DEPARTING COMMANDANT SENT OFF IN STYLE…

Fitting Farewell…

by 24198 Nick Goulet (RMC 2010)

Bill Oliver as a prisoner

Frightening moments for e-Veritas Editor when he was over-powered and taken hostage to an undisclosed location within the grounds of RMC.

Looking for excitement and adventure late on the evening of Monday July 15th the Commandant’s famous beagle, Barney, escaped through the back door of the cottage and went renegade through the campus of the Royal Military College of Canada. To prevent the pup from being abducted and submitted to various tortures by the smelly young sea cadets currently occupying the campus, 12192 Brigadier General Tom Lawson was sent into the night to retrieve him. Upon his return, beagle in hand, General Lawson was surprised to find a section of ninja-like gentlemen cadets stealthily installing a sailboat with a Jolly Roger upon it’s mast into his driveway. Little did he know what the next day would have in store.

In his first address to the cadets of RMC, General Lawson demonstrated his superior skills in oration while encouraging the Cadet Wing to participate in “Skylarks”, pranks around the College meant to improve morale and participation in Wing activities. With the impending Change of Command parade, some of the senior cadets decided it would be worthwhile to give the General a memorable send off with a coordinated series of Skylarks in honour of his time at RMC.

A week earlier, a crafty group of cadets doning scuba gear floated and anchored a section of modular tentage into the middle of Deadman’s bay with words of thanks for the outgoing Commandant. As the sun crested over the Stone Frigate on the morning of Tuesday the 16th, the late-night activities of the young officer cadets became apparent accross the College grounds. For starters, the Commandant’s white SUV had gone missing and was now located on the inner field and covered in red “BON VOYAGE FROM RMC” vinyl decals. The members of the Mil Wing immediately saw the brilliance of this parking job, raising some interesting questions: “Instead of converting the parade square into a parking lot, might the inner field not do just as nicely?”

skylark1skylark5skylark6

Across from the vehicle, the heavy 15ft Sandhurst Wall had been wheeled to the middle of the parade square and painted with interesting messages such as “RMC GANGSTA SINCE 1876”, referring of course to the early gangster rap music of “Snoop Doggy” Denison and his Funky 17. A very ambitious group of cadets managed to install a banner on the roof of the Old Hospital amid an onslaught of high winds and patrols by the Commissionaires. Brucie went through many costume iterations that day, starting as a pirate and later as “Rocketeer Lawson” complete with and ultramodern jetpack. To cap it all off, the following poetically written ransom note was delivered to the General’s house very early in the morning:

And so the day has come for your leave, Sir.

We are quite sure you would concur

That the last few days should pass without incident

But in danger of setting some foolish precedent
We have taken from you something dear.

What, you ask? It will soon become clear.
We have finally decided to take a stand,

And to make one final demand.
Our desire is simple and you need not fret,

As it is close to the heart of each Cadet.
We require one last time your word of command,

And surely you will have your prize in hand.
What we need in return is a day of liberty,

That is, a small thing that could only be
A day free to roam in civilian dress,

Certainly trivial in our life of duress.
At noon Tuesday the exchange will take place.

And assuming you escape your daily pace,
At the Champlain Gazebo you must attend,

Where surely our grievance you will amend.
-Anonymous Cadet July 13, 2009

And so, at exactly noon on Tuesday the 16th, the Commandant was met at the gazebo in front of Fort Champlain by a handful of cadets and a hooded figure in a well made suit. In exchange for a day of relaxed dress in class, the cadets released their hostage, who was extremely helpful and a fantastic sport throughout the entire operation. S125 Bill Oliver, the master prankster and publisher of e-Veritas himself, was released from his bounds and Brigadier General Lawson was then presented with a plaque commemorating the day of Skylarks as well as a special thanks for his leadership and involvement on behalf of the cadets.

I would like to thank General Lawson and Mr. Bill Oliver for their good humour, as well as the Skylark leaders for their creativity: 24890 Jack Lawson, 24959 Matthew Gallaway, 24663 Scott Ormsby, 24844 Martin Cote, 24824 Mark Biernakcki, 24726 Jonathan Brotherton, 25119 Muhammad Abdullah, 25076 Andrew Standfield, 24937 Etienne Drapeau and 24650 Martin Mahoney.

We wish the General the best in his new post, and hope that his peers at NDHQ in Ottawa will not be thrown off when they enter his office and see a wall-mounted rubber chicken.

12192 Tom Lawson presented with a plaque commemorating the day of Skylarks by 24198 Nick Goulet

Commandant has the last word!

Following a barrage of inventive RMC officer-cadet skylarks that included a floating tent in Navy Bay, a sailboat in the Commandant’s driveway, a stolen vehicle stenciled with farewell messages, a costume for Bruce, and a hostage-taking with Mr Bill Oliver, I offer a day of civilian dress to the cadets now present in exchange for a halt to further audacities. Enjoy relaxed-dress Thursday, cadets, and thank you for the kind messages.

Suite à un barrage de farces inusitées des élèves-officiers du CMR, incluant une tente flottante dans la Baie Navy, un voilier dans le stationnement de la résidence du commandant, d’un véhicule volé avec des messages d’adieu, un costume pour Bruce, et une prise d’otages avec M. Bill Oliver, je vous offre un jour de tenue civile pour les élèves-officiers présents, en échange d’un arrêt des farces audacieuses. Au élèves-officiers, profitez de la tenue décontractée jeudi, et je vous remercie pour les paroles bienveillantes.

TJL

BGen TJ Lawson

Commandant