In 1974 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, in her thirty-seventh year as Colonel-in-Chief, donated a sterling silver dish to the Regiment to serve as a constant reminder of her interest in, and affection for The Toronto Scottish Regiment. In May of that year the Commanding Officer Lieutenant-Colonel Donald Johnston, travelled to London to take delivery of Her Majesty's gift. The Colonel-in-Chief was in Scotland at the time, and in a ceremony at Clarence House he accepted the dish from Princess Anne on her mother's behalf.
Getting the dish back to Toronto presented its own difficulties. During his stay in London Johnston stayed at the Army and Navy Club on Picadilly, better known to some as the 'In and Out Club '. Being concerned about the safety of the dish, he recalled seeing the Manager of the club about putting the valuable artifact in a secure place. When Johnston seemed reluctant to hand the dish over to the Manager to put in their safe, the Manager said in a quiet confiding voice "Don't worry Colonel you can trust me. I am a retired Brigadier".
For the return trip to Canada Johnston did not let the dish out of his sight. It had been securely wrapped at Clarence House in several layers of packing. On arrival at Canadian Forces Base Trenton in uniform, he noted that the Customs Officer on duty was quite young - in fact he was a summer student hire. The Customs Officer took an especial interest in the securely wrapped parcel the Colonel was carrying, and asked what it contained and what was its value? It was duly explained that the parcel contained a gift from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, and in view of the nature of the one-of-a-kind personal gift, he had no idea how much it was worth. Whereupon the Customs Officer instructed him to unwrap the parcel for inspection. He reluctantly began removing the wrapping when the Custom Officer's supervisor who had been standing nearby, came over and told the young man that it was time to take his coffee break, and that he would finish the inspection of the Colonel's package. Then much to Johnston's relief, the Inspector instructed him not to unwrap the parcel any further, that he had cleared customs and was free to leave.
It was the Colonel-in-Chiefs wish that the Dish be used to honour the serving member of the Battalion who had made the greatest contribution during the training year. Nominees for the award may be proposed by members of the Regimental Senate, the Serving Battalion, and the Cadet Corps. Members of the Officers' and Regimental Associations may also nominate potential recipients. Only serving members of The Toronto Scottish Regiment who have been on strength for at least a year are eligible to receive the award. Nominees will be considered and approved by the Regimental Senate. The honoree will be presented with a suitably engraved replica dish.