Remembrance Day & other happenings on and around the peninsula

  • Wind and cold no match for cadets and crowd for Remembrance Day ceremony

  • Widowed mother proudly watches her son

  • SCUSA 68: A Forum for Future Leaders @ West Point

  • Go Eng Girl 2016

  • PMT – last week – I, II, III, & IV Years

  • Photo des finissants

more / plus

Wind and cold no match for cadets and crowd for Remembrance Day ceremony


2016 was my 24th consecutive Remembrance Day at RMC; 29th out of 30. In 1991, on 11 Nov, I along with then Colonel Don Ethell visited the British grave sites near Jerusalem. Quite an experience.

Until about three years ago, The Major Danny McLeod was my partner at the RMC Memorial Arch every 11th Nov.

Without exception ‘The Maj’ would rant & rave on how the RMC ceremony was a mess and should be done right. He insisted there was a proper protocol to follow. More than one Drill Sgt / Major was on the receiving end of his tirades.

Things would usually improve for a year – two at the most. Then the drill staff would change and it would start all over again.

This year, under sunny but cool and windy conditions about 300 cadets marched off the parade square to the Memorial Arch, on Remembrance Day.

A large crowd from the college staff, Ex cadets – mostly from the Kingston Branch and a good turnout of citizens from Kingston and the region were on hand to pay tribute to and remember those who sacrificed much in the service of Canada.

Formal proceedings commenced at 10:51 (by my watch) when the Master of Ceremony, 27771 OCdt Catherine Boucher gave the nod to the Cadet Wing Commander.

The College Padre Dennis Newhook easily captured mood of the situation and his reading of the benediction set the tone for what was to follow.

The crowd remained silent during the entire dignified ceremony while the band played; the cadet choir sang and the playing of the Last Post. The onlookers listened quietly as 2908 Al Pickering recited – In Flanders Field.

Traditionally, following the reading of “In Flanders Field” an officer cadet would be selected to read a reply. However, this year, the literary works of RMCC students were incorporated into the program.

Three years ago, Dr Erika Behrisch-Elce, an Assistant Professor in the English department started a first year sonnet project, which was born from her experience on a battle field tour in France. The objective of this project was to teach classical sonnet writing whose subject was in reference to one of our more than 300 fallen.

27729 Christoper Kearney, did a very fine job reciting – “A Day at Sea” in honour of 2638 Midshipman F.L.L. Jones, Royal Canadian Navy, Killed in Action 24 May 1941, HMS Hood.

Three wreaths were laid. The Commandant, 16855 BGen Sean Friday on behalf of the Royal Military College of Canada; 14426 Colonel Bruce Ewing, representing Military Personnel Generation; and President of the RMC Club, Kingston Branch, 5356 Gwyn Griffith.

While the wreaths are being laid, the Choir and RMCC Band played “In Flanders Field” – which added significantly to the atmosphere.

Heading back to the car and after walking passed and paying respects to the Memorial Arch, I took another look at the time – not quite 11:15. A lot was said and a lot of memories, in a short 25 minutes. Every year November 11th takes on a more meaningful role as one gets older. I especially miss my old partner.

In addition to the Memorial Arch, officer cadets were at a number of other locations. These included: Ottawa, Hamilton, and a number of spots in and around Kingston.

Following the formal ceremony, many from the crowd advanced to the Cadet Mess at Yeo Hall where it was warm and a good supply of food and refreshments were available.

Congratulations and well done to the Master of Ceremony, 27771 OCdt Catherine Boucher, the Cadet Wing leadership, Cadets who were on parade, the band and choir.

The military staff involved, I’m sure, is very proud and satisfied on how it all turned out. I believe even ‘The Maj’ would have given this 2016 version a two thumbs up!

More photos from Remembrance Day available – Here


Widowed mother proudly watches her son



SCUSA 68: A Forum for Future Leaders

By 27832 OCdt (II) Cardona, 12 Sqn

The Student Conference on U.S. Affairs (SCUSA) has been held annually at the United States Military Academy at West Point since 1949. The conference provides a forum for future military and civilian leaders from around the world to come together and discuss the key political questions of the day. This year, OCdt (IV) Joshua Hewitt (photo left) and I were chosen to represent RMC as delegates at SCUSA’s 68th conference.

The theme of this year’s SCUSA was “Democracy and Democratization: Challenges and Opportunities” and delegates were divided into 15 different round table groups to discuss a variety of topics pertaining to the theme of the conference.

The conference began on Wednesday with registration and a brief tour of West Point’s scenic campus. Afterwards, the delegates had the chance to meet one another and begin researching their individual table topics.

The day ended with a dinner and panel discussion on the state of global democracy conducted by distinguished speakers: Dr. Eva Bellin, a professor of Arab politics, Ryan Crocker, a six-time U.S. Ambassador, Margaret Huang, the executive director of Amnesty International USA and Professor James Levinsohn, an economist at Yale. The panel speakers were informative and the discussion between them and the delegates gave us great insight into the theme of the conference.

The Round Table discussions were in full swing the next day. Every round table was composed of 10-15 student delegates and the discussion was guided by two co-chairs, who were experts in the topic. The discussions were productive and gave the delegates a chance to learn from each other’s individual experience and perspectives. The day ended with a meet and greet at West Point’s Eisenhower hall.

On Friday, the Round Tables wrapped up their discussion and drafted policy papers. That night, the conference was addressed at a formal banquet by the keynote speaker, Dr. Richard Haas, the President of the Council on Foreign Relations.

SCUSA 68 ended Saturday morning with round table discussions to finalize the policy papers and prepare to present them. The conference ended with presentations of every group’s policy paper. Some groups took a straightforward lecture approach, while others chose to present their papers using skits or songs. Nonetheless, every presentation was engaging and was a great way to end the conference.

From the round table discussions to the social events, the conference was incredibly well organized and entirely run by West Point cadets. Everyone involved in organizing the conference, from the ‘Plebes’ (First Years) holding doors to the conference director, ‘firstie’ (fourth year) CDT Lukas Miniutti, deserves congratulations and represented their school well.

Overall, SCUSA provided a great opportunity for young leaders to discuss important political topics in a respectful and collegial setting and foster an environment where people from many different backgrounds can come together and work towards a common goal.

Both OCdt Hewitt and myself are very appreciative of the funding support provided by the RMC Foundation which made this trip possible.


Photo caption: From left to right, Andrea Fortier, Diana Wowk and 27559 Alanna Dawe

Go Eng Girl 2016

From various sources

The Ontario Network of Women in Engineering (ONWiE) was formed in 2005 between all the schools and faculties of engineering across Ontario. Annually, ONWiE encourages universities to host Go ENG Girl events, which provide an opportunity for girls in grades 7-10 across Ontario and a parent/guardian to visit their local university campus and learn from women professionals, academics and students about the wonderful world of engineering.

This year, Queen’s University and RMC co-hosted Go ENG Girl on Saturday 22 October 2016 at Queen’s. The event consisted of a keynote speaker, three workshops and a question and answer period with a panel of professional engineers. Dr. Diane Wowk from RMC’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering was one of the panel members of professional engineers, and had some great insights to share with the girls in attendance. RMC volunteers prepared and delivered one of the hands-on engineering workshops for participants. In the workshop, participants designed and built a wetland to treat acidic mine drainage. The girls were able to remediate the acid, and their treated waters were close to neutral pH in the end.

In addition to Dr. Wowk, volunteers from RMC included Afaf Moumin and Majda El-Jaat, who are both graduate students in the Department of Civil Engineering, Andrea Fortier, a graduate student from the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, Alannah Dawe, an undergraduate student from the same department, Anbareen Farooq, a graduate student with the Environmental Sciences Group (ESG)/ Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Department, Ashley Hosier, an ESG employee and Kingston PEO Chapter member, and Michelle Nearing, who was the overall RMC coordinator for the event and is also from ESG. Their professional and outgoing attitudes reflected well on RMC, and their efforts were well appreciated by the young girls at the event.

All in all, the day was very successful, with over 50 girls participating in the event.


PMT – last week – I, II, III, & IV Years

1st year : Pendant le PMT du 09-novembre, les Élofs ont pratiqué une séquence de drill destinée à la compétition de drill. La séquence, dirigée par le CFL, a été répétée plusieurs fois pour déterminer quels seront les participants à la compétition de drill le dimanche suivant, afin de maximiser la performance de l’escadron lors de la compétition. Les mouvements de drill étaient sans arme pour les premières années, tels que le “demi-tour tourner” à la marche et le “à droite tourner” à la marche. Par contre, les Élofs d’années supérieures pratiquaient des mouvements de drill avec armes.

Élof N. Baillargeon


2nd year : This morning we had a drill practice for our Professional Military Training. It was aimed at ensuring we were prepared for the drill competition this weekend. The drill competition sees cadets of all years competing against their peers in other squadrons for points to the commandant’s cup. We also learned how to transition properly from the present arms to the rest at arms. This stance may be useful for those of us performing rifle drill at various memorials across Canada, for Remembrance Day.

OCdt C. Mack


3rd year : Le 9 novembre au matin, les membres des quatre années du CMRC ont participé à une dernière pratique officielle de marche militaire avant la compétition qui aura lieu au cours de la fin de semaine. Cette compétition compte pour l’obtention de la coupe du commandant pour l’escadron gagnant. De plus, la garde des drapeaux gagnante aura le privilège d’avoir le poste de garde des drapeaux consacrés au cours de la prochaine année. De la première à la quatrième année, les élèves-officiers du CMRC ont pratiqué en vue d’améliorer leurs compétences en marches militaires. Les différents niveaux ont chacun une séquence différente à effectuer.

Élof F. Skwarka


4th year : The PMT for fourth-year students was, like many others, drill. In preparation for the upcoming competition between squadrons, fourth years were set with the task of memorizing a short routine involving swords. For most, it was a callback to first year, when we were first introduced to the unique form of weapons drill. Several sergeants walked around the parade square and inner field, assessing training. It appears the level of competition come Sunday will be high indeed.

OCdt C. Fortier


Élof Vanessa Pomeyrol

Photo des finissants

Le 9 novembre marque le début de la fin pour plusieurs finissants comme moi : nous avons enfin pris nos photos de graduation. Pour moi, ces photos signifient l’accomplissement de toutes mes années au CMRC. Cette prise de photo m’a fait du bien alors que la fin de session s’annonce occupée et stressante; ceci me rappelle que c’est bientôt la fin et qu’il ne faut pas perdre espoir. Le succès est à nos portes.