Honorary Appointments

The Honorary Colonel and Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel (the Honoraries) are selected from distinguished former serving Army officers or Canadian citizens, who are drawn from a diverse range of backgrounds. Typically, they are well-known public and community figures. Honoraries first and foremost understand that they are honorary and advisory in every capacity who have no operational responsibility within the Regiment. Nevertheless, the HCol and HLCol provide a critically important link with local community and help ensure that the SALH successfully and effectively connects with Canadians in a meaningful way.

Further, because of the Regiment’s operational reach and history across the province, SALH Honoraries must also possess a certain business acumen and community influence across the province to properly connect Albertans with the Regiment as well. By their very presence and name, they help build and develop community support for the SALH by providing a public profile and a very public face for the Regiment. Perhaps one of their most important functions is simply the time they spend with all members of the unit, no matter what their rank or position. It is always important to note that the role of the HCol and HLCol is intended to support many diverse aspects of Regimental life by lending their patience, leadership experience and wisdom to all serving soldiers and veterans of the Regiment. They are important members of the SALH family.

The current HCol of the SALH

Ralph Young, AOE, MSM, LL.D(Hon), P. Eng.

The current HLCol of the SALH

Catherine M. Roozen, OC, AOE

Ralph Barclay Young was born in Saskatoon in 1945. He remembers his youth as a simple and fortunate time. While Ralph and his three brothers didn’t have many luxuries, they made up for it in opportunity. Ralph participated in everything available, from sports to school activities, from Cubs and Scouts to church functions. He grew up working in the family book and stationery business, doing everything from cleaning floors, taking out garbage, delivering packages to customers on bike, managing inventory and serving customers. He credits family and community for instilling the values that have served him well throughout life.

One of those values is education. Although Ralph had a childhood interest in architecture, the nearby University of Saskatchewan lacked an architecture program, so he opted for the next-closest thing - civil engineering. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in 1967, Ralph re-located to Winnipeg and worked as a young engineer on bridge design and construction projects. His thirst for education led Ralph and his wife Gay to Edmonton in 1969 to complete the University of Alberta’s Master of Business Administration program. Ralph then shifted his focus to building a career.

Ironically, it was Ralph’s MBA education that almost kept him from joining the company that would define his career. In 1971, he found himself in a tough job market, but persisted, and was hired by Melton Real Estate as the Junior Assistant to the Development Manager. Melton’s interview panel were skeptical; he was over-educated and probably wouldn’t stay long with the company. Luckily for Melton and for Ralph, the concern proved unfounded. Ralph’s tenure with the company only ended upon his retirement, some 42 years later.

In the mid-1970s, Melton Real Estate sold its real estate brokerage business and became Melcor Developments Ltd., one of Western Canada’s largest real estate developers. In his time with the company, Ralph served in a number of roles, including Manager of the Calgary Region and Vice-President of the Land Development Division. He became Melcor’s President in 1997; in 2000, he also took on the role of CEO, until his retirement from Melcor in 2013. Ralph continues to serve on the board of Melcor Developments Ltd. and the board of Melcor REIT.

Ralph helped lead the organization through a tremendous period of growth. Today, one cannot travel through Alberta’s major centres, including Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge and Red Deer as well as numerous smaller municipalities, without encountering a Melcor development. Under Ralph’s leadership, Melcor developed and maintained a culture of integrity and professionalism which has left a lasting, positive impact on the province. It has developed hundreds of high quality and affordable communities across the province to benefit Alberta families and businesses. Melcor is also a significant developer and owner of commercial office and retail centres and owns and manages golf courses associated with several of its communities.

To Ralph, Melcor’s corporate accomplishments are matched by the way the company encourages community involvement. As with his business career, Ralph had a habit of making everything and everyone around him better. This led him to take on a long list of community and charitable opportunities, with Ralph consistently leaving organizations in a better place than he found them.

Perhaps no organization has benefited from Ralph’s efforts more than the University of Alberta. He served the institution as a member of the Alumni Council, Senate and the Board of Governors. He also served on the School of Business Advisory Council, the board of the Business Family Institute and the University of Alberta’s Land Trust and Council on Aboriginal Initiatives. He most recently served as the University’s Chancellor from 2012 to 2016. As Chancellor, he chaired the University Senate of 62 volunteer community members. That position regularly allowed him to represent the University to its many stakeholders, and took him to communities throughout the province to engage citizens and to ensure their interests and concerns were communicated back to the university’s leadership. His favourite part of being Chancellor was the chance to interact with the university community and its students. In particular, he considered it a great honour, on behalf of the University’s Senate, to confer degrees upon graduates at convocations.

Ralph has always had a strong interest in history, particularly that of the Canadian prairies. Driven by this passion, he ensured the preservation of western Canada’s historical records at the University of Alberta Library through the establishment of the Prairie Roots Endowment. It started when Ralph donated his personal collection of historical books and documents, some 37 boxes full, to the U of A. When a collection of documents of Major General Sir Sam Steele, one of the most important individuals in Canadian and RCMP history, was discovered in Great Britain, Ralph played a role in ensuring they became part of the library’s collection and a useful tool for future scholars.

Other educational institutions have benefited from Ralph’s involvement, including Grant MacEwan University, Norquest College, the Tevie Miller Heritage School and Alberta College.

Ralph’s community and philanthropic efforts have extended well beyond the academic world. His volunteer work is guided by strong principles and values. Edmonton has benefited most from the hours he has devoted to “giving back.” As chair of the Edmonton 2004 Centennial Celebration Committee and co-chair of the Carillon Clock Tower Foundation, his leadership contributed to the construction of the City of Edmonton Carillon Clock Tower and the redevelopment of Sir Winston Churchill Square, leaving the city with enduring landmarks. The Centennial Committee was responsible for a year-long celebration culminating in a major event on Churchill Square on October 8, 2004. He has been involved with the Edmonton Eskimos Football Club, Scouts Canada Northern Lights District, the Edmonton Regional Airports Authority, Telus Edmonton Community Board, the Edmonton Police Foundation, the Glenrose Hospital Foundation and the Caritas Health Group. Ralph and Gay support many philanthropic initiatives through their family funds at the Edmonton Community Foundation.

Professionally, Ralph has been a member of the Association of Professional Engineers of Alberta and has served as President of the Urban Development Institute at the civic, provincial and national levels. He has also served on a number of transformative provincial organizations such as the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, the Province of Alberta’s Audit Committee and Alberta Innovates Health Solutions. Ralph has also been an active member of municipal, provincial and federal election campaigns starting in the 1970s through to today.

The Rotary Club of Edmonton has had the benefit of Ralph’s long-standing participation. In addition to serving as its President in 1990-91 and serving on its board of directors, Ralph and Gay have hosted nine Rotary exchange students, familiarizing these young people with Canadian culture. Ralph also serves with Canada’s military as an Honourary Lieutenant Colonel in the South Alberta Light Horse Regiment. Ralph provides strong support for the arts, having served on the boards of the Winspear Concert Hall Society, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and the Citadel Theatre.

Ralph believes that our history defines who we are, and that the history we create today will define what the future will yield. Ralph’s most recent project is serving as Chair of the Lieutenant Governor’s “History and Heroes Alberta Foundation.” Its goal is to ensure that Albertans of all backgrounds and generations develop greater knowledge and respect for Alberta's proud provincial history and for the heroes who contributed to its heritage.

Ralph’s accomplishments have led to many honours, including the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee and Diamond Jubilee Medals, a Governor General’s 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal, the Alberta Centennial Medal and a Meritorious Service Medal. He has received the City of Edmonton’s Salute to Excellence Award, the Paul Harris Fellowship from Rotary and an APEGA Summit Award. He has been inducted into the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame, Urban Development Institute Life Membership, as well as the Alberta Building Industry and Land Development Hall of Fame. He has received both an Honourary Arts Degree and a Distinguished Citizen Award from Grant MacEwan University, and an Honourary Doctor of Laws degree and the Alumni Honour Award from the University of Alberta.

Ralph has lived on the Canadian prairies all his life and feels exceptionally fortunate to have made Alberta home for his family for the past 50 years. He has lived his life with a generosity of time and spirit and an underlying belief that we all can, and should, build a better Alberta. Today, he enjoys dividing his time between Edmonton and Canmore, alongside his children, Marnie and Ross and his nine grandchildren.

Cathy Roozen is a recognized financial and business sector leader who has served the province through her work with the Allard Foundation, through her strong contributions to the University of Alberta and through the careful guidance she has offered to numerous community and health care organizations.

Catherine Mary Allard was born to Dr. Charles and Marguerite Allard on March 28, 1956. She was raised in Edmonton in a closely knit family that included four brothers, Cam, Chuck, Peter and Tony, and one sister, Judy. As a child, Cathy attended French immersion school and enjoyed opportunities to accompany Dr. Allard to his work at the hospital where she learned from his compassion and care for others. Sadly, Cathy lost her mother in 1974, which caused the teenager to quickly develop a maturity beyond her years.

When it came time to choose a career, Cathy knew that her future would be in business. She had clearly inherited the energy and business acumen that allowed her father to maintain a long and successful medical practice while developing extensive holdings in broadcasting, the energy sector, banking and other ventures. Cathy earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Alberta in 1977 and then went to work in the family-owned bank, North West Trust Company, parts of which were later purchased by Canadian Western Bank. She worked her way up from duties as a front line teller to responsibilities as Vice-President of Investments.

In 1981, Cathy married business leader, Harold Roozen, whom she met while he was working for her father. A year later, Cathy Roozen moved to the family’s holding company, Cathton Holdings Ltd., where she continued in the role of VP of Investments and established a sterling reputation as a valued and sought-after voice in the business sector. She further cemented her position as a respected business leader through valued contributions as a member of the board of directors of Melcor Developments Ltd., Corus Entertainment Inc., Shaw Communications Inc. and American Bank of Commerce in Phoenix, Arizona. Cathy served as one of her father’s most trusted advisors until his passing in 1991. Her ongoing leadership led to duties as Chair of Cathton Investment Ltd. in 2009.

While tending to her business career, Cathy made equal time for serving others and began a long resume of leadership to a wide range of initiatives and causes. One of her greatest avenues of service has been through her work with the Allard Foundation, which was formed by her father in the mid 1970s as a way to give back. It is an Allard family legacy that has been making quiet but very significant contributions to the quality of life in Alberta for decades.

In 1983, Cathy became director and secretary of the Allard Foundation, where she has worked to focus community investments in health care, education, social well-being and the arts. Health facilities that have benefited from Foundation support include the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute and the Lois Hole Hospital for Women. Cathy has also actively championed innovative health research through major endowments to the Caritas Hospital Foundation, the Glenrose Hospital Foundation, the U of A Faculty of Medicine Emerging Team Grant for Cancer Research and the school’s Allard Chair in Experimental Oncology.

Under Cathy’s guidance, the Foundation has supported education in Alberta and Canada with investments in a long list of institutions, including the U of A, Newman College and St. Joseph’s Seminary, Brentwood College, Red Deer College and The Telus World of Science. Students have also received the support they need to build successful careers through initiatives such as the Allard Chair in Business at Grant MacEwan University, the school’s Allard Nursing program awards and support for its Faculty of Communications. Further investments have supported the Steadward Centre at the U of A and the Dr. Charles Allard Founder Awards at NAIT.

Social well-being in Alberta communities has been fostered by Foundation investments in an expansive list of initiatives including the Edmonton Humane Society, the YMCA, WINGS (Women in Need Growing Stronger), Ronald McDonald House, Junior Achievement, the Bissell Centre, Catholic Social Services, the Salvation Army, Meals on Wheels, the Marian Centre and the Support Network. The quality of life available to Edmontonians and all Albertans has been further strengthened through the Foundation’s support of the Art Gallery of Alberta, Alberta Ballet, the Banff Centre, Citadel Theatre and the Kiwanis Music Festival.

In addition to her duties with the Allard Foundation, Cathy has been a tireless leader who is valued for the insightful, clear and highly organized approach she has brought to a wide range of community boards. Her list of board duties includes service as a member of the Strategy Council of the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute, vice-chair of the Alberta Health Services Board, board director of STARS (Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society), co-chair of the Edmonton Music in Motion initiative and board member of the Edmonton General Hospital (Grey Nuns). Cathy sat on the U of A Board of Governors for seven years and also served as co-chair of the school’s extremely successful millennium campaign, an unprecedented fundraising effort that generated more than $200 million for the school. Cathy has further supported the hopes and needs of her fellow Albertans through personal investments in a wide range of programs and services. Cathy’s support of programs outside of the province includes investments in the University of Saskatchewan Western College of Veterinary Medicine and at Queen’s University where her projects have included a lecture hall named after Dr. Allard.

Cathy’s many contributions have earned her numerous recognitions. She holds the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and Alberta Centennial Medal and has been honoured with the MacEwan University Distinguished Citizen Award, the U of A Alumni Association Honour Award and recognition as a Global Edmonton Woman of Vision. In 2009, she received an Honourary Doctor of Laws degree from the U of A.

Cathy Roozen has always practiced a quiet brand of philanthropy and community leadership, modestly preferring to remain out of the limelight and let her actions speak for themselves. However, the impact of her efforts must not be understated. She has invested great energy and compassion in the lives of her fellow Albertans and she offers a sterling model of what it means to be a caring and engaged citizen.


Previous Honorary Appointments to The South Alberta Light Horse and its Predecessor Units

15th Light Horse

1910 - 1912 The Rt-Hon Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal, GCMG, GCVO (24 Nov 09)

1920 - 1935 LCol J. Walker

1926 - 1935 A.M. Berryman

1936 – 1939 A.M. Berryman

1936 LCol W.A. Lyndon, VD

19th Alberta Dragoons

1930 - 1939 MGen WA Griesbach, CB, CMG, DSO, VD

1948 H.R. Milner 31 Mar 1948

Col Bohomolec

Col F.C. Jamieson, VD

South Alberta Regiment

1927 - 1938 MGen AH Bell, CMG, DSO

1935 G.A. Hoover

The Edmonton Fusiliers

1939 H.R. Milner, KC, BA, LL.B.

23rd Alberta Rangers

1911 - 1919 LCol J. Walker

21st Alberta Hussars

Alberta Mounted Rifles

1924 - 1930 LCol J Walker

1926 – 1930 LCol W.A. Lyndon

The South Alberta Horse

1931 – 1934 LCol J. Walker, VD

LCol W.A. Lyndon, VD

The South Alberta Light Horse

Dates Unk (Approx 1950) HCol Andrzej Bohomolec

1955 HLCol George L. McMahon

1969 – 1986 HCol (Senator) HA (Bud) Olson

1969 – 1971 HLCol George Ross

1983 -1986 - LCol Harry Quarton, CD

1986 - 1996 A.M. Graham

1986 - Unk LCol D. Heine, CD

1990 - 1996 HLCol Stanley A. Milner, OC, AOE, LL.D, CD

1996 – 2011 HCol Stanley A. Milner, OC, AOE, LL.D, CD

2002 - 2008 HLCol J. Watson, FCA

2010 – 2011 HLCol John T. Ferguson, FCA

2011 - 2017 HCol John T. Ferguson, CM, FCA

2011 - 2017 HLCol J. Angus Watt

2017 - 2019 HCol J. Angus Watt

2018 - 2020 HLCol Ralph Young, AOE, MSM, LLD(Hon), P. Eng.