RMCC Cadets Attend Annual Sikh Remembrance Day Service
Article by 26288 OCdt (III) Sarabjot Anand
This past weekend, 26285 OCdt (III) Saajandeep Sarai, 26788 OCdt (II) Sarbjeet Nijher and myself attended the Annual Sikh Remembrance Day service that was held at the Mount Hope Cemetery in Kitchener, Ontario. This cemetery holds the only military grave in Canada belonging to a Sikh soldier.
Private Buckam Singh was born on December 5th, 1893 in the farming town of Mahilpur, India. Since India was still a British Colony, many Sikhs enlisted in the British Army because of their warrior tradition. At the age of 14, Singh departed for British Columbia and left behind his homeland. When he arrived, he faced many racist laws in the province and therefore moved to Ontario and worked as a farmer in Rosebank. When World War I was declared, Singh enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force and became one of just nine Canadian Sikhs to fight in World War I.
He was sent to Barriefield Camp near Kingston and joined the 59th Battalion. On his registration papers, he recorded himself to be a follower of the “Church of England” as he did not have the option to identify himself as a Sikh.
He fought in France and was injured in the head by shrapnel on June 2, 1916. He was hospitalized at St.Eloi. LCol. John McCrae, the author of “In Flanders Fields”, was in command of this very hospital. After about eight months, Singh was sent to rejoin combat, but he developed severe tuberculosis and was sent back to Canada. Upon his return, he was discharged. He spent the rest of his life at Freeport Military Hospital. He died on August 27, 1919. He was buried in the only known grave of a Canadian Sikh soldier.
Sikh members of the Canadian Forces (CF) have attended this annual event since 2009. For the second year in a row, the Royal Military College received an invitation from the event organizers to attend the service; we gladly accepted the invitation and represented RMCC at the event in uniform. The event had a huge audience, numerous media personnel and many political party members. Various members of the CF also attended. Commander Timothy O’Leary, CD, the Commanding Officer of HMCS York, was also present at the event as the Guest of Honour. The service was held also to honor the local soldiers that served from the Kitchener/Waterloo area; their graves are also located at the cemetery. A moment of silence was given to remember all the sacrifices that our soldiers have made.
It was a true honor to be invited to the event and to represent RMCC.
Military Skills Competition – Sat 16 Nov
27097 (I) Gregory Johnstone
This was my first time being on the Military skills IM, so it was a very new experience for me. To tryout for the team, we had to complete several physically demanding challenges including sandbag suicides and laps of the inner field in full fighting order.
The teams were chosen by division, and each division had a team captain. Training started right away, and we met from 5-7pm every Tuesday and Thursday night. During our training sessions, we practiced skills similar to those seen in the Sandhurst Varsity team. We learned new skills like making rope bridges, climbing the wall, tying knots, disassembling and reassembling weapons, first aid, and range drill. Our captain, OCdt Adrian Thowe, was very knowledgeable and prepared us for success in the competition.
The Military Skills competition was on Saturday, November 16. It involved obstacles and scenarios that combined all of the skills we had learned for the past couple of months. It was very physically and mentally demanding; by the time our team finished we were all exhausted. The competition lasted all day Saturday and saw teams from the Royal Military College in Kingston and from St. Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Quebec, vying for the top prize. At the end of the day, all teams felt that they had accomplished something.
I really enjoyed my time on the Mil Skills IM team. Our team worked well together and we all became good friends in the process. I would definitely suggest joining to anyone that is looking for a challenge and a sense of teamwork.
MIL Skills IM
27097 (I) Gregory Johnstone
Ce fut ma première heure sur l’equipe de MIL Skills, donc c’était une expérience très nouvelle pour moi. Pour tryout pour l’équipe, nous avons dû remplir plusieurs défis exigeants physiquement notamment de suicides de sacs de sable et des tours de champ intérieur dans de combat complet .
Les équipes ont été choisis par division, et chaque division avait un capitaine d’équipe . La formation a commencé tout de suite , et nous avons rencontré de 17 – 1830 heures tous les mardis et jeudis soirs . Lors de nos sessions de formation , nous avons pratiqué des compétences similaires à celles observées dans l’équipe Sandhurst Varsity . Nous avons appris de nouvelles compétences comme la fabrication de ponts de cordes , escalade le mur, faire des nœuds , le démontage et le remontage des armes , les premiers secours et la gamme forage. Notre capitaine , ASpm Adrian Thowe , était très compétent et nous a préparé pour le succès dans la compétition .
La compétition militaire était le samedi 16 Novembre . Il s’agissait d’ obstacles et de scénarios qui combinent toutes les compétences que nous avions appris depuis quelques mois. Il était très exigeant physiquement et mentalement , au moment où notre équipe a terminé , nous étions tous épuisés . La compétition a duré toute la journée du samedi et vu les équipes du Collège militaire royal de Kingston et de Saint- Jean -Sur- Richelieu , au Québec , en lice pour le premier prix. A la fin de la journée, toutes les équipes ont estimé qu’ils avaient accompli quelque chose .
J’ai vraiment apprécié mon temps sur l’équipe Mil Skills. Notre équipe a bien travaillé ensemble et nous sommes tous devenus de bons amis dans le processus. Je vous conseille vraiment joindre à tous ceux qui recherchent un défi et un esprit d’équipe .
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JAIL AND BAIL FOR KINGSTON UNITED WAY
By: 26659 OCdt (II) Danielle Andela
This Friday, November 15th, United Way held yet another fundraiser, the “Jail and Bail” Fundraiser. For the price of $1 per minute, members of the Cadet Wing had the opportunity to “Jail” members of the Training Wing in the United Way Jail. Members of the Training Wing who were jailed include the Commandant, Brigadier General Meinzinger, the Director of Cadets, Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Lemyre and Major Hook (pictured right). The fundraiser raised just under $300 and the largest donation by far was a result of the hard work of OCdt (26792) Hamel-Giroux (pictured left)who collected money from the entirety of 4 Squadron. Good job 4 Squadron! Short video from CKWS
The Jail and Bail fundraiser was just one of many that have spread through the College all through November. With about a week to go RMCC is around the 65% mark of achieving their goal of $105,000.
A number of events are planned over the coming days including a Touchdown Luncheon which is scheduled for Friday,
28 November at the Senior Staff Mess between 1130 and 1300. Tickets are $10 each, which includes lunch, dessert and tea/coffee.
All in support of United Way.