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  • 10700 Graham Keene – “I lucked into the two best kept secrets in Canada.”

10700 Graham Keene – “I lucked into the two best kept secrets in Canada.”

10700 Graham Keene: Perseverance personified!

10700 Graham Keene hails from Toronto; he graduated from St Michaels College School. Not knowing what he wanted to do in life; but he was mature enough to know he wanted a great education and a great life experience.

Consequently, he entered the military colleges system in 1971, at Royal Roads Military College (RRMC) and graduated from Royal Military College (RMC) in 1975.

Graham was kind enough to share some of his Mil Col experiences.

“I believe the most vivid memory was seeing the turret of the “castle” at RRMC for the first time, thinking my life is about to seriously change. It seems that I was on circle parade every morning listening to the fog horn sounding off in the distance while waiting for the circle commander to show up. It was usually dark outside and not a particularity fun feeling. Most of all I remember all my buds and fellow class mates and all the antics.

I can’t single out a prof in particular as being a favorite as I remember I liked them all. Some had some interesting idiosyncrasies but always seems very interested in doing a good job. I do remember with fondness the Drill Staff. There was an exterior toughness that tried to block the real kindness they felt for their cadets.

I found most activities a major challenge…academics, sports, dress and deportment. Pretty much everything LOL. Mil Col was a challenge for me for sure.

Following grad?

I served as an Aerospace Engineering Officer (AERE) in Winnipeg; CFB Borden with Canadian Forces School Aerospace & Ordnance Engineering (CFSAOE), RMC Post Grad Elec Eng, NDHQ, Director General Aerospace Engineering and Maintenance (DGAEM) -twice; Canadian Forces Logistic Liaison Unit -Dayton Ohio,

After retirement I became a Canadian Tire Dealer with my first store in Alberta and now own the facility Welland Avenue Canadian Tire store in St. Catharines in ON.

Greatest challenge was perhaps Grad School in 1981. Required to complete 4th year Elec Eng and then 2 years of Post Grad program. As academics was never my forte I had to study, study and more study to make it through.

Had some great profs helping me along the way. Dr Chikanni was my thesis advisor and I will always be in debt to him. Dr. Wilson was in particular always of great help in pushing me along.

I am indeed very proud of making in through the Mil Col system. When it is difficult it means so much more. I very much enjoyed my whole military experience and think very fondly of it 27 years later. The early days of Canadian Tire ownership were very demanding. Basically as the Dealer you did a bit of it all…unload trucks, change oil, run cash…not to mention the business side.

I have no influential mentors in particular, there were many that offered me a helping hand along the way and could not have succeeded without them.

Joining Canadian Tire certainly opened up a new world to me and my family. I was very fortunate to join another great organization. I have always said, I lucked into the two best kept secrets in Canada.

My goal in the next few years is to retire, travel the world, spend time with my family and spend hours in my “evil scientist” basement inventing useless stuff.”


  • John McKay

    May 7, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    Hey Graham, you were memorable in your own way, stubborn but persistent. Who said it was supposed to be easy. If you have taken up golf along the way, come see us at Predator Ridge in BC.

  • 10700 Graham Keene

    May 8, 2018 at 11:08 am

    Hey John great to hear from you. I bunked up in first year with Bruce Hunter…he told me academics were easy. From the marks he was getting I believed him!!! Predator Ridge doesn’t sound very inviting but I will be sure to look you up anyway.

  • 10700 Graham Keene

    June 5, 2018 at 10:50 am

    Dutch, I won’t be at reunion in 2020 unless you have aged a bit like most of us. You looked pretty young when I saw you a few years ago. I think most of us will be wearing name tags.