Branch Luncheons and Guest Speakers for 2011:
January 5 -
February 2 -
LCol Dalton Cote -
and Luncheon with Spouses (see home page)
March 2 -
An RMC Squadron Commander
April 6 -
Lunch with the cadets in Yeo Hall followed by meeting in the Cadet Mess
Spring Formal Fundraiser - Special guest -
Rt Rev. George Bruce
May 4 -
Branch Luncheon/AGM - Speaker: Dr J. Allen
Stewart, Vice Principal, RMC
June 1 -
Cervenko, doctor, served on the DART in Haiti.
July 6 -
Branch Luncheon -
the Aghanistan Mission -
August 3 -
Museum of the Great Lakes - Ben Holth
August 5 -
Banyan - Music, Food and Friendship!
September 7 -
West Point Again! - Darren Cates - Director of Athletics
October 5 -
NCadet Reid/Maj Prendergast - 1st year cadet orientation*
November 2 -
John Cowan - "The Canadian Discourse on Defence"
November 9 -
Fall Formal Dinner - BGen Tremblay - Honoured Guest
December 14 -
Luncheon - Gilles Langlois - The CF
Contractor Augmentation Program
This month's meeting of the Branch was held on 14
December in the 'Coggins Club' of the Senior Staff Mess.
We heard a very interesting presentation from
member Gilles Langlois about
CANCAP, the Canadian Forces Contractor Augmentation Program that has assisted
the CF in Bosnia and Afghanistan. This program is intended to free uniformed
personnel from many of the logistics tasks during overseas operations. Most of
the presentation featured the activities of contractor SNC-Lavalin-PAE since it
was awarded the contract for this service for the period 2003 through 2012.
Gilles' presentation helped us understand the immense complexity of the
Also, we welcomed two members who attended for
the first time - Bob Kozak and Henri Cardinal.
The fall formal dinner
guests at the Branch November Formal Dinner were the Commandant, Ted
Hsu, local MP, Joel Sokolsky, RMC Principal, the cadet wing commander, Landon
Lavictoire, (Hockey team captain) and from Ottawa, Mel and Emily Brown.
Honoured Life members attending were John Plant, Danny McLeod, and Don Strong.
We also welcomed several new members from staff and the base.
BGen Tremblay and LCol Brigid Dooley-Tremblay
Gwyn Griffith, Landon Lavictoire, Al Pickering
In his first formal address to the members of
the Kingston Branch, the guest of honour, BGen Tremblay spoke passionately
about the Colleges, the present and the future. Some points of his address.
experience in a recent trip to China and from other military contacts, he
judges that the RMCC is probably the finest military alumni club in the
world. Some military academies have nothing to compare. Others plan to
model on ours.
The red and white program is
being revived under a new title but he emphasized that the key to success
will be in how well the branches actively participate.
of cadets on heritage, customs and military etiquette cannot be done by RMC
military staff, but could be delivered by the alumni. he also stressed the
role of the branches in making the public aware of RMC and its values.
Abandoning his notes, BGen Tremblay showed
the audience how strongly he feels about putting the “M” back into RMC, and
the early signs are that this is well received by the cadet body.
There were three important parts to the meeting on 2 November 2011.
We celebrated the 90th birthday of Danny McLeod with a cake and a rousing
rendition of 'Happy Birthday'.
We heard from two fourth year cadets, Joseph Parent and Colin McNaughton, who
told us about their reasons for selecting RMC as a university
John Cowan, Principal Emeritus of RMC, spoke to us about the Conference of
Defence Associations and the its related Institute. The Conference of Defence
Associations Institute intersects with RMC in a number of ways.
- It convenes an annual National Graduate Students Symposium which draws
150 attendees to hear bright, young students from across the country. It is
intended to stimulate study and research in issues of defence and security.
The symposium is equivalent to an international conference.
- It holds the annual Vimy Dinner in Kingston which is attended by 650
people including a large number of cadets from the College.
- It has a Board of Directors of 50 distinguished members many of whom are
ex-cadets. Members of the Board provide ideas, conduct research and write
papers that promote an informed and balanced discourse on matters of defence
and security. Some of the work of the Institute has influenced policies of
The Institute has just launched a five year scheme that is intended to double
its output of papers, provide speakers to organisations and to raise 1.5
million dollars to pursue its goals. John suggested that members of our Branch
could contribute research and papers.
Prior to the presentation, Reg Watts
announced the newest Branch Heritage program opportunity, whereby branch
members have been invited by the Commandant to offer ideas on training recuits
on RMC heritage, history and basic miltary etiquette. Further, if sn adequate
program can be designed, the branch will be invited to deliver these lectures!
Members attending the Branch meeting on Wednesday, 5
October 2011 were treated to hearing from NCdt David Reid, a senior who is the
CWOpsO and the OC of the First Year Orientation Program (FYOP). David had the
poise and style of an experienced public speaker as he told us everything
about the program from teaching the recruits how to make a bed to their
participation on the Obstacle Course. They are kept very busy from 05:00 until
they fall into bed at the end of the each day. By the end of the FYOP, 170
first year cadets received their cap badges from Old Brigade members during
Ex-cadet Weekend on 1 October.
Commandant BGen Eric Tremblay explained the issues
presented by the application of Canadian rights and freedoms and CF
policies to the recruiting program. He asked the members for suggestions as he
grapples with these issues. Two recruits are married with families. The oldest
recruit is 25 and has had two 'jobs' since leaving high school. Our members
were pleased to have the opportunity to contribute to the debate.
september BRANCH LUNCHEON
The resumption of the RMC vs West Point hockey
game was the topic of program at the Branch meeting on 7 September 2011.
Darren Cates, Athletic Director, started the presentation telling us about the
reason for the suspension of the series in 2005 and the changing circumstances
that have lead to the renewal. He credited hockey coach Adam Schell with
working out the details and reaching agreement with West Point's coach Riley.
Adam explained that his key requirement was the
ability to use any member of the Canadian Armed Forces, who is related to the
College in some way, as a player. West Point agreed to this. The games in 2012
and 2013 will be in West Point to accommodate already scheduled series between
the American service colleges. The upcoming game will be held on 4 February,
2012 two days after the Carr-Harris Cup in which RMC faces off against rival
Queen's in Kingston.
Landon LaVictoire is the captain of the hockey
team and also the Cadet Wing Commander. He spoke about the quality and depth
of the team this year and the keenness of the team to see the series resume.
Kirk Sullivan, another member of the team and
the Cadet Wing Training Officer also attended the meeting.
Bill Oliver will be arranging a bus to take
supporters of the team to West Point for the first game of the series renewal.
Please contact Bill if you would like to attend the game and spend a weekend
in West Point.
Presentation: Following the speaker, Gwyn
Griffirh presented a cheque for $250 on behalf of the Branch, to Mike
Jackson, to support his fund-raising for the Chasse-Galerie, taking
place later this month.
Beautiful weather, great music, and another fine meal by the SSM chef - all
contributed to a fine evening for a record turnout of over 100 branch members
with guests. The fellowship was flowing along with the wine, and many memners
had a chance to meet the new Commandant, BGen Eric Tremblay and his wife Briget.
Also attending, ...Mooz, the new Chief of Staff.
for Banyan Photos!
AUGUST BRANCH LUNCHEON
The Marine Museum of
the Great Lakes was the topic of interest at the Branch meeting on
Wednesday, 3 August 2011. Doug Cowie, General Manager, and Ben Holthof,
Registrar/Curator, of the museum were the speakers. Ben covered some
of the history of ship building in Kingston from the late 1700s to
1968. He also told us about the start of the museum in the 1960s by a
group of dedicated divers and its move to the present site in
the 1970s. The retired Coast Guard ship, "Alexander Henry" has been a
prominent feature on the Kingston waterfront. Doug described some of
the challenges that the museum has overcome and plans for the future.
This museum is confronting some of the same issues being addressed by
our own RMC Museum.
JUNE BRANCH LUNCHEON
were treated to another account of the Canadian Forces DART Mission in
Haiti in early 2010 following the devastating earthquake. Paul, a
medical doctor at the CFB Clinic where he treats cadets and others,
served for 79 days on the mission, the longest of any of the CF members.
He explained how the self-sufficient mature of DART is essential in a
mission of this sort where there are no reliable water, food and
accommodation. He also mentioned the value of transportation, a
capability that most NGOs did not have. Conditions around the three
places where the CF worked, Port au Prince, Léogane and Jacmel, were not
safe and so security was very important and the length of time medical
service could be provided each day was limited. The members of the
Branch appreciate Paul’s taking time to tell us about his experiences.
Speaker: Lt(N) Paul Cervenko, MD and Charlie Simonds
May Branch luncheon
If you were wondering what is
going on with all the construction around RMC, you should have been at the
luncheon to hear Dr J. Allen Stewart, Vice Principal, RMC provide the history of
planning and executing the essential changes to campus buildings. He described
the driving deficiencies in unadorned detail, then how the plan unfolded over
many iterations and finally how it was launched, progress and expectations to
completion. Basically, the project is on schedule and within budget. A second
rotation will occur this summer. Members had many questions which Dr Stewart
handled with ease and good humour. Building codes are quite different now than
in the 70's and 80's and the College is catching up quickly. Members' chief
concern was about ongoing maintenance once the buildings are recommissioned.
Mike Jackson encouraged members
to donate to the Danny McLeod Sports Fund through the annual Ottawa-Kingston
paddle. (Contact Foundation)
Al Pickering invited members to
form a table for the upcoming dinner in Trenton to support the Portraits of
Honour project to honour the fallen in Afghanistan.
40 members of the branch were
present at the Kingston Branch Annual General Meeting, held in the Coggins Room,
SSM, May 4th, 2011. Highlights of the meeting:
A minute of silence for those
members who had passed on during the last year:
2131 Wattsford, George
(class entering in 1929)
2777 MacDonald, Ian (class
entering in 1940)
All committee reports were
summarized and approved. Positive progress was reported on all projects with
the exception of the Book Awards program which is undergoing conversion to
A motion was carried to thank
the Commandant for use of facilities and his support of the Branch.
Members thanked all Panet
House staff for their assistance.
President's Remarks included:
Explanation of the workings
of the executive committee through its meetings and leadership of the
projects. Executive meetings are not "in-camera."
Highlights of the strategic
plan of the Branch posted on the Branch website. Mr Watts stressed that our
#1 goal is Fellowship.
Suggested that the parent
club needs to do more to advocate on behalf of the College in light of
expected government cutbacks.
Commented on the
discouraging declining attendance at our three major events over the last
three years; suggested that there still is a need to involve younger
Our efforts over the last
few years to increase active membership has borne few results; we need to
increase the vitality of the current membership; in this regard we will be
looking for a Director of Membership.
Officers for the next 2 year
term were elected:
president: Ed Murray
President: Reg Watts
president: Ray Dignum
Secretary: Andrew Robb
Treasurer: Gwyn Griffith
The members of the Club Branch
approved a motion to express our appreciation to Peter Dawe for the
progressive contribution he has made to the RMC Club of Canada over the past 9
Museum director Jack Pike
thanked the branch for the enormous contribution it is making to the museum
Complete minutes of the Branch AGM
Complete remarks of President
Branch Spring Formal
The Kingston Branch Spring Formal was a record-setting
event. Attendance was up due to the interesting guest speaker and a special
group from the Class of '69, headed by Michael Gainer, who came to honour Danny
and Sheila McLeod. Guests came from California, Toronto and Ottawa. keynotes of
The address by the Right Reverend
George Bruce, Bishop of Ontario and ex-cadet #6090. In his excellent
presentation he related the values he learned at RMC and which have served him
well in both careers, military and in thechurch; his 3 C's are - Commitment,
Community and Compassion. Rev Bruce used humour well to highlight his address
to the guests, and he was warmly thanked by branch secretary Andrew Robb.
A special gift to Cmdre Bill
Truelove and his wife Brenda was presented by branch president Reg Watts, who
thanked him for his support of the branch during his term as Commandant.
Members rose to applaud Club
Executive Director Peter Dawe in a tremendous show of appreciation for his
work in advancing the Club and communicating to members as expressed by the
In a unique and heart-warming
presentation, the Commandant gave a College coin to Sheila McLeod because of
her support of Danny and the College.
Special guests were introduced,
Senator Joe Day, Hon. Peter Milliken, all honourary life members of the club,
DCadets Sue Wigg, CWC Andrew Wong and officers of the branch.
Anniversary! On the eve of the
Royal wedding, one of senior branch members and his wife, Craig and Marlene
Moffat celebrated theirs to the applause of branch guests.
Photo show of the evening below:
The Spring Formal Photos
College Tours -
Another Museum Support Project Off and Running!
The Tour Guides Group is formed as a part of the Kingston Branch Heritage
Committee. In order for the Curator of the RMC Museum, 8057 Ross McKenzie, to
have more time to do Museum work, it is essential that he reduce the time spent
on conducting tours for visitors to the College. Consequently, a group of
Kingston Branch members have volunteered to conduct those tours that the
Commandant does not get personally involved in, nor those involving recruiting
and admission of candidates.
Members of the group are: 2864 Pierre Bussières, 3826 Don Coulter, 5256 Gwyn
Griffith, 4459 Ed Murray, 2908 Al Pickering, 5611 Gerry Stowe and 5300 Bob
Thomas. Bob Thomas led the first tour for the group on Tuesday 5 April,
a group of about 20 foreign officers and their wives from the CF Language School
in Ottawa. It was a particularly cold day so they spent most of the time in
Mackenzie Building and Currie Hall, discussing the history of the College and
the current programme. It went well and they asked a variety of insightful
Gwyn Griffith has one on Friday 15 April, and Gerry Stowe will lead a tour on
Wednesday 13 April.
Gerry Stowe is the Group organizer and he expects the group to do one or two
tours each week in the foreseeable future. As an incidental note from Ed Murray,
the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, also uses alumni volunteers
for tours of the Academy.
April Branch Luncheon
New member - 11014 Steve Thompson class of 1976 - far right
In a break from our traditional luncheon format at the RMC
Senior Staff Mess, members joined the cadet body for drinks in their mess west
of the new gym, then lunch in Yeo Hall. This event was at the invitation of PMC
(Cadet Mess Chair 24766 Gabor "Smokey" Somogyvari) and details were arranged by branch member Bill Oliver.
Meals are quite different from our days, now
cafeteria-style, with lots of selection. Members split up to join cadets of
different classes at tables around the Hall. This was a great experience for
both members and cadets as anecdotes were exchanged and cadets explained their
progress, problems and highlights, while members couldn't help but tell a few
tales of "when we were here...." Nostalgia reigned!
Following lunch, members were treated to presentations by cadets
from each of first, second and fourth year. These were outstanding. It was quite
remarkable to hear the clarity of thought, commitment and energy from these
young men; Cadets I, 26170 Powis; II, 25804 Holken and IV, 24895 Litowski. My
apologies to N/C Holken whose photo I missed.
Andrew Robb Introduces O/C Somogyvari: O/C Litowski
I will be asking members at the AGM if they wish to repeat
this event in 2012.
March Branch Luncheon
Capt Wedland LCdr Antoniewicz
speakers were Capt Lee Wendland, supported by LCdr Roman
Antoniewicz RMC Division and Squadron commanders, respectively. Capt.
Wendland described the role, the busy 60 hour week and typical working day of
an RMC squadron commander. In explaining the most significant difference in
leading today, vs. the experience of the audience, Capt Wendland outlined the
generational difference and communication technology as major issues. Members
attending vigorously questioned the Captain on how he deals with Generation Y,
or the entitlement generation, and were surprised at the limitations of
disciplinary options. Equally disturbing was the fact that class/year
distinctions are becoming blurred by the academic program structure.
Nevertheless, members enjoyed the frank and open discussion by these two
officers of their issues in creating leaders at RMC. Some good news though,
there are attempts underway to restore the honour bar slate in the third term.
Griffith read a note of thanks from the Wattsford family for our donation.
Oliver introduced 24766 O/C Gabor Somogyvari, President
of the cadet Mess, who invited the members
to take our April luncheon in the cadet mess. Details to follow.
February Branch Luncheon
Guest speaker -
Dalton Cote described several aspects of his peacekeeping mission in Sudan.
This was very timely, considering the recent election results in southern
Sudan. As team leader operating from Juba, he was exposed to all of the
factors surrounding the "birth of a nation." After a slideshow of the
countryside, Dalton described the likely future roles of Canada and the Un,
then entertained a lively discussion on the possible geopolitical outcomes of
the division of the country. A recent article on the mission is attached.
was open to spouses, partners and special guests, and many took the
opportunity to share our monthly fraternalism.
The RMC mountaineering team was
present to share their experiences with members, on their recent mountain
conquest in Argentina. Next goal - Kilimanjaro!
A presentation of $5,000 from the
Kingston Branch to the RMC Museum Operations fund was made by Reg Watts,
Branch President to Rod McDonald, the new EVP of the RMC Foundation. The
Branch is leading a nationwide fundraising campaign among other branches and
class reps to meet the goal of $80,000, and this gift was our kickoff to the
January Branch Luncheon Report
Rod McDonald - On the Duties and Responsibilities of The RMC Registrar
Rod has recently resigned his position as Registrar at RMC to take up the staff
leadership position at the RMC Foundation, for which we all wish him the best.
But It was an exciting opportunity for the branch members to hear in detail, the
functions that are the responsibility of the Registrar, and the many
restrictions and complications surrounding the position. Members stayed longer
than normal with many questions and comments, and without summarizing his entire
presentation, here is a significant challenge put forth by the ex-registrar:
The withdrawal of budget for the Red and White program effectively saw it draw
to a conclusion. This leaves a tremendous void, as the only active recruiting
channel for cadet candidates now is the CF recruiting offices. There is clearly
a role for the branches here, and it will be interesting to see if the governors
of the Club take up the challenge and organize the branches to fill this gap.
Rod described some technology tactics to support cadet recruiting, but the major
gap will have to be filled by an active, organized volunteer program.