Sergeant-at-Arms deserves to be the number one Halloween costume in Canada this year

by Joey deVilla on October 23, 2014

kevin vickers with mace 4

Are you having trouble deciding what to dress up as this Halloween? I have a suggestion: Canada’s Sergeant-at-Arms, Kevin Vickers.

Until yesterday, this was the photo most associated with Kevin Vickers, decorated former member of the RCMP and Sergeant-at-Arms of the Canadian House of Commons:

kevin vickers escorts brigette depape

It’s of him escorting Canadian Senate page Brigette DePape off the floor after she abused the privilege of her position a held up a protest sign during the 2011 speech from the throne, which is part of the opening of every new session of Parliament. As Sergeant-at-Arms, it’s his job to maintain order, eject any disruptive or rowdy people, and maintain security. The position goes back to the times of King Richard I, when the position was more akin to being a royal bodyguard.

After yesterday’s event, it’s this photo that will be most associated with him:

kevin vickers with gun

This photo was taken shortly after Vickers shot the assailant identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who entered Centre Block (the big building on Parliament Hill) in the Hall of Honour with a rifle after shooting Corporal Nathan Cirillo, who was standing guard at the National War Memorial. According to reports, he went to his office to retrieve a gun and shot Zehaf-Bibeau before he could get farther into the building.

kevin vickers with mace

Sergeant-at-Arm Kevin Vickers and the mace.
Click the photo to see it at full size.

Here’s an excerpt from The Globe and Mail:

Each day, for the opening and the closing of the House of Commons, Kevin Vickers travels the centre aisle, wearing the outdated black robes of the sergeant-at-arms, carrying the parliamentary mace upon his shoulder and the ceremonial sword swinging at his side – a throwback to tradition few Canadians ever see.

But Wednesday, with the whole country watching, the 58-year-old RCMP veteran became a modern-day hero. According to reports, he grabbed a gun from his office, and shot a gunman who had stormed into Centre Block. On Twitter, cabinet ministers and MPs were crediting Mr. Vickers, 58, with “saving their lives.”

kevin vickers with mace 3

“His role may look ceremonial, even something like an anachronism,” said Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, who has known Mr. Vickers for years. “[But] he is always on the lookout. He thinks about security with a 360-degree antenna. If there is anyone you want with you when there is trouble around, it would be Kevin Vickers.”

That’s his job – to safeguard the House, and oversee security on Parliament. During Question Period, he sits by the main doors, monitoring the public galleries in the balconies above with television screens on his desk. His office is just about six metres down the hall from the Parliamentary Library, near where the gunman was said to have been killed yesterday.

kevin vickers with mace 2

Mr. Vickers’ heroic actions saved lives yesterday, and it would be a nice tribute to him and to his underappreciated position if his official Sergeant-at-Arms uniform became the number one Halloween costume in Canada this year. Hence the photos strewn throughout this article — they’re there to help you fashion one.

kevin vickers with chain

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