public address system, $100 to St. John Ambulance for first aid attendants, and a $500 honorarium for the Royal Westminster Regiment band.

In addition the city provides the use of the stadium and chairs as an in-kind donation.

Previously, Gibson pointed out, most of ceremony’s expenses had been absorbed by the Hyack Festival Association.

In granting the money, Mayor Wayne Wright reminded the battery the city expects to see receipts for all the expenses.


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