Thumbs Up for Reunion Weekend 2008

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Major Danny McLeod receives instructions from OCdt Neil Smigelski, a former MCpl, as he welcomes the new UTPNCMs to RMC.

Otter Squadron – Front & Center

By:  OCdt Dean Fleet

On reunion weekend over two hundred first year cadets, who spanned the length of the parade square, received their cap badges that signal their acceptance into the Cadet Wing. In the centre of this mass of blue, directly in front of the dais and the many VIPs, stood the first year Otter Squadron members in their DEUs, with medals shining, seemingly at home on a parade square with their combined 200 plus years of experience. This years’ twenty-six new members range in former rank from Cpl/LS up to Warrant Officer and have taken part in virtually every major domestic and international Canadian deployment in the last decade. Owing to recent administrative changes, Otter Squadron is no longer ‘officially’ part of the wing, but the squadron remains as much a part of RMC as it ever was through its enthusiasm, dedication, and experience. Majors (ret’d) Danny McLeod and Bill Oliver were present to hand out RMC coins to the squadron in lieu of the RMC cap badges that their ROTP/RETP counterparts wear.

All members are thankful that Reunion Weekend was a success and that they can now concentrate on the task at hand: academics.

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RMC HomecomingCKWS TV – Kingston

IT’S BEEN A TOUGH COUPLE OF MONTHS FOR NEARLY 275 FIRST YEAR CADETS AT ROYAL MILITARY COLLEGE IN KINGSTON.
THEY’VE GONE THROUGH EXTENSIVE SELECTION, SCREENING, BASIC OFFICER TRAINING, AND EVEN AN OBSTACLE COURSE.
BUT IT ALL PAID OFF ON THE WEEKEND — WHEN THEY WERE HONOURED WITH A CEREMONIAL BADGING PARADE, DURING THE COLLEGE’S “REUNION” WEEKEND.
NEWSWATCH’S MIKE POSTOVIT WAS THERE.
THE ANNUAL WEEKEND ATTRACTS HUNDREDS OF EX-CADETS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD
AND THIS PAGEANTRY IS FOR THEM, AS WELL AS THE FIRST YEAR CADETS.

PETE JOYCE/CLASS OF 58

“THE LONGER YOU’RE BEEN AWAY FROM GRADUATION THE MORE IT
RE-GENERATES YOU WHEN YOU COMEBACK.

AFTER INSPECTION.
IT BECOMES OFFICIAL WITH THE BADGING CEREMONY.

JOYCE
“I WAS PARTICULARLY LUCKY BECAUSE I WAS BADGING CADETS FROM 6 SQUADRON WHO WON THE OBSTACTLE COURSE YESTERDAY AND IF YOU’VE EVER SEEN A HAPPIER BUNCH IN YOUR LIVE, I DON’T KNOW WHERE IT WAS BECAUSE THEY WERE VERY VERY
ENTHUSIAST AND THEY REALLY APPRECIATED GETTING THE BADGE, I MEAN IT REALLY IS SOMETHING TO THEM AND TO BE ABLE TO GIVE IT TO THEM I FOUND TO BE JUST EXCILERATING.

NOW THOSE DOING THE BADGING ARE MEMBERS OF THE “OLD BRIGADE”, THAT’S FORMER CADETS WHO GRADUATED MORE THAN 50 YEARS AGO.

AND FOR THOSE THAT GOT BADGED, THIS IS A VERY SPECIAL DAY.

BEN APEDAILE/FROM CALGARY

“JUST HAPPY TO BE OVER WITH FYOP AND THE OBSTACLE COURSE, IT’S GOOD GETTING BADGED BY MY DAD TODAY AND YEAH, I’M JUST PROUD TO BE HERE CONTINUING THE FAMILY TRADITION.
KIM ARCHIBALD/FROM NOVA SCOTIA

“AT FIRST IT WAS JUST THE THOUGHT OF HAVING A JOB, BUT NOW THAT I’M HERE IT’S ALL ABOUT THE CONNECTION, EVERYTHING JUST MAKES YOU FEEL SO CONNECTED TO THE PEOPLE IN THE SCHOOL, AT THE COLLEGE.
YOU SEE EVERYBODY THAT WENT HERE, YOU FEEL PART OF SOMETHING BIGGER THEN YOURSELF.

THESE ARE BONDS THAT NO ONE CAN EVER BREAK, YOU MAKE THEM HERE AND YOU KEEP THEM YOUR ENTIRE LIFE.

GEORGE HUTSON/CLASS OF 58
“ABSOLUTELY AND OUR CLASS IS PARTICULARLY GOOD THAT WAY.
WE STAY IN TOUCH AND WE USUALLY GET A GOOD TURN-OUT FOR ALL OF THESE SPECIAL REUNIONS AND YES, THE BONDING IS ONE OF THOSE THINGS, YOU HAVE FRIENDS FOR LIFE AND IT’S JUST SOMETHING OTHER THAT YOU CAN’T GET ANY OTHER WAY I THINK.

JOYCE

“THE FRIENDSHIPS THAT YOU MAKE HERE JUST LAST AND LAST AND LAST, I MEAN I SPENT 37 YEARS AS A MILITARY ENGINEER AND I SERVED DURING MY CAREER WITH ANY NUMBER OF CADETS FROM RMC AND THEY DON’T HAVE TO BE FROM YOUR YEAR BECAUSE YOU CAN STILL TALK THINGS THAT HAPPENED AT THE COLLEGE AND THE GOOD TIMES THAT YOU HAD AND VERY FEW BAD TIMES.

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I Remember When

By OCdt Stephen Paish

Reflections on Reunion Weekend.

reunionweekend304.JPGAs most of the readership is aware this past weekend was the Royal Military College of Canada Reunion Weekend. The many activities this year included the Legacy Dinner, obstacle course, ex cadet/cadet sports challenges and the concluding ceremonies. This being my last reunion weekend as a cadet I feel it necessary to share some thoughts on the weekend in an effort to highlight how, in a cadets eye view, the weekend is as strong spirited as ever.

My weekend actually started on Thursday as I was invited to attend the Legacy Dinner. I had never been to this event before and was very interested to see what experiences I would have. The hype I had heard about the dinner from my previous years at the college did not disappoint! The friendlessness of the ex cadets and good food combined to make a most memorable evening. The time flew by as I was schooled by a number of ex cadets on their versions of “I remember when”.  Also the CDS, General Walter J. Natynczyk, gave a very rousing speech on just how large and strong spirited the RMC family is. It was a great start to the weekend.

Next up on the slate of activities for the weekend was the running of the obstacle course on Friday afternoon. This event is something I have had numerous experiences with in the past, running the course as a first year and cheering on the squadron in my 2 and 3rd years. This year I am proud to report that it was the best obstacle course I have experienced at my time at the college. The college spirit was through the roof. Squadrons were cheering like mad and there was a level of excitement that made the air so tense it seemed as if it was electrified. Equally impressive was the tenacity of the first years, who being fresh off recruit camp just weeks ago showed how far they had come under the direction of their First Year orientation Period (FYOP) staff. They gave it their all and left nothing on the course. A true testament to the character of the RMC cadet and the college system that forms us.

On Saturday I had the privilege to participate in my first sports event against ex cadets in my time at the college. This was through the annual water polo game. As is common knowledge in the military world, sporting games bring people together better than most other experiences. Even though the cadets were beaten handily it was great to hear from ex cadets of their experiences with the sport during their time at the college.
Sunday brought and end to the festivities of the weekend and the beginning of a period of reflection for me.   As I saw the ex cadets across the parade square from me cheering on the cadet wing and having a good time with their friends I was impacted. It served as a poignant reminder of the power of the RMC experience and how important it is to keep up the college bonds after graduation. The RMC community is a large and strong willed one that I am proud to be a part of. This years reunion weekend activities highlighted this and were well received.

TDV

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Peter Kirkham – Honourary Lifetime Member of Royal Military Colleges Club of Canada.

Ms Mary Darlington Among Three Given Honourary Status

At the AGM held during Reunion Weekend, it was formally passed that four outstanding individuals who have contributed immensely to the betterment of the RMC Club – in different ways – would receive Honourary status.

The three new honourary members are:

1. Jack Chiang – S159;

2. Mary Darlington – S160; and

3 Roy Pothier – S161

An “H” will now prefix the college number of 3938 Dr. PG (Peter) Kirkham.

Congratulations to all four!  Richly deserved!

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Old Brigade Dinner

By: Bill & Rolande Oliver

We were “fostered” into the Old Brigade during the Reunion Weekend by the Class of 1962. The high-light for the Olivers was attendance at the Old Brigade Dinner (OBD). Many thanks to the Class and in particular to 5604 Ken Smee and 5611 Gerry Stowe both of whom took care of the details and made us feel welcomed.

4459 Ed Murray, President of the Kingston Branch was the behind the scenes organizer of the highly successful OBD which was held at the Senior Staff Mess (SSM) for the first time in a number of years.

For the second consecutive year members of the varsity fencing team were “greeters” at the OBD pre-dinner social which provided the 200 plus attendees an opportunity to mix in a relaxed setting with current cadets.

The Cadet Wing Commander and varsity fencing team captain, Jackie Power was the keynote speaker for the evening and mixed humour and wit in a very fine delivery during her address on – what was happening around the college in 2008.

Old Brigade Adjutant, 3918 Al Roberts was cool and steady in ensuring the evening ran smoothly.  Five members of the Class of 1938 were in attendance. (names not available at press time) – The word from most in attendance that this was the best organized and most successful OBD for some time.

Special kudos to both Ed Murray and Al Roberts for pulling this off at such a high standard!

As an aside, and we’re sure the Foundation will make more of this later – it was announced at the parade on Sunday that members of the Class of 1962 have raised over 500k in support of the college!  Wow!

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Cadets and Ex-Cadets Agree: Reunion Weekend was a success!

Commandant, staff & cadets  should be proud!

Reunion Weekend 2008 was deemed a great success by Ex-Cadets, Cadets, and parents alike. While the various functions, parades, and the Obstacle Course were great hits, camaraderie and spirit were often cited as the biggest “sellers” of the weekend.

Don’t take it from us, click on images to hear what they had to say about it:

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