Catching up with the news…


  • Class of ’80 member recently presented with the 3rd clasp to his Canadian Forces Decoration
  • 1985 grad wins ‘competitive rowing gold’ in Australia
  • RMCC director of athletics,will head the red & white delegation at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei City, Taiwan in 2017
  • DG Space Visits Royal Military College of Canada Physics Department


12535 John Fisher, Class of ’80 –

Major John R. Fisher was recently presented with the 3rd clasp to his Canadian Forces Decoration, marking 42 years of service.

For those who know him from their cadet days, the irony of this milestone will be obvious!

In October 2013 he returned regimental duties with The Grey and Simcoe Foresters after nine years on the staff of the Canadian Forces College, Toronto. That October, the Regiment`s Colonel-in-Chief, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited the unit at Barrie, ON. John had been coordinating this visit since 2011, which included a private audience with HRH at Buckingham Palace in October 2012. Since then, John has been one of the lead planners for CFB Borden’s Centennial and The Grey and Simcoe Foresters Sesquicentennial, both occurring in 2016.

As part of Borden’s centennial, he was a member of the Base’s contingent to Vimy Ridge, France, in June 2015, where he played the part of CEF No. 644698 Private Leonard L. Webster, 157th Battalion, Simcoe Foresters, who Died-of-Wounds received during the Battle of Vimy Ridge (see photo).

The Borden Legacy Project was completed when the Prime Minister unveiled the new Borden Memorial on 9 June 2016, as part of the Base’s centennial celebrations. Concurrently, two of the main regimental sesquicentennial events were the Presentation of New Colours by His Excellency the Governor General of Canada, at Owen Sound, ON, on 20 May 2016, and a visit to HRH The Princess Royal at St. John’s, NL, on 30 June 2016.

With these historic events completed, John is now planning for his retirement from the Canadian Armed Forces later this year.


15012 Tom Norris, pursuing his passion for competitive rowing, was invited recently to join a group of friends from Queensland, Australia to challenge for the 2016 Annual Sydney Harbour Bridge to Beach Race. Given the honour of stroking their Coastal Quad rowing shell, Tom and his team of ‘northerners’ defended every charge by the Sydney crews and covered the 10.5 km course against tide and ocean swells to defeat the defending Sydney champions in a record time of 1 hour 1 minute 53 seconds—depriving the defending champs of the win by 19 seconds. After which Tom exclaimed (from his studies at the College) : Gimme A Beer !!! (or three!)


Canadian Interuniversity Sport, as the Canadian representative of the International University Sports Federation (FISU), announced last Tuesday (12 July) the appointment of Canada’s mission staff for the 2017 Universiades.

Darren Cates, director of athletics at the Royal Military College of Canada, will head the red and white delegation at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei City, Taiwan, from August 19 to 30.

“I am truly honoured and humbled to be selected as Canada’s Chef de Mission for the 29th Summer Universiade,” Cates said. “The opportunity to lead Canada’s delegation of student-athletes, coaches and support staff from across the country to Taipei in 2017 is very exciting. The Universiade is the pinnacle of sport within the post-secondary system and will be the experience of a lifetime both on and off the field of competition for all that participate.”

Cates returns as chef de mission for his second consecutive games, after leading Canada at the 2015 Winter Universiade in Granada, Spain.

Cates took over as head of RMC’s fitness, sports and recreation programs in 2004, following a six-year stint with the University of Ottawa sports services. Over the past decade, he has been a member of numerous committees of Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and CIS. Before embarking on his career in university sports, he had spent two years with Canada Basketball as a national team coordinator.

The Universiade is an international multi-sport competition that takes place every two years. The event, which is second only to the Olympics in number of participating athletes and countries, is open to competitors between the ages of 17 and 28 in the year of the games who are full-time students at a post-secondary institution (university, college, cegep) or have graduated from a post-secondary institution in the year preceding the games.

In 2015, Canada sent a delegation of 117 (including 108 athletes) to the Winter Games in Granada, while a total 337 (308 athletes) Canadians attended the Summer Games in Gwangju, South Korea.


DG Space Visits Royal Military College of Canada (RMCC) Physics Department: BGen Frawley Takes A Tour of the Satellite Communications Ground Station and Astronomy Observatory

By A.C. Cushley and Major Don Bédard

Recently, on 9 June 2016, (E4142) BGen B.F. Frawley, who will become the next Director General (DG) Space, visited the RMCC and met with faculty from Physics and Engineering to discuss undergraduate and graduate space education, training and research. During this visit, Dr Gregg Wade, the Head of the Department of Physics, presented an overview of the Space Science undergraduate and graduate programs and how both of these programs directly support the broad CAF space program. This was followed by presentations from the various civilian and military faculty members that are involved in space research activities.


After the formal presentations, BGen Frawley was given a tour of the Space Surveillance Research Laboratory (SSRL) by Major Don Bédard (19591) where he saw first hand where RMCC undergraduate and graduate students are first exposed to the problems of characterizing spacecraft and space debris objects in a laboratory. Mr. Alex Cushley (23996/g4836) then presented RMCC’s satellite communications ground station (call sign VE3RMC). This facility will enable students and staff to communicate with a variety of satellites in low Earth orbit. Major Richard Van der Pryt (16476) then provided an overview of RMCC’s first payload that will launched in low Earth orbit this year, an Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) experimental receiver that will study how ADS-B signals can be effectively detected from a space-based platform. BGen Frawley concluded his visit with a tour of the new RMCC Observatory located on the rooftop of the Sawyer Mod 3 building. A nice final touch was the beautiful weather on the roof and the serendipitous overpasses by a squadron of Griffon helicopters and one Chinook helicopter.

RMCC staff and students have been active contributors to the overall CAF space strategy through its active space science and engineering research activities. Such visits from high ranking CAF leadership not only contribute to highlighting the important work that is being done here on this campus but also inform faculty on current and future CAF requirements and how they can contribute to the mission. They play an important role in ensuring the space research program at RMCC remains relevant for the CAF. BGen S.G. Friday, the RMCC Commandant stated, “…following his visit, he relayed to me how impressed he was with everyone he met with and how ‎thankful he was for the professionalism he encountered throughout the visit.”

For further reading about Space Weather and its importance for the CAF, please refer to an article by Major Patrick Perron (22304) in the Autumn 2014 issue (Vol. 14, No. 4) of the Canadian Military Journal entitled Space Weather Situational Awareness and Its Effects upon a Joint, Interagency, Domestic, and Arctic Environment.

Caption: Major Don Bédard (s19591) shows BGen Frawley (RRMC#) the engineering model of the CanX-1 satellite, used to teach students the challenges of spacecraft and space debris characterization in the laboratory.


Caption: Major Richard Van der Pryt (s16476) discusses RMCC’s first payload with BGen Frawley (RRMC#) and Dr Gregg Wade, an ADS-B experimental receiver that will study how these signals can be used to monitor air traffic from space-borne platforms.