The Mess Dinner is one of the most important traditions
of the Canadian Forces.
Mess dinners originated about 200 years ago, the purpose being the same as it is now: to afford the opportunity for seniors and juniors to meet on a friendly but formal occasion; and, to enable the officer in command to speak to his subordinates as a group. The traditional formality of the dinner fosters a fellowship which would be lacking at less formal functions.
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