The Zouaves were established in 1868 as a paramilitary organization for the protection of the Papal States during the wars fought over the unification of Italy. The Canadian Pontifical Zouave Regiment continued its activities after the Italian Unification Wars well into the twentieth century, acting as security escorts during religious celebrations and also as community regimental bands.
The 39th company of Canadian Pontifical Zouaves was established in Eastview’s Saint-Charles parish in 1955. A national convention of Canadian Zouaves was held in Eastview in July 1958. However, most of the activities of the Zouaves disappeared from Eastview around 1975.
"In the fall of 1867 took place the invasion of the papal land by new barbarians from the North of Italy, assembled at Mentana. While the Zouaves were routing Garibaldi's soldiers, one Zouave, Walt Russel, injured, agonizing, with only moments to live, wrote on a stone these words now cherished by all Canadians: "Amà, Dio è tirà Vià... Love God and go thy way"
If you have any courage, my dear Zouave, remember this motto which is yours, but don't forget that it was written with the blood of a hero, and when you read it, you must feel energy flowing through your veins and ideal through your heart"
The first soldiers to wear this costume were a detachment of Zulus fighting in French Africa
The pants were made wide to protect their legs by making them harder to shoot
The top of the costume was easy to adjust to make it easier to fight
The color gray was chosen because it was the color of sand in Africa, to cause confusion on the battlefield
"...It reminds you of the great epic of 1868 to 1870, and moreover your uniform represents the livery of the Pope, the Christian type who wants to give himself to God, Church and Country; it's the symbol of freedom, you bow in front of a hero's monument, in front of a flag, bow to your Zouave uniform, the monument of universal Christendom, wear it proudly, always respect it."