ACQUISITIONS   OPERATIONS   PROJECTS     FUNDRAISING    

Museum News

This page is dedicated to news about museum operations, new acquisitions, projects and fundraising.

Purpose: This webpage is to provide museum information which would not  appear on the RMC virtual museum website. Here viewers will be able to see the current and emerging priorities of the museum, a selection of announcements on new acquisitions, progress on museum projects and fundraising, and museum activities. It will also serve as another entry point for researchers.

Where are the museum artifacts?

The publicly accessible military museum of RMC Kingston is located in the fort on Point Frederick. However the museum's artefact responsibilities are located in diverse locations around the College. The principal working and archive area is in the restored basement of Fort Haldimand while the curator's office is located in the old guardhouse just south of the library. Scattered around the College are many valuable pieces of artwork for which the museum is responsible, and some important artefacts and collections are on display at various locations in the campus buildings.

Ed Murray, Chair, Heritage Working Group

Lena Beliveau, Curator

New Acquisitions

  • General Constantine’s medals and memorabilia from his grandson

  • Col Hansen and Maj. Boswell's medals from the Hansen and Boswell families

  • Two Billy Bishop items

The history behind the new acquisitions: Click here

 

 Watch the new item show below!

 

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Operations

  • Display Room - There is a new ‘Heritage Room’ in the basement of McKenzie Building; four paintings from the College’s collection are hanging there

  • Video - In late May and June, a video shoot of museum operations for use in class/branch fundraising will be taking place at several locations around the campus but concentrating on the Fort Haldimand archive area. The video work is being donated by branch volunteers.

  • Art Restoration Fund : All the money donated by the branch in 2009/10 has been spent on the Sawyer painting, the Royals photographs and RAF portrait.

Projects

D.W. Frederick Cataloguing Project Completed

"Kingston Branch President Reg Watts presents the results of a Branch Heritage project to Museum Director Ross McKenzie; the cataloguing and photographing of the Lt. D.W. Frederick (College # 1271) collection of College and War memorabilia. The collection of several hundred items is the first at RMC to be completely available digitally on a national database in both textual and graphic format for researchers. Branch volunteers spent over 6 man-weeks on the Frederick project which is now entering phase two, detailed analysis and scanning of several hundred military and personal documents which accompanied the collection.

Frederick was an award-winning track star at RMC and post-war was active in RMC Club life in Montreal and Hamilton. During WW1 he was a communications officer serving with the 268th Siege Battery in France, and later with the 129th Siege Battery with the army of occupation.

This is an example of several College heritage projects undertaken by the Kingston Branch Heritage Working Group." Photoshows of the memorabilia.

Photo and notes courtesy of eVeritas

Cadet Records Project Completed!

Thanks to the efforts of Andrew Robb and twenty other branch members and over 700 man-hours of work, this project was completed on April 6, 2011.

Andrew Robb: 'It' is finally completed, after four years and many dedicated hours each month by members of the Kingston Branch of the RMC Club. 'It' is the project to protect all the pre WW II cadet files from deterioration. Each sheet of each of the 2828 files of the cadets who entered the College up to and including 1940 has been interleafed with a sheet of acid-free paper. This will protect the contents of the files from further more rapid deterioration. All files are now boxed and stored in the climate controlled workshop of the RMC Museum where they are readily accessible by researchers and others. Thank you to all Branch members involved for completing this Herculean task.

Sadly we have been unable to locate any of the files of cadets from the post WW II years. The best information we have received is that they were destroyed. Too bad!"

 

Reg Watts:  "This project has several levels of significance. First of all, the RMC spirit of getting the job done came through on this. Some days we trudged through the snow and occasionally sweated through summer mornings when the library air conditioning failed. It showed that our common past is a still a strong bond. Second, we realized the wealth of College Heritage information contained in the ex-cadet files now preserved for researchers, families and interested parties, and it revealed to us that there are many similar aspects of College heritage in similar danger. Third, projects like this can keep alive the fellowship aims of the RMC Club of Canada by bringing Branch members together. We are fortunate because of our location to have access to records and memorabilia, but we need the support of the entire Club in future to make major progress. Hopefully this accomplishment will lead to similar activities in other branches, and support of the RMC museum financially. Well done to all KB "Frequent Filers!"

Project leader Andrew Robb ceremonially completes the last file while the stalwart Filers look on;. Frank Norman, Ray Dignum, Charlie Simonds, Reg Watts. Missing from the photo is Ed Murray who inspired the project, filed and encouraged members during this work.

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The last cadet record file, #2828 Keith Cleaver Weston Dean

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 questions.

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.

Branch Artwork Preservation Project #1 is booming along!

This is a good example of how NOT to display a work of art. Ross McKenzie thinks that Col Sawyer had the wall all to himself at one time.

The choice of location for the electrical panel is mind boggling.

                                                                                                                           

  Ross McKenzie and Amanda Gray (Conservator) with unframed Sawyer painting.

Conservator Amanda Gray photographs the Sawyer portrait before removing it for restoration.

Branch members involved in the project are Andrew Robb and Gerry Stowe.

Ongoing Volunteer Projects

Project Leader
Preserving cadet files.  Andrew Robb

Digital archiving ex-cadet interviews. 

Ed Murray & Bob Adams

Maintain the “RMCC Virtual Museum”. 

Reg Watts

Assisting with cataloguing and preserving donations.

Reg Watts

Financing the repair and cleaning of artifacts. 

Gwyn Griffith
Financing Museum assistance.  Gwyn Griffith

Providing College tour guides. 

Gerry Stowe

Representative on the Monuments and Memorials Committee. 

Gwyn Griffith

Supporting the production of a historical video of Currie Hall. 

Reg Watts & Gwyn Griffith

Archiving the photos in the College Library. 

Ed Murray

Assessing the potential archival information in the College Library. 

Ed Murray

Reviewing and researching all the inscriptions on the Memorial Staircase and correcting the information as required. 

Andrew Robb

Fundraising

Funding Museum Operations:

The museum is underfunded, as shown by condition of artefacts, inaccessibility, uncatalogued items, with only the curator and ocassional part-time help to do the work. Kingston Branch is leading a two-phase project to correct this.

Phase 1 is underway now to raise $120,000 for a 2-year program of renewal, after which a phase 2 fundraising project will begin to raise an endowment so that the museum will continue to be an up to date heritage asset to the RMC community, and to researchers everywhere.

Why donate?

The 10,000 items in RMC's Heritage collection include over 7,000 of national historical value including artwork, documents, photographs, weapons and uniforms relevant to the history of RMC, Point Frederick and the service of Ex-Cadets.

The staffing and budget level is inadequate to manage the collections or the increasing backlog.  Also, the lack of resources to maintain an effective inventory control system has been a problem for decades with the result that some valuable donated items have been lost, stolen or damaged.  Our branch volunteers have initiated 13 heritage projects but these alleviate only a minor portion of the backlog.

As explained in the Veritas article “RMC Heritage – An Enabling Force”, we the graduates must carry the responsibility for preserving and promoting RMC's heritage.  Join project “RMC Museum Operations” today!

For further information about museum operations contact 5256 Gwyn Griffith at glg@cogeco.ca or Ross McKenzie at mckenzie_r@rmc.ca or you can take a virtual tour of the museum by accessing www.rmcvirtualmuseum.com.

New! Fundraising Video

The following video was prepared by Kingston Branch Volunteers to assist the Heritage Working Group in raising funds to support RMC Museum operations. It will be used to approach other branches and classes to support this effort to take artefacts out of storage and get them out where the cadets and public can see them. These artefacts demonstrate the margin of excellence!

 

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Fort Frederick Museum

See the collections

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 inside the Fort

Museum Operations Fund

Fundraising Thermometer