5337 Mr Bob A Carr (CMR RMC ’63) is president of the Hamilton branch of the Royal Military Colleges Club of Canada. Art Gallery of Hamilton director Louise Dompierre presented Hamilton residents Bob and Maggie Carr with the Ontario Association of Art Galleries OAAG’s 2008 Partner Award recognizing their lead gift of $500,000 to the Art Gallery of Hamilton’s Building a Legacy 2 Endowment Campaign, the single largest gift to date to the Endowment. Bob Carr is a retired mechanical engineer and Maggie Carr currently sits on the Board of Directors. Louise Dompierre said, “This gift has been tremendously stimulating and inspiring for our current and potential donors and for the community at large, and every year will return about $25,000 to the gallery.”
16412 Lt(N) (ret’d) Gordon Clarke (RMC ’89) is currently the 1st Vice President of the Royal Military Colleges Club of Canada and the past president of the Toronto Branch. He is Director of Engineering at Cesaroni Technology Inc., a high-tech company in Gormley, Ontario specializing in industrial design and manufacturing of Industrial, aerospace and defense products as well as research and development. CTI products include: plastic heat exchangers, dynamometer test cells, lead-free ammunition and rocket motor and missile systems. He and his spouse Hélène Boudreau have two daughters, Charlotte & Marcelle, and live in Markham, ON.
His wife, Hélène Boudreau is an Acadian writer and artist. A native of Isle Madame, Nova Scotia, she writes fiction and non-fiction for children and young adults from her home inMarkham, Ontario. Her writing has appeared in various Canadian publications and her Maritime-themed art has been exhibited by the Toronto Public Library. Her debut middle grade novel “Acadian Star” is now available at bookstores across Canada. The manuscript won 2nd prize in the 2008 New Brunswick Writers’ Federation Literacy Competition for juvenile fiction. Her non-fiction books “Crimebusting and Detection”, and “Miraculous Medicine” were released by Crabtree Publishing in late 2008.
19662 Major William (Bill) H Fletcher (CMR RMC ’95) current member of the Canadian Forces who served in Afghanistan in 2006, paid tribute to the 90th anniversary of the end of the First World War and also spoke about his experiences in Afghanistan. The Veterans’ Week launch, held in the Senate Chamber, included a delegation of distinguished Veterans, Canadian Forces representatives, Canadian police officers who have served on international peace missions and Royal Military College Cadets. Musical interludes were performed by the Central Band of the Canadian Forces and the Ottawa Children’s Choir.
First 32 Fund Update
Last week’s edition of e-Veritas informed everyone of the “First 32 Fund” that has been initiated, in Col Karen Ritchie’s memory, to send 32 Girl Guides to Guiding Mosaic 2010. Those who have already made undesignated donations to the Girl Guides of Canada (GGC) and would like to switch their donation to the “First 32 Fund” can do so by contacting Lynne Hodgson at Girl Guides of Canada, 416-487-5281 x228 or emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Karen’s mother – has to say…
I am sure that all our family members will join with me in endorsing this wonderful tribute to Karen. I know that the 32 girls who go to Guiding Mosaic 2010 as a result of this fund, will carry the memories of this experience through the rest of their lives. As a member of the Guiding family myself, the values which Guiding instilled in me have remained with me to this day.
Karen would have been honoured by this tribute.
Barbara Aaron – mother of Karen Ritchie
Woman on second tour of duty in Afghanistan: 21950 Georgia Dryden (RMC ’01)
When Georgia Dryden was 12 and told her artistic, non-military family that she planned to go into the military, they may have been surprised, but they weren’t shocked.
“I always knew she was the kind of person who wanted to serve her country, as uncool as that probably was,” her mother Lana Dryden said with a chuckle.
Capt. Georgia Dryden always wanted to join the air force and become an air traffic controller.
But growing up in Peterborough, Dryden, now 30, didn’t anticipate her military career would lead her to the army and the dusty outposts of Afghanistan.
Fresh from her PCVS graduation, Dryden enrolled in Royal Military College and promptly signed on to the air force.
In 2006, after three years in the air force at CFB Cold Lake, Alta., Dryden learned that recurring migraine headaches caused her to lose her medical clearance and bar her from her dream job as an air traffic controller. She was automatically reassigned to the army.
“At the time I wasn’t happy,” Dryden said.
Her husband, a fellow Royal Military College graduate, is in the air force and the couple knew the chances were slim they would be posted together.
Dryden said she bought into the stereotypes labeling army “more hardcore” and the air force as more laid back.
Still, Dryden dove headfirst into her new position.
“I’m glad, I wouldn’t switch back for anything,” she said during a phone interview from Afghanistan yesterday.
Dryden is currently stationed at Camp Nathan Smith in Kandahar, where she works with people with different government organizations on reconstruction efforts.
It’s Dryden’s second tour in Afghanistan in two years. She returned to Canada last year for only five months after serving in the National Support Element running resupply convoys.
“Usually they want to keep you (in Canada) for at least a year or two,” Dryden said. “I was lucky. I was in the right place at the right time.”
She said the atmosphere “in theatre” (in a combat zone) is a rush that makes her feel honoured to give back.
“The tour atmosphere is almost addictive,” Dryden said. “You work 18- to 20-hour days hours for six months. People are definitely burned out by the end of it…. But when I’m there I feel like I’m contributing to something larger than myself.”
In her current deployment, Dryden said she works with troops and agencies that mentor Afghans to help themselves increase productivity and rebuild their country.
Last month, Dryden said she was invited to present gifts of rice and scarves to a group of Afghani widows to celebrate Eid, the end of Ramadan, a month of fasting for Muslims.
“That was really emotional,” she said. “They were so thankful even for the small amount we could provide them.
“I think the life expectancy here is something like 45 years, and some of these women were probably only 40 but they looked like my grandmother. It felt good to be able to provide something, even a little bit, for them.”
When she returns from Afghanistan, likely in April, Dryden may not see the “addictive” combat zones of Kandahar any time soon.
She recently found out she will be transferred to a desk job with the Canadian Expeditionary Force Command based in Ottawa.
The position will allow Dryden to live with her husband, Walter Michalchuck, for the first time in five years.
“I’m excited to be with him again,” Dryden said. The couple decided to put their military careers first while they don’t have children and work their way up through the ranks.
“It’s a good time for me to transition and be more well-rounded, because I do want to be promoted to major and I would need the experience this job will give me,” Dryden said.
“It’s time to let someone else have their time in the field.”