Article by 5611 Gerry Stowe, Adjutant Old Brigade
Readers may recall that I announced my retirement as Adjutant at last year’s Annual General Meeting. The position was advertised in at least five consecutive issues of eVeritas in February and March of this year. Since then, there has been no interest shown in becoming my successor. I am now in my ninth year as Adjutant, and, while I enjoy the role, I cannot see myself doing it for much longer. I hope someone in the Old Brigade will put their name up for consideration, preferably before the next AGM in September. As you may note from the details below, members of the Class of 1974 are now Old Brigaders and are eligible to become Adjutant.
On the subject of the Annual General Meeting, it is time to start thinking about Reunion Weekend and Old Brigade activities. Please take special note of the dates: 12 – 15 September 2019. This year the Old Brigade will welcome the Class of 1974. Please note that the Constitution of the RMC Club of Canada has the following to say about entry into the Old Brigade:
Article 13.2 If fifty (50) or more years have elapsed from the year of entry into a Canadian Military College, a person eligible for ordinary membership shall become a member of the Old Brigade.
Article 13.5 Notwithstanding Article 13.2, by convention, members who entered a Canadian Military College in a four-year plan, including RMC, RRMC and First Year at CMR are automatically welcomed into the Old Brigade four months early and shall be entitled to adopt the customs normally accorded to members of the Old Brigade, as decreed by the Adjutant.
This means that Ex-Cadets and graduates entering the Old Brigade in 2019 (i.e. the Class entering CMR in 1969 and the Royal Roads and RMC classes entering in 1970) are entitled to wear the black beret and call themselves Old Brigaders from January 1, 2019 onward.
Our compatriots who were members of the University Training Plan for Non-Commissioned Members (UTPNCM), the University Training Plan for Officers (UTPO), and those, including civilians, who received post-graduate degrees at RMC, RRMC or CMR, having reached the age of 67 years, are members of the Old Brigade, and are encouraged to join in the Reunion Weekend celebrations. Also, Honorary Members, having reached the magic age of 67, are Old Brigaders.
Now for the details of Reunion Weekend, as they apply to the Old Brigade. In addition to the Recruit Class of 1974, the Old Brigade will welcome back the classes of 1954, 1959, 1964, and 1969, who are celebrating, respectively, their 65th, 60th, 55th and 50th graduation anniversaries. All Old Brigaders are welcome at all weekend activities, including the Old Brigade Dinner, even though it may not be a reunion year for your class.
On Friday, 13 September 2019, the First Year Cadets will receive College coins from members of the Old Brigade, on completion of the Obstacle Race. Members of the Old Brigade reunion classes will present the coins, but all Old Brigaders are welcome to assist. Please wear appropriate clothing to identify yourselves as Old Brigaders.
At 0830 on Saturday, 14 September the Club will conduct the Annual General Meeting in Currie Hall. I encourage all of you to hoist yourselves out of your racks and exercise your franchise by voting on the business of the Club. Please make sure your membership is up-to-date, since only members of the Club are permitted to vote. Recent amendments to the Constitution (available on the RMC Club Web site) now permit both proxy and teleconference voting.
One major highlight of the weekend for the Old Brigade is the Badging Parade, where First Year Cadets receive their College cap badges and become members of the Cadet Wing. Thirty-six Old Brigaders are required, from the Reunion classes, to present the badges. If any member of the Old Brigade wishes to present a badge to a particular cadet, please let me know, no later than 1 September, the cadet’s name, squadron or flight. All presenters should wear a blazer, Old Brigade tie, beret and medals.
The other major highlight, of course, is the Old Brigade Dinner, which will be held, once again, at the Four Points Hotel at 285 King Street in downtown Kingston. A special rate of $229 per room per night has been negotiated. Please tell hotel staff that you are with RMC when you reserve. The telephone number is 613-544-4434. Dinner is on Saturday evening, 14 September, from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. The ballroom can accommodate up to 320 people for dinner, so please register early to ensure that you have a seat. At the reception at 6 p.m. guests will be offered a glass of wine or a soft drink. Wine for dinner must be purchased by guests; this keeps costs down, and avoids complaints from those who prefer to not partake, about paying for those who do. The cost of the dinner is $90 per person for members and partners, and $95 per person for non-members and partners; these are base prices, and will have added to them the HST. Menu choices are: Medallions of Beef, Chicken Kiev or Vegetable Wellington; please be sure to advise, when booking, of any dietary restrictions or allergies. Dress for the Old Brigade Dinner is, in order of preference: black tie with miniatures, Club blazer or suit with medals.
Tickets for dinner on Saturday must be purchased in advance. They will not be sold at the door. The RMC Club number is 1-888-386-3762 and the link to register is https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/old-brigade-dinner-at-four-points-sheraton-tickets-63776588493. Please note that the password is Club2019. Please also note that you must register online in order to receive your ticket for the event and you must register no later than Monday, 9 September 2019.
The Saturday lunch at the Cadet Dining Hall is not a Club activity. Tickets must be purchased at the door. There is no Sunday lunch this year due to excessive costs. The March to the Arch will still happen Sunday morning.
When on the grounds of the Colleges during reunions, graduation ceremonies and other special occasions, it is customary for members of the Old Brigade to wear the Old Brigade tie and beret. These may be purchased from the RMC Club Gift Shop, and I advise you to do this prior to Reunion Weekend. The wearing of medals is de rigeur for the Saturday and Sunday parades, and for the Old Brigade Dinner.
I hope to see you all in September. Until then, remember: One Club, One Old Brigade, One Family. TDV.