The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry’s long and rich history in this community now has another tie: a permanent endowment fund at Hamilton Community Foundation.
Known as the “Rileys,” RHLI is a professional, combat-capable army reserve regiment. It is the oldest combat infantry regiment in the Hamilton-Burlington area.
“The regiment’s history is Hamilton’s history,” says Honorary Colonel Peter Young, noting that the RHLI began in Hamilton in 1862 — before Confederation. Through every conflict since then, and many humanitarian crises, Hamilton families have sent soldiers overseas and across Canada with the RHLI.
The RHLI Endowment Fund will, in perpetuity, “look after the regimental family,” says Honorary Lieutenant Colonel Don Cranston. “And that family includes not only soldiers and their families, but also our two cadet corps, ceremonial guard, our band, our museum, our veterans association and our historical artifacts.”
As an agency fund, the RHLI endowment will support its wide-ranging programs such as bursaries for returning soldiers to pursue post-secondary education, loans and help with job transitions, a variety of family support services, maintaining the regiment’s archives, and other crucial services. Over time, the RHLI hopes to build the fund with legacy gifts and other contributions from families who share a history with the regiment.
The RHLI chose Hamilton Community Foundation to house its fund because of the “depth and breadth of the Foundation,” says Don. “Its great governance, its professionalism and track record, its brand recognition in Hamilton — all this is a huge assistance to the RHLI.