Parting Words of Gratitude
Excerpt from the 1952 Review
As we are members of the first class to graduate since the reopening of the College in 1948, we have seen a great many of the difficulties and frequent changes and have realized the great worries and responsibility in fathering the rebirth or R.M.C. But no one of us knows fully the extent of the headaches which were involved-even in convincing the proper people that the College should be opened at all. We are prone to criticize mistakes which we see; but we fail to view these mistakes in the light of many more successes which are taken for granted.
We cannot leave R.M.C. without expressing our heartfelt gratitude to all the members of the Staff and the R.M.C. Club who were instrumental in putting and keeping the College on its feet despite our sporadic interference. In particular, we wish to direct our thanks to the Commandant, Brigadier D. R. Agnew; the Director of Studies, Colonel W. R. Sawyer; the former Staff-Adjutant, Lieutenant-Colonel E. G. Brooks; and the R.S.M., W.O. I. J. E. Coggins. These men have all been elected honorary members of our graduating class.
In times when many people were hostile to the College’s reopening and doubtful of its usefulness, Brigadier Agnew made many a trip to convince the doubters of the values of the training received here and did an excellent job of assuaging their opposition. He has had the facilities ready for us when we arrived in September, 1948, a task that involved great trials and rapid organization of work, about which we know nothing of but truly appreciate. He has directed the Staff in the operation of the College so well and produced such a well-organized administration that, as he told us recently, he feared that he had worked himself out of a job. We wish to sincerely thank him for his tireless efforts on behalf of the College in the past four years.
Colonel Sawyer-himself an ex-Cadet-was one of those who were directly concerned with the effective reopening of the College. As Director of Studies, he has accomplished the overwhelming task of setting up a curriculum including arts, commerce, and four engineering courses to fit the specifications of Canadian universities; obtaining suitable professors to teach these courses; and ordering the mountain of technical equipment, laboratory facilities and books of all types required. We are sure that no one could fail to be deeply grateful to the man who so ably carried out this work, motivated by a strong love for the College.
Lieutenant-Colonel Brooks, who was Staff Adjutant in our first two years, laid down the system of discipline and Cadet Wing for us to abide by and occasionally flout. He commanded our great respect and loyalty as a stern but consistent and just officer, setting an example of leadership which we could only attempt to emulate. We were all very sorry to see him leave in 1950 for Korea but have been proud to hear of his successes there and his promotion to command the 2nd Field Regiment, R.C.H.A. We are truly grateful to Lt.-Col Brooks for his efforts to produce a lasting system of daily life at the College which will endure for a long time to come,
The Regimental Sergeant-Major W.O. I. Coggins has made a permanent impression on our minds, not only because of our occasional lapses of dress or drill, but mainly because he represents the “old school” of sergeant-majors we had heard of before coming here. The picture he has verified was one of the loud bark on parade, impeccable dress and faultless drill. Although he is feared for his unforeseeable coups of discipline, he has engendered only the greatest respect in all who have known him. A compliment from Mr. Coggins was a supreme reward, proof of an unexcelled performance. We could not leave without giving him out true thanks for his classic remark after parades good or bad, “Oi’ve seen bettuh, oi’ve seen wuhse, but not much!”
Again on behalf of our graduating class, we would reaffirm our gratitude to the Staff of the College, and the members of the R.M.C. Club for providing us with an unequaled moral and academic training which we will value in years to come, as a basic, profound influence for good on the course of our lives.
2831 C.F.L. C. M. Crowe