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Riding the Rideau & Dutch-Canadian friendship

  • Riding the Rideau – ALOY Canoe Trip

  • Dutch-Canadian friendship celebrated with blooming tulips

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Riding the Rideau – ALOY Canoe Trip

By: OCdt Stranks and 2Lt Tremblay

The morning of Monday 30 May 2016 saw the ALOY members and staff on a bus with all of their canoes and equipment, headed north from RMC to Smiths Falls. This small town located on the historic Rideau Canal is about half-way between Ottawa and Kingston and represents a total distance of 107 Km. This final exercise as part of the ALOY program called Eagle Quest, is a leadership assessed student lead exercise where the ALOY course 2016 canoed from Smith Falls to RMC peninsula in 8 days within a section organizations.

This exercise combined everything we learned and trained for throughout the year. It put to the test our physical capabilities during the rainy and stormy days, our leadership skills during the delivery of our orders and leading our section on the canal, as well as navigating on the water. Even though the exercise was challenging and required a lot from us we were able to appreciate the beauty and rich experience of the Rideau Canal.

All along the way, and at each stop of the journey, ALOY enjoyed the beautiful lakes and wildlife that the area has to offer. The trip ended on a strong note with a smudging and drumming ceremony at the inner sports field at RMC. The canoe trip serves as an event to remember for this year’s cadets; it is an exercise in teamwork and camaraderie. Through sun, rain, and prevailing winds, the ALOY members stuck together and reached their destination.

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Dutch-Canadian friendship celebrated with blooming tulips

By: E3161 Victoria Edwards

Kingston and St Jean sur Richelieu were two of 140 municipalities out of 400 applicants to receive 700 tulip bulbs; E3161 Victoria Edwards (RMC 2003), applied for the gift on behalf of Royal Military College of Canada and Royal Military College Saint-Jean.

The contest itself was put on by the Canadian Garden Council. Vesey’s Bulbs provided the flowers, and Canada Post delivered them for free.

This tulip gift tradition started in the spring of 1946 when 100,000 Dutch bulbs were given to Canada. The bulbs were a gift to Canadian communities as a gesture of appreciation for the role Canadian soldiers played in the liberation of the Netherlands as well as the hospitality Canada provided to the Dutch royal family in Ottawa where Princess Margriet was born during World War ll.

Since then, Canada has received 20,000 tulips annually, which are a part of the Tulip Festival in Ottawa.

In the application, the Canadian Garden Council asked why each respective town deserve the tulip bulbs.

For Kingston, this question was a straight-forward since many former RMC cadets served during World War II and memorials remember former officer cadets who were killed in action or died from wounds suffered in action during World War II battles including Battle of the Atlantic, Battle of Britain, Burma, Dieppe, Hong Kong, Lombardy Plain, and Normandy. Dr. Cameron Pulsifer wrote in the Royal Military College Of Canada: 1876 to the Present “By the end of the Second World War (1939-45), they dominated the military’s senior ranks. All four of the officers who became Chief of the General Staff during the war were former cadets as was General H.D.G. Crerar, commander of First Canadian Army in Northwest Europe. In all, 1420 ex-cadets, or 80 per cent of those available, either served in the forces or took up special war work.”

For Saint Jean sur Richelieu, this question was answered in the rich history of Fort Saint-Jean, one of only two locations in Canada (the other being Québec City) to have maintained a military presence since the French Regime was instituted. The World War II memorial, erected 1st December 1945, is dedicated to the officers, non-commissioned officers and men of No. 48 Canadian Infantry (Basic) Training unit who died during the Second World War.

The planting in the fall was timed for the tulips to bloom in time for the RMC Convocation (19 May 2016) and RMCC end of year parade (May 21, 2016). Tulips were planted at RMC by the front entrance gates, Memorial Arch, World War II memorial and Wall of Honour.  Tulips were planted at RMC Saint-Jean on the ramparts.

WWII memorial on the grounds of RMC Saint-Jean http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/memorials/national-inventory-canadian-memorials/details/3909

Memorial Arch on the grounds of RMCC Kingston http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/memorials/national-inventory-canadian-memorials/details/5825