Victoria Edwards In Conversation With Lionel Boxer

E3161 Victoria Edwards (RMC 2003) interviewed 12506 Capt Lionel Boxer CD PhD MBA  BTech (IndEng) (RMC 1980) about the RMC band, RMC rugby team and the Australia Branch of the Ex-Cadet Club. He is a captain with the Royal Australian Engineers and late of Royal Canadian Engineers.

e-Veritas: Outline your career path since RMC.

12506 Lionel Boxer: I am Adjunct/Associate doctoral supervisor at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia, as well as the Australian Defence Force Academy (starting in Jan 2014).

I just found out that I will be supervising a doctoral student at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) as an external adjunct.  ADFA is a university like RMC of Canada, whereas RMC Duntroon is an army officer training school and does not offer university education.  Since 1997, I have lectured for the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) Masters of Engineering program in business process re-engineering, performance indicators and benchmarking, and leadership. I have been a corporate quality manager for multinational firms in IT and civil engineering and is currently employed as a lead auditor for at SAI-Global, Melbourne Area, I have been working in Australia since 1987 and have also worked in New Zealand and Hong Kong and southern China. From 1981-2000, I  consulted to business and government as an industrial engineer (Ryerson Polytechnical University, in Toronto, Canada, 1982), through my business Intergon, as well as through KPMG and Computer Power Group.

To take the edge off academic life, I have played the bag pipes with a local army reserve band. As a Captain, as well as playing bagpipes I currently serve in Melbourne University Regiment in the training development cell.  We train officer candidates as a reserve component of RMC Duntroon.

e-Veritas: What bands did you play with since graduating from RMC?

12506 Lionel Boxer: In 1998 I started piping with the army reserve here in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.  The 5th/6th Battalion, The Royal Victoria Regiment (in 1960 the 5th Battalion, The Victorian Scottish Regiment and 6th Battalion, The Royal Melbourne Regiment were disbanded and after a number of reorganisations came together in 1982 to form 5th/6th Battalion, The Royal Victoria Regiment.)  As I had not played bagpipes for 18 years and I never played them really properly while at RMC I had to relearn just about everything.  18 months later I piped at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo with Pipes and Drums of the 5th/6th Battalion, The Royal Victoria Regiment, where we performed with Pipes and Drums of two other Gordon Highlander affiliates, the Toronto Scottish Regiment and Capetown Highlanders.   Since then I have performed mostly with this army reserve Pipes and Drums, but also as a soloist and with some composite and highland gathering massed bands.

: What are your research interests?

12506 Lionel Boxer: My “The Sustainable Way: Essential reading for all business people, owner operators and executives”(Cover); presents a decision making framework based on the findings of practical research conducted with CEOs from a
range of large and medium sized organisations.  My Doctoral study (2003) RMIT was in the area of triple bottom line; “How are the triple bottom line problems (or conflicts) resolved by company senior managers.” My MBA (1998) RMIT featured a research project looking into the implications of shareholders on business leaders decision making. I am also involved in the development of a business simulation program that deals with triple bottom line issues. I earned a Bachelor of Technology (Ind. Eng.) 1982 at Ryerson Polytechnic University (Toronto) after three years at Royal Military College of Canada.

My “Assessment of Quality Systems with Positioning Theory” was published in The Self and Others by Rom Harré, Fathali Moghaddam,2003. Since then I have had book chapters in Harré and Moghaddam’s 2010 Words of Conflict Words of War, which explored the debate about Officer Training Corps at civilian universities, and 2013 The Psychology of Friendship and Enmity.

e-Veritas: What instrument(s) did you play with the RMC band?

12506 Lionel Boxer: In the RMC pipes and drums I played bagpipes from 1976 to 1979.  I also played guitar. As several of my cousins and ancestors were pipers I always had an interest in piping; my Scot/Australian ancestors’ names are McIndoe, McKinnon (originating out of Skye), and Roberts (Robertson). My Sapper dad was a RE Maj in 8th Army and later RCE. Since I have always served as a sapper, I did not have the time or inclination to learn in cadets or militia.  When Pipe Major Don Carrigan presented the opportunity to us I jumped at the chance and I played whatever tunes the PM told me to play.

e-Veritas: Pipe Major Don Carrigan wrote “Alexander Mackenzie”, the official slow pipe march of the RMCC

12506 Lionel Boxer: Don Carrington was a terrific pipe major and a good friend. [Marching Off with a Class, is a long time RMC tradition, and considered a high honour by “staff” of the college. It is an indication of how the cadets thought of Don Carrigan.]

e-Veritas: Where did you practice?

12506 Lionel Boxer: We practiced in the basement of Fort Haldimand and the grounds of Fort Frederick, the Martello Tower. I played with the RMC Ps&Ds on parades, hockey games, and other functions.

e-Veritas: Any challenges or best practices?

12506 Lionel Boxer: There were no challenges, really. [The Commandants] 2816 BGen (Ret’d) William Turner (RMC 1940) and H4860 General (Ret’d) John de Chastelain (RMC 1960) were great supporters.

e-Veritas: Who were the cadet/staff leaders of the band?

12506 Lionel Boxer: 13068 Brigadier Pete Atkinson (RMC 1981) was drum major.  12201 Colonel Ken MacKenzie (RMC 1979) was pipe major 1978-79.  I cannot recall any other cadet pipe majors or drum majors.  I recall 12192 Gen Tom Lawson (RMC 1979), 12632 MGen Mike Ward (RMC 1980), 12560 Major (Ret’d) Bruce Henwood CMM CD (RMC 1980) (who I have known since army cadets and our militia junior leader course), 12529 Captain (N) Mark Eldridge, and 12583 MAJ Andy McQuilkin (RMC 1980) were pipers at the time, but they did not hold appointments in the RMC Ps&Ds.  12655 Rob Dixon (RRMC 1980) was a drummer; later we worked for the same company in 1995 although I was in Hong Kong and Rob was in Melbourne.

e-Veritas: Any special uniforms/kit or instruments?

12506 Lionel Boxer: Pipers were issued new hair sporrans in 1977.  We only had cutaway scarlets at the time.  So, we could only wear kilts with scarlets and No 6 battle dress tunics.  We did not have glengarries at the time either.

e-Veritas: Anything else to add about the Australia Branch of the Ex-Cadet Club?

12506 Lionel Boxer: 4459 Cmdre (Retd) Ed Murray (RRMC 1959) likes a good skylark if not just to surprise a fellow ex-cadet. When I answered my cell/mobile phone in Melbourne one day and heard, “hello Lionel its Ed Murray, former commandant of RMC!”, I thought to myself, “who is this joker pulling my leg?” About an hour later we met at Melbourne’s Naval and Military Club (now defunct) and I thought that I must be in some sort of s*&%. We discovered that my wife and Ed’s daughter were at the time MBA classmates at the University of Melbourne. Ed turned out to be a great friend and most active member of the Australia Branch of the Ex-Cadet Club. He donated an RMC Plaque to the Naval and Military Club; a great enthusiast for RMC indeed. Since his daughter moved to Adelaide with her family I have not seen Ed for a while – drop by Melbourne for a beer Ed!

Next time RMC of Canada visit RMC Duntroon or Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) let me know. I may be able to meet them there or host them in Melbourne. My 6s Jacket with ex-cadet blazer crest still fits and I have my ex-Cadet tie here.


4104 Murray Thom (RRMC 54-56, RMC 56-58) Remembers…

MWO Ron Reedy, Band Officer

4610 Major (Ret) Gus Nelson (RRMC RMC 1959)

5215 LCol (Ret) Larry Springford (RMC 1961)

3506 Ron Capern; 3591 Donald Gregory; 3954 William Hughes

3480 Mo Hewitt

MWO Doug Craft

CWO Jack Kopstein

WO Eugene Heather

MWO Martin Huppé

MWO Chris Embree 

3069 Bill McColl