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Trivia | Bagatelle

The Rhodes Scholarship is a highly prestigious international award for study at the University of Oxford. Rhodes Scholars may study any full-time postgraduate course offered by the University except for the MBA – whether a taught Master’s programme, a research degree, or a second undergraduate degree (senior status).

The Scholarship is for two years in the first instance, though may be held for one year only; applications for a third year are considered during the course of the 2nd year.

The scholarships were initiated after the death of Cecil John Rhodes and have been awarded to applicants annually since 1902 by the Rhodes Trust in Oxford on the basis of academics and strength of character.

Over the years a number of Ex cadets have applied for The Rhodes Scholarship, including this school year (see We Get e-mails). How many Ex cadets have won The Rhodes Scholarship?

a. 11;

b. 15;

c. 21; or

d. 29


Answer: 11

RMC & Rhodes

2565 Adrian A.W. Duguid (RMC 1937) Rhodes Scholar 1946 Deceased 1/14/1968
4393 Doctor DP Morton (CMR RMC 1959) Rhodes Scholar 1959
5417 Colonel (Ret) WK Megill CD (CMR RMC 1962) Rhodes Scholar 1962
6219 Dr. Robin Boadway (RRMC / RMC 1964) Rhodes Scholar 1964
6182 Doctor RB Harrison CD (RMC 1964) Rhodes Scholar 1964
6508 MGen (Ret) John L Adams CMM CD (RMC 1965) Rhodes Scholar 1965
7291 Doctor T.A.J. Keefer (RMC 1967) Rhodes Scholar 1967
10419 Captain (N) (ret) David V Jacobson CD (CMR RMC 1975) Rhodes Scholar 1975
10941 Doctor Grant M Gibbs CD (RMC 1976) Rhodes Scholar 1976
15040 Mr Paul E Stanborough (RMC 1985) Rhodes Scholar 1985
15595 Lieutenant Colonel WDE Allan CD (RRMC RMC 1986) Rhodes Scholar 1987

4393 Doctor Desmond DP Morton (CMR RMC 1959) Rhodes Scholar 1959

In his own words:

In 1958-9, I was in my final year at RMC. In the slate for that year, I had been designated as Assistant Cadet Wing Adjutant, an exciting job which involved collecting and delivering the dail parade state and, therefore, never going on parade. My room-mate was the CWA but he had broken the rules during the previous summer by getting married. He was therefore terminated and the ACWA became the CWA.

I was encouraged by G.F.G. Stanley, then head of History at RMC, toapply for the Rhodes and I dutifully did so.. However, I had no hope of success and,m when the interviews coincided with the annual West Point debate, in which I was involved. I went south to represent the College and, of course, to see our powerful rival. Once arrived, I was summoned by our academic guide, Ezio Cappadocia, and informed that I was to proceed back to Kingston sans bref delai, and to proceed to Hart House in Toronto to be interviewed. I took the bus to New York and the train to Montreal and Kingston and, thanks to a snowstorm, had no time to change out of uniform. I therefore arived at Hrt House a little sleepy and hungry and in my scarlets. The late Pete Glasheen, another candidate, was properly dressed in blazer and flannels and fited in with the other civilians. Looking and feeling like a lobster, I marched in to the selection committee and, after polite preliminaries, was asked what I thought aboiut the Crowe affair — dismissal of a professor at Winnipeg’s United College for allowing his opinion of the College president to be known. By pure happenstance, I had recently picked up andread a CAUT pamphlet in the RMC library, giving the facts of the case.These I shared with the committee in as judicious a fashion as I could manage. Mr. Justice Dana Porter, the chairman, later confessed his approval since I had neither sided with the ideological contentious Harry Crowe, as had other students, nor had I demanded the summary execution that some members of the committee had expected from a red-coated militarist. At the time, I remember feeling that I had given too long an answer and fumbled the ball. My fellow cadet, Peter Glasheen, was confronted with a similar question about a recent scandal in the Kingston PUC, about which neither he nor I knew anything.

I left Hart House, went home to surprise my parents who then lived in Toronto, and told them nothing of my reason for being there since I expected only disappointment. They were woken at about 0500 hours by a telephone call for me. It was the secretary of the Rhodes committee, offering tentative congratulations but explaining that a press relese would, in due course, tell the world. I learned later that I was a fall-back choice. Stephen Clarkson had won the first of the Ontaio positions and Tim Reid was second but he wanted to pay for the Hamilton Tigercats. Morton was number 3 and, once Reid had been promised a future scholaship, I could go in 1959. . (There were no women in those days!)

Feeling myself bound by the release date, I left my folks to read the news in the Globe & Mail and returned to Kingston. I was summoned by the Commandant, Commodore D.W. Piers, congratulated and also forcefully reminded that, as CWA, he noticed that I walked lilke a duck and must cure the fault if I was not to bring disgrace to RMC and my parents. His observation was justified. I had flat feet, a matter that posed no problem to me and had passed unknown to the M.O. who had, years before, administered a hurried medical exam. The result of the discovery of my modest disability was that my dreams of the Armoured Corps were buried and I had been transferred to the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps, where an L-3 classification in my PULHEMS was apparenly tolerable. The Commandant also informed me that my three-year obligation then the price of ROTP, would be extended to five years if I went to Oxford after I graduated. None of this had been mentioned before for the obvious reason that he was as dubious about my prospects as I had been.

I thoroughly enjoyed my two years at Oxford where I belonged to George Stanley’s old college, Keble. I made a few life-long friends and could conceivably have come home with a wife except that my chosen partner had too much common sense to chance her hard-earned career in Canada. My first Army posting was to the now-vanished RCASC School at Camp Borden as a platoon commander in Depot Company.

My first platoon was soon joined by another, largely francophone, because these were the years when the Diefenbaker government needed the army to sop up unemployed and northern Quebec was struggling, then as now, with its forest industry. I learned more from the members of both platoons than they learned from me, but two years in England had so thickened my blood that I astonished them by leaving my greatcoat in my car during winter range practice. For my second year at the RCASC, I teamed up with Jack Granatstein in making life miserable for members of an OCP platoon. The misery, our alumni reminded us in later years, was expecting them to read a newspaper a day, a magazine a week and a book every month and having them report their progress in class.

At the RCASC School it was easy to get through my lieutenant to captain promotion exams, and even the all-arms part of the captain to major. What was missing was any sophisticated understanding of how my own corps worked. I asked for an appointment to one of the field companies scattered across Canada. Instead, my next job was in the Army Historical Section in Ottawa. It was NOT what I wanted or needed for my career but it was exactly what I needed for a very different career. I rented an apartment in Eastview (now Vanier)so that I could improve and civilize the French I had gratefully practised on my recruits. I walked to work in the Landriault Building, a former poolhall rented to the government by a devout Conservative, and after writing a report on the twisted and tortured arrangements to manage and control Canada’s CEF in the Frirst World War, I was launched on a hiustory of the Canadian Miliia after Confederation. Both reports would eventually become books but that seemed a long way off. Meanwhile, i had a chance to see how government and politics worked. I remember spending Friday evenings in the basement of the old Bytown Inn where aspiring civil servants shouted political gossip and possibly state secrets to bearded graduate students from Ottawa and Carleton. Since I didn’t drink, the gossip was my reward.

Politics was, of course, out of bounds for a very junior army officer, but it was the central theme in my daytime research and it had invaded my private life. At Oxford, I had joined both the Labour and the iberal clubs and I had travelled to London to choose the future famous Charles Taylor a delegate to the NDP’s Founding Convntion in Ottawa. At Camp Borden, I had discreetly taken leave to work in the 1962 and 1963 election campaigns for David Lewis, and learned about election organization and leadership from professionals like Gerry Caplan, Marj Pinney and the eloquent Stephen Lewis. How were NDP poilitics compatible with the Army? Easy. We had a welfare state, with medical care and a pension; they wanted these benefits for the rest of Canadians. whatever the NDP reputation for anti-militarism and pacifism, NDPers were firmly anti-communists and they had the loyalty of many of the officers, NCOs and private soldiers I already respected for wisdom and good sense. I recalled a public meeting where David Lewis had come to denounce the War in Vietnam. It soon was apparent that “our” meeting had been invaded by warring Trotskiites and Communists. Barraged with jeers and insults when he rose to speak, Lewis responded with such a roaring denunciation of the totalitarians in the hall that some of us wondered whether the U.S. Embassy had supplied the speech.

At the Historical Section, I asked again about my RCASC career needs. There was no interest expressed. I was now to be an historian in uniform, and, as a captain, I was well enough paid for my needs. No doyubt, but I had not gone to RMC or, indeed, to Oxford to become a civil servant. Then I was approached for a very different career. Stephen Lewis gets his way by many trechniques. With me, he phoned at three o’clock in the morning. He was also urgent and convincing. I had skills I could use. I had, I explained, two more years to serve. I could come then. The need, as ever with Stephen, was right now. How much did the Army need to set me free? I had no idea. An M.P. would find out from Paul Hellyer, the new Liberal minister. It was, I discovered later, not very much. The NDP would pay and I would accept a lower salary for a few years: $10,000 a year. It was more than I was earning as a captain in 1964. And where could I get more basic experience in politics, tactics, leadership and organization — all skills I had dreamed at RMC of developing and perfecting. By September, 1964, I was out of all but the Supplementary Reserve and on my way to Toronto and my first campaign.

Jim Renwick had been adjutant of the B.C. Regiment in Normandy and an increasingly prominent Toronto lawyer afterwards
ED: Over the next few issues we intend to print short bios on other Ex cadets who received The Rhodes Scholarship.