Ex-Cadets in the News

Among elite company

By Rob Tripp – Article first appeared in the Kingston Whig Standard – 4 Nov 2009

robin.jpg6219 Robin Boadway (RRMC RMC 1964) says he’s humbled by the roster of accomplished Canadians with whom he’ll rub shoulders tomorrow in Ottawa.

“It’s really quite intimidating to be there with them,” Boadway said yesterday.
There’s legendary TV broadcaster Peter Mansbridge, noted philanthropist Stephen Jarislowsky and accomplished pro golfer Mike Weir.

Boadway, a 36-year veteran of Queen’s University — and one of the country’s most sought after and respected public finance economists — is tickled that he’ll be at Rideau Hall alongside Weir to receive the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian decoration.

“He’s a tremendous speaker for the sport,” said Boadway, 66, who is clearly at the top of his game.
Boadway will be invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada. The honour recognizes his “significant impact” on public policy through more than three decades of research, writing and consulting on federal transfer payments and the federal equalization policy.

“I’ve been involved in researching this area, but also in the international context I’ve done a lot of work for international organizations and … countries,” Boadway said, “sort of looking at how to structure their fiscal systems, their federal systems, very much using Canada as a model.

“Canada actually has, contrary to what people might think, quite a model system of federal-provincial arrangements that is sometimes advocated in other countries.”

This honour is different from Boadway’s many academic achievements.

“It is one of the highest (honours),” he said, noting that it recognizes lasting contribution to society, rather than any singular achievement.

Boadway has consulted with officials in South Africa, Sweden, Japan and Iraq and with many international organizations, including the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

He’s recently been to Dubai in the United Arab and Emirates and Cyprus, where public officials hope to learn from Canada’s admired economic system of wealth redistribution and decentralization.

“It’s got a lot of integrity,” said Boadway, who concedes it might be fair to label him a prosletyzer who travels the globe preaching the value of Canada’s system.

He concedes it’s far from perfect and is often fraught with tensions and conflicts.

“We’ve always got this tension sort of running horizontally in Canada,” said Boadway, who now considers himself an adoptive Old Stone of Kingston.

Born in Regina, Sask., he grew up in Moose Jaw and ended up studying at Royal Military College.

After a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, he found himself posted to Kingston while completing his military service. While at RMC in the economics department, he also completed a PhD thesis at Queen’s. In 1973, he joined the university faculty.

He currently holds the David Chadwick Smith chair in economics, a newly created five-year position that honours the former principal for whom it is named.

Boadway has two sons and a CMYK Prince Edward Island-born wife, whose roots lure the family east for several months each year.

SPEECH – Order of Canada Investiture

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Somalia officer did ‘incredible work,’ Hillier writes

Controversial retroactive promotion based on retired general’s recommendation

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Current Otter Squadron cadet and to receive the sacrifice medal

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, will present the first 46 Sacrifice Medals to members of the Canadian Forces and, posthumously, to a Canadian diplomat. The inaugural ceremony will be held on Monday, November 9, 2009, at 11 a.m. at Rideau Hall, in the presence of the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada. The Governor General will present 46 Sacrifice Medals of which 21 are awarded posthumously. The Sacrifice Medal was created to provide a tangible and lasting form of recognition for the members of the Canadian Forces and those who work with them who have been wounded or killed by hostile action and to Canadian Forces members who died as a result of service.


LIST OF THE FIRST CANADIANS TO RECEIVE THE SACRIFICE MEDAL ON MONDAY

sacrifice-medalFive Ex Cadets & a current Otter Squadron officer cadet are on the list:

22924 Casey Balden (RMC 2004);

22458 Captain Nichola Kathleen Sarah Goddard, M.S.M. (RMC 2002) (posthumous);

20054 Captain Juli-Ann Dawn Mackenzie  (RRMC  1995) (posthumous);

23350 Captain Simon Jean Mailloux (RMC 2006);

M0955 Officer Cadet Jesse Lee Melnyck – Otter Squadron; and

19755 Lieutenant(N) Christopher Edward Saunders, C.D. (CMR RMC 1995) (posthumous)

Entire list

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5877 Ted Davie (RRMC RMC 1963) stared down Soviet subs in Cold War service on and under the sea

By Jim Barber/Napanee GuideFirst appeared 5 November 2009

ted-davieIt’s been nearly 100 years since the creation of the Royal Canadian Navy, now part of the Canadian Forces.

The official anniversary is 2010, but the programs are already underway in parts of the country, at the behest of the government of Canada, to commemorate the grand history of the Canadian navy and the men and women who have served in it for the past century.
Ted Davie believes it’s important for Canadians young and old to recognize the contribution of the navy, and the other armed services, and not just on Remembrance Day.

And he knows something about serving. Davie, now a resident of Adolphustown, served in the Canadian Navy for 38 years, during the height of the Cold War and into the time of the first Gulf War.

“My big thing is I am a firm believer that Canadians in general don’t know enough about our military history. And I also believe that our military successes and what we have done, what so many people have volunteered to do, have basically set our place in the world. It’s why we are at the bargaining table in the world, not because of our politicians,” he told the Napanee Guide.

“There are people that are so envious of our way of life, and we have so much to be thankful for, and yet people don’t seem to take the time to learn about our history, and be thankful for all those people who gave their lives, and even if they didn’t give their lives, just be thankful that they went and served.”

Growing up in rural Alberta, Davie came from a family with a proud tradition of military service. His grandfather had served in the army in the Boer War and the First World War, while his dad was in the Royal Canadian Air Force in the Second World War.

A young Davie wanted to be a naval pilot, but when the opportunities seemed limited, instead of switching over to the nascent air force to fly, he decided to go aboard ship.

He attended Royal Roads Military College in B.C. (now Royal Roads University) for a couple of years, before finishing his studies at Royal Military College in Kingston.

After graduating, Davie served as a Navigating Officer  on destroyers for a short time before going below the waters as an officer in the small Canadian submarine fleet.

Davie said the challenge of working in close quarters, on a vessel that needed constant upkeep, and the opportunity to stretch his command skill set was what prompted him to join the submarine service.

“There were great responsibilities … and you have old submarines, and you had to basically keep them 100 per cent because, like aircraft, they don’t come back if they’re not. And every day you’re fighting the elements of the sea and trying to keep it out and that sort of stuff. And it was just a very challenging time,” he said.

Life on submarine was claustrophobic and uncomfortable at the best of times. Creature comforts were non-existent. Throughout his eight years in the submarine service, the Canadian Navy employed no more than two or three subs at any one time, coming either from the scrap yards of the American Navy or the British Royal Navy.

“In those days, when you went to bed, you had to decide if you were going to sleep on your back or your front, because you couldn’t turn over,” Davie said. “And the Royal Navy boats which we took over in the 1960s, they didn’t even have enough bunks for everyone, so everybody had their own sleeping bag, so you would roll it up and put it someplace and somebody else would come along with theirs and use the same bunk … the Brits always had personnel at the bottom of their lists of things to consider, and so things like accommodations, a place to eat, showers, were last on the list, so they just put them in where they could, and they were usually so bad you couldn’t use them.”

The subs were mainly used to train anti-submarine squadrons for the air force as well as the navy.

But this was the Cold War, with the then Soviet Union locked in a high stakes game of nuclear chicken with the other superpower, the United States.

Caught in the middle, literally by geography, was Canada.

The Soviets were forever posturing, running war games, keeping the entire world, but particularly their American and NATO adversaries, on a constant state of high alert.

In 1972, Davie was aboard a Canadian sub that had been shadowing a Soviet sub containing intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) with nuclear warhead.

“It was a Russian Hotel Class sub that got in trouble and surfaced. We had been shadowing her from within a couple hundred yards for a week or more, so we knew exactly where she was. So when she surfaced, because they had to surface to fire the missiles, it was a bit of a heart-rendering thing. We were in a position to send a torpedo, but we didn’t have permission to do so, and at the time we didn’t know she had a serious problem with a fire on board,” Davie said.

“You have anxious moments. You don’t know what to do, but your job is certainly to make sure they don’t fire a missile, but you don’t want to shoot them if they’ve got a fire on board.”

The sub had to stay in position, fingers at the trigger of the torpedo launcher until naval intelligence could determine the threat level of the Soviet sub.

All breathed a sigh of relief when it was determined that the vessel was not taking aggressive action.

That was life during the cold war.

Younger people, born in the wake of Glasnost, and the end of communism in Eastern Europe, can’t possibly fathom the level of tension that existed between the two superpowers and how close they came to nuclear extermination.

Davie was in his final year at RMC when President John F. Kennedy went eyeball to eyeball with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

The U.S. President went on national and international television on Oct. 22, to announce the imposition of a naval blockade around Cuba to prevent the Soviets from bringing in any more missile components to the communist island nation.

Breaking of the blockade would have meant war.

“We knew that night that we may be leaving the next morning to go to the forces, and that all our time at RMC was over. The whole class was there listening to every word that Kennedy had to say. And we were expecting that the next day someone would say, ‘okay, Navy guys, you’re going to Halifax,'” Davie said.

“It didn’t happen, but it could easily have happened. And those are the kinds of things that just kept going on.”

He said the Russians knew exactly how far they could push the Americans and allies, and would often go right up to a line, but be careful not to cross it.

“They were very good at understanding the rules of the road, so they were never going to do anything where they were going to be wrong. You had to make sure you had them in a position where they couldn’t embarrass you and still be in the right. It took a lot of studying to do that. They were very, very good at that, and it created a lot of problems, because we all just got so mad at them.”

After years of this gamesmanship under the seas, Davie decided he was up for another challenge and moved on to become an officer on destroyers, eventually becoming and executive officer (second in command).

He then moved over to become the XO, the logistics and supply tanker,  HMCS Protecteur, which was built in 1969, and is still in service.  Subsequently, he  commanded DDH HMCS SAGUENAY.

In 1985, Davie went to National Defence College in Kingston and was then sent out to be the commander of the Training Group Pacific, and was in command of 19 ships.

After a short time there, he moved to Ottawa and worked in career management for the armed forces, before going to London in 1990 as the naval advisor to the Canadian High Commissioner in London (also called a naval attaché.)

Almost immediately on his arrival, Iraq invaded Kuwait, and the first Gulf War began, and he was acting as a liaison with the British Admiralty on behalf of the Canadian military.

“I didn’t get involved in the real fighting side,” he said.

Davie retired from the navy in 1996 as a captain, but has been followed into the service by son Michael, who is a commander on the admiral’s staff in Halifax, and who has been in uniform for 22 years.

Unlike his father, the younger Davie has been to war with two tours in the Persian Gulf during the current conflict.
Davie also reiterated the importance of honouring and learning about Canada’s military history.

“I really feel strongly that in the school and other places we need to be doing more, because it’s such an important aspect of our history that somehow we have to get it into perspective, so all ages really understand it and are prepared to support it, not only back then, but now.”

One Comment

  • Dennis Apedaile

    November 9, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    Congratulations Rob Boadway on your Order of Canada — and thanks again for loaning me your Politics notes in 62/63.

    Congratulations also to Ted Davie. Good piece in the Napanee paper, although it could have mentioned Ted’s pivotal role in overseeing the construction and many other details for the RMC Wall of Honour, inaugurated last month.

    5675 Dennis Apedaile