The Men and Women of la Chasse-Galerie
Next September a crew of 13 Ex-Cadets and 2 Cadets will paddle a 36’ canoe from Ottawa to Kingston to raise money for sports. Since the inaugural trip in 2000, forty-five men and women have paddled the 202km length of the Rideau Canal in four separate voyages and have raised over $258,000. Their names are engraved on a plaque at Panet House.
In early 2000, Stan “the Man” Mitchell leaped over a sofa in Victoria’s Bay Street Armoury and became the first “Maudite” of la Chasse-Galerie. Diana “Lady Di” Tremain earned a place of honour as the first and only female on the crew. A trip highlight was paddling through a large flock of calling loons in early morning fog on the Big Rideau Lake
The all-male 2001 crew reminded us of the old days at RMC. Fortunately, triathlete Sharon Donnelly made a cameo appearance in the final afternoon. Jay “Stroke” Kennedy earned his nickname for his enthusiastic steering. Tom “the Bosun” Gee and Bruce “the Cook” McAlpine joined the crew for the first time and have paddled with us ever since.
Four ladies graced the 2006 trip, including Cynthia Allan who came in memory of her late husband Jay Kennedy. John de Chastelain began the tradition of playing the pipes to wake up the lockmaster and the rest of us. Andrew Bennett played the fiddle and taught us all to sing “V’la l’bon vent.”
In 2011 an all Ex-Cadet crew, including four ladies, represented all three colleges and classes from 1960 to 2002. Jason Hunt, a Kwagiulth artist, designed the new paddle motif – an orca, wolf and eagle representing the three services. Joe Day set a record by raising $8,732, edging out Bernie Laliberte’s sterling performance in the previous trip. The grand finale came after the salute at the Arch – rounding Point Frederick in high waves and a howling gale.
By the end of 2015, the RMC Foundation had already received $9,590 in donations for the upcoming voyage. Each paddler has committed to raise at least $2,000 from friends, family, colleagues and other Ex-Cadets. Each dollar that you donate is tax-deductible and will be matched by a group of generous sponsors, thus doubling the value of your donation. Please help them reach their objective by donating today.
EITHER call the Foundation at 1-613-541-6000 ext 6807 and speak to Jennifer Jordan, OR go to the Foundation website and click “Donate Now.” Then click “Athletics.” Fill in the required information on the left and tick the box labelled “Danny McLeod Athletic.” Please credit your donation to one or more of the following crew members by typing their name(s) in the “Comments” section:
5893 Tom Gee ‘63
8684 Peter Holt ‘71
8725 Fergus McLaughlin ‘71
8788 Geoff Bennett ‘71
8833 John Leggat ‘71
8836 Clark Little ‘71
8926 Ray Hook ‘71
9143 Bruce McAlpine ‘72
12192 Tom Lawson ‘79
M0288 Roxanne Rees ‘83
15519 Sandra Sukstorf ‘86
15566 Helga Grodzinski ‘86
22461 Claire Bramma ‘02
RMCC Cadet ’18 (TBA)
RMC Saint-Jean Cadet ’20 (TBA)
V’la l’bon vent!
8788 Geoff Bennett
Le bourgeois de la chasse-galerie
Maudite logo courtesy of Sleeman Brewery Ltd