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Musings from an OCdt who had just completed first year; would eventually become CDS; Cdn Ambassador to the USA; & a highly respected international figure

Excerpt from the 1957 Review from H4860 A.J.G.D. De Chastelain who had just completed first year at the time.

Everyone who has been through their first year knows the situation that confronts the new recruit during his first few days at R.M.C.. and will appreciate how we, the Class of ’60, felt when we arrived in September.

Most bewildering of all were the strange new words we had to contend with. “Pebbles”, “spiffies” and “whisks” had no meaning for us whatsoever. “Who is the Old Eighteen'”? we wondered. “Where does one find Irish pennants? Why run in circles? And what in heaven’s name is froust?” We soon found out. Sheets of College history and geography were thrust at us, and we were bombarded with an endless series of seemingly irrelevant questions. When asked by a senior where Peace could be found we invariably felt like replying: “At home”, but found that an allusion to the Currie Building had more gratifying results.

The days passed quickly as we grew accustomed to college routine, and we even prided ourselves that we could “beat the system”, only to realize, as we turned out for circles parade that we could not.

The first major indication of our evolution as cadet came when we started wearing F.S. caps instead of pill boxes, and the next thing we knew we were passing off the square and going into town. Our first stand-down weekend came as a pleasant interlude, through the subsequent mid-term test marks shocked us into the realization that we had been neglecting our all-important studies.

The events on our calendar passed with startling rapidity. The famous, or infamous, obstacle race became a soggy memory, and soon we found it hard to believe that we were once obliged to wear name tags. The nerve-jarring experience of recruit boxing gave way to the even more nerve-jarring proximity of Christmas exams, and suddenly we were home for Christmas leave.

If the first term passed quickly, our leave passed even more so, and we were back and practising for the C.S.C. Tournament before we realized it. Our class was well represented in the tournament and we were able to meet the Royal Roads and C.M.R. cadets who will be joining us in our third year.

Our first mess dinner was a novel experience and a great success and then our last event of note, the Cakewalk, loomed close. With the invaluable guidance of two fourth year cadets, we put on a show that was voted by many the best they had seen, and the cake, presented to the Class of ’60, for the Class of ’60, was eaten by the Class of ’60. (If anyone should hear two cadets quacking to each other, he may be sure they are in the Class of ’60.)

We are all looking forward to being in the second year next term, but I am sure that no matter what lies ahead, this past year will be our most memorable.

No. 4860 A.J.G.D. De Chastelain