Feature photo – Day 5 – BFT 2018 – 5586 Ian and Rosemary Mottershead: The Bény-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery
Photos by: 27543 OCdt (III) Colin de Grandpré
Fulfilling the Dreams of RMC Cadets
Most of us agree that it only takes a few dedicated individuals to make a difference. Too often, we don’t focus the spotlight on those individuals.
One of the goals of e-Veritas, throughout our thirteen years, has been to ‘pay attention’ to those outstanding Ex Cadets and / or their spouses who are making a difference; 5586 Ian Mottershead and his wife Rosemary are salient examples of people who are making a BIG difference.
Arguably the most sought-after ‘duty away’ dream of RMC cadets is to be chosen to participate in a Battle Field Tour (BFT).
Just recently, BFT 2018 took place. It was the 15th tour for RMC over the past 16 years. For some reason for which we were never able to understand – the 2011 tour was cancelled. This cancellation was met with deep disappointment by the cadets, especially the IV Years, who were eagerly anticipating to experience what many of their seniors had raved about for the preceding three years.
Ian Mottershead went on the 2013 Tour and it was everything he expected. So much so that he quickly became quite engaged.
“The two keys were the robust & informed talks by the RMC History Professors (Doug Delaney and Mike Hennessey) and the organizational skills of Michael Boire.”
The Class of 1962 graduate went on to add:
“The Cadets learned a lot of very pertinent recent history. They studied the tactics involved, and became intensely aware of the importance of leadership in the fog of war. They paid their respects to the fallen. They learned that they are part of a continuum of skilled and dedicated Canadian military officers. The Cadets must have travelled home with an element of greater maturity and understanding of the profession of arms.”
Over the last five years, he has been a donor supporting the annual Battlefield Tours, and last month, both Ian and Rosemary, went on the most recent one.
“It was another great experience for the Cadets. Once again, the talks by the RMC History Professors led by Howard Coombs were outstanding. Mike Boire has a unique way of bringing his military subjects to life. Randy Wakelam provided new material on air power which was a great addition to the tour and one to hopefully be repeated. Being ex-Navy, I naturally wondered if a longer talk on naval activities might be fitted into future tours.”
The now 77 year old Ex Cadet who entered Royal Roads in 1958 noticed from the start that there were some younger staff making significant contributions.
“Another interesting element in the recent tour was the participation by two younger RMC History Professors (Arthur Gullachsen & Marie-Michele Doucet) to provide continuity in future years.”
We have been around since these BFT started. Like most activities of this size and scope there have been a few complications along the way. For the first number of years it had been a publicly funded activity.
Depending on the college leadership of the day it was not always a certainty that the BFT would be a priority in receiving public funds.
With good reason the, Directing Staff, went through more than their fair share of frustration, far too often – wondering – whether the tour was approved…or was it not approved.
It is clearly desirable that there be a greater degree of permanence of the tours in order to permit planning and preparation with confidence.
Consequently, Ian and Rosemary are moving their support to a higher level.
“To help, I am in the process of establishing a $1.5 million endowment in the RMC Foundation to provide financial certainty for the tours. We are working on the details now.”