E3161 Victoria Edwards in conversation with 5758 Michael Morres, who served as president of the RMC Club in 2000-1.
5758 Michael Morres: My extracurricular activities at CMR St. Jean and Royal Military College of Canada were primarily athletic. I was a member of the varsity swimming and water polo teams at CMR & RMC. I was a member of the sailing team at RMC.
e-veritas: How did you get involved with RMC Club business? How did you end up as RMC Club president?
5758 Michael Morres: I served as President of the Vancouver Island Branch of the RMC Club in 1996-97. I was recruited to serve on the national RMC Club by my friend 5609 Dave Stocks (RMC 1963), who was on the Board. When we discussed the work of the national RMC Club over dinner, I found it interesting. I served on the Board as second Vice President, 1st VP and as President. I also spent a brief time on the Board of the RMC Club foundation,
e-veritas: What were some of the biggest challenges during your tenure as president?
5758 Michael Morres: While I was on the executive, the RMC Club were going through constitutional changes, to open the Club’s membership and leadership up to new categories of alumni, including graduate students, UTPNCM, and extension students. Since both College Militaire Royal Saint Jean and Royal Roads Military College had closed, a key challenge was the inclusion of all ExCadets within the RMC Club.
e-veritas: Outline the impact of the Withers Report (1998) on the RMC Club?
5758 Michael Morres: It took a great deal of work, to communicate through Veritas & e-veritas the new model of RMC: that RMC has an important contribution to make to the future of Canada’s forces and National building. It was challenging to persuade a minority but vocal group of Club members that the recommendations provided RMC with an opportunity for rebirth including:
- strengthening of the communications between RMC and the Canadian Forces;
- improvement in their responsiveness to the real needs of the Canadian Forces;
- honing of the vision of the role being played by the college.
e-veritas: What are you most proud of?
5758 Michael Morres: I am proud for weathering the storm of separating the RMC Club from the RMC foundation. Today, there are two separate Boards. Essentially, the RMC Foundation Board of Directors is an independent organization of community–minded business leaders who offer leadership and insightful guidance as to how the RMC Foundation can maximize its fundraising and philanthropic activities to ensure positive and lasting differences are being made in the lives of current students and alumni of Canadian Military College. Many of our Board members have served in the Canadian Forces and/or the public service in Canada and Abroad, and have been long-time champions for a multitude of military and educational charities.
e-veritas: Alumni forward to you nominations of candidates from Ex-Cadets and other interested parties for induction to the Wall of Honour. Any tips?
5758 Michael Morres: Yes, I am a member of the Class Wall Committee which is seeking nominations of candidates from Ex-Cadets and other interested parties for selection to the Wall of Honour, the ceremony being held during Reunion Weekend. On the recommendation of the RMC Wall of Honour Nomination Committee, the Selection Committee has made 15 appointments since 2009. All the details, including how to make a nomination, are included in the Wall of Honour pages of the RMCC Website
e-veritas: What do you know of the Club business today? What are the Club’s/College(s) biggest challenges?
5758 Michael Morres: I continue to keep track of the College and Club business by reading e-veritas and Veritas however I am no longer very much involved in the day to day Club’s/ College(s) challenges or Club business at the branch or national level.
Based on my recent experience with the Wall of honour, I see three current challenges for the Club.
- The first challenge is to fundraise in support of projects, which have the strong support of the College, the Club and the Foundation.
- The second is to recognize students, ex-cadets of the Royal Military Colleges (RMC, RRMC, CMR) and others with College numbers for outstanding achievements and contributions to Canada.
- The third challenge is volunteer coordination; Since this is the 5th year that the class of 63 have administered Class gift, we are starting to look around for another class to take over the responsibilities for the nominating committee, ongoing maintenance of the wall of honour, and the annual induction ceremony.
e-veritas: Would you advise cadets/Ex cadets and former students to get involved with the College extracurriculars/RMC Club?
5758 Michael Morres: I can absolutely advise cadets/Ex cadets and former students to get involved with the College extracurriculars/RMC Club. It is important to give back to the military colleges. I see the Military Colleges as a component of Nation building, which is good for our country. The Military Colleges puts out future leaders for Canada, in terms of military, academics, arts, commerce, industry, the professions, politicians, public service and/or the sciences.
e-veritas: What are you up to these days?
5758 Michael Morres: I retired from the Navy in 1994. I began leading tours for Know The World Tours (Toronto) and Opera Tours for Act1 Performing Arts Tours (New York) in 2004. My specialty areas include the Middle East, China, South America, Central and Eastern Europe, Italy, India, and Southeast Asia. . I was invited to join the Board of Directors of Pacific Opera Victoria (POV), one of Canada’s premier Opera Companies, in 2003, and served as President of that organization from 2006 to 2010. I currently remain on the Board as Past President. I am also involved at Board level with Ballet Victoria, the Naval Officer’s Association of Vancouver Island (NOAVI), and Broadmead Lodge, which is a Veteran’s healthcare center.
e-veritas: Has Pacific Opera Victoria produced military operas?
5758 Michael Morres: Pacific Opera Victoria recently commissioned Mary’s Wedding, with music by Andrew Paul MacDonald and libretto by Stephen Massicotte, from his award-winning play Mary’s Wedding. Through a dream sequence, the opera moves from the eve of Mary’s wedding in 1920 back to meeting her first love, Charlie, recounting his experiences in the trenches of the First World War. The character of Sergeant Gordon Muriel Flowerdew is historically based: he was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross for leading the last cavalry charge in military history. On March 30, 1918, Lord Strathcona’s Horse played a critical role in one of the last German offense attempts of WWI and held back advancing enemy forces at Moreuil Wood in France. Nearly half the 100 men in the C Squadron were killed.
Previous Interviews with Former Presidents
E3161 Victoria Edwards in conversation with 3010 Peter McLoughlin, who served as president of the RMC Club from 1987-88.
E3161 Victoria Edwards in conversation with 5739 André Costin, who served as president of the RMC Club from 1995-96.
E3161 Victoria Edwards in conversation with 5244 Tony Downs who served as president of the RMC Club from 1993-94
E3161 Victoria Edwards in conversation with G0055 Valerie Keyes who served as president of the RMC Club from 1998-99.
E3161 Victoria Edwards in conversation with 3251 Jim Tremain, who served as president of the RMC Club from 1980-81.
E3161 Victoria Edwards in conversation with 8833 Colonel (Ret) Dr. John Leggat, who served as president of the RMC Club from 1999-2000.
E3161 Victoria Edwards in conversation with 4100 Jacques Choquette who served as president of the RMC Club from 1988-9.
E3161 Victoria Edwards in conversation with 5533 James Glenn Allen P.Eng, who served as president of the RMC Club from 1976-77.
E3161 Victoria Edwards in conversation with H7543 Senator Joe Day, who served as president of the RMC Club from 1994-95.
E3161 Victoria Edwards in conversation with H3356 Robin B. Cumine, Q.C. who served as president of the RMC Club from 1992-3.
E3161 Victoria Edwards in conversation with H2897 MGen (Ret) Herbert Pitts who served as President of the RMC Club from 1981-82.