Copper Sunday

Article and Photos by 25881 OCdt (II) Anthony Matlock

This Sunday, 2 May, RMC’s Cadet Wing participated in the annual Copper Sunday tradition. With band leading the procession across the Lasalle causeway, the cadets halted in front of Kingston City Hall. They were addressed by Mayor Mark Gerretsen and Commandant William Truelove. After the brief speeches, attended by several onlookers, the cadets were dismissed to their respective churches. The churches welcoming cadets were St. George’s Anglican Cathedral, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Sydenham Street United Church, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Saint François d’Assise, Chalmers United Church and St. Mark Barriefield.

The tradition began in the late nineteenth century with cadets attending church service in town on the last Sunday of the academic year. Taking fistfuls of copper pennies with them to church, they would throw them into the offering plate in as loud a manner as possible. This tradition is kept alive today, although in a much quieter fashion.

The Commandant and the Colour Party attended church services at St. George’s Anglican Cathedral — the church where this tradition began. To this day, college numbers etched several decades ago by ex-cadets remain legible in the pews of the right-hand balcony as picked up in a couple of our photos.