Looking back 65 years with 3959 Phil Smith

Looking back 65 years with 3959 Phil Smith

Article by: WJO

In just a few months it will be 60 years since graduation for 3959 Phil Smith.  “Yes, I failed first year due to immaturity and lack of effort. I was the only recruit to make the Senior Soccer Team … I thought that gave me a pass on working hard elsewhere.”

Phil came from a military family, His father was a veteran of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal air Force … engine fitter. An older brother was veteran of WWII, Indian Army Engineers. His twin brother had already completed first year at Royal Roads and he eventually graduated as a member of  the Class ofRMC’56.

When asked about his favourite memories, he was answered quickly. “Support from Fourth year Cadet Officers, mental and physical training, quality of academic life and … life-long friendships with many classmates.” The first-rate Class Secretary was not not hesitant to admit when asked about his biggest challenges during his time at RMC. ” Maturing and accepting discipline.”

The Preston, ON native spent five years serving Canada following graduation – paratroop officer with 2RCR, based in London, ON. “I am still grateful to the NCOs that worked with me to make me a better officer.”  He recalls like it was yesterday what a confident and wise Sgt  said to him when he first arrived. “Well, sir, the RMC taught you to be a leader … now we have to teach you the trade of being an infantryman.”

Phil left the army to accept a Teaching Fellowship at the University of Western Ontario. Following graduate studies he accepted a position at Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). He spent the rest of his career in broadcasting, eventually specializing in application of broadcasting to national development.  He eventually became a consultant to the Commonwealth Secretariat providing assistance to broadcasters all over world.

Phil became Class Secretary of RMC’58 a few years after graduation when he was asked to take the job on a temporary basis while the permanent Class Secretary  was posted to Germany. “I stayed on as Class Sec when asked by classmates a year or so later … somewhere close to 60 years now.”

The still fit and trim former varsity soccer player is enjoying life in the Comox Valley of British Columbia. If one were to take a close look at the feature photo above; the red leather soccer jacket is the same one he wore back in the day at RMC.

The ever personable, Ex Cadet, closed with a nice message.  “eVeritas keeps me up to date on all things RMC … for which I am grateful.”


Centre Row – far right is Dr. Jack Pike


  • 4259 Skip Sears

    February 19, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    Phil is the “glue” that holds RMC ‘58 together. He continues to do an outstanding job as our Class Secretary.
    Thanks Phil, see you at our 60th!

  • Peter McDougall

    February 20, 2018 at 7:51 am

    A great friend to my father, the late John McDougall (#4292). Phil, hs wife and the entire Class of ’58 was exceptionally good to my mom Helen who attended their functions as a widow from 1983 – 2016. Thank you Phil !!

  • 4106 Peter Meincke

    February 20, 2018 at 10:23 am

    Maintaining a database of contact information for members of an organization is very demanding. Phil not only keeps it up to date but also sends out the latest news about class members as well as producing a very large news letter. I don’t know how he does it! Huge thanks for keeping us in contact.

  • 3629 Bob Smith, Class of '56

    February 22, 2018 at 9:16 pm

    The article and comments about my twin brother are accurate and heart-warming. RMC is, and always will be,
    a strong link between Phil and I.

  • Don Wilson

    February 24, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    Your picture belongs on the cover of GQ Magazine. The receipt of the Newsletter always makes me feel younger as it brings me back to our cadet days – keep up the good work.
    See you in the Fall.
    PS: Denise says I am jealous!