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Class of '76 40th Reunion 22-25 Sep 2016 - Last one before Entering the Old Brigade

While in Kingston for our 40th reunion, several of us are going to go attend the RMC Foundation Annual Dinner on Thursday 22 Sep. Chuck Oliviero reserved a table for our Class of '76, and as of Feb 25th  4 of the 8 seats are already taken. Chuck told me that 4 more of our classmates have indicated that they plan to attend but they have not yet paid their $200. So Chuck has spoken to the organizer, Jennifer, and we have another table of 8 to fill. Don't delay - there are a limited number of seats available and when they are gone, you won't be dining with us. Reservation Details can be found on the Foundation Website under news and events : and the email contact is

The Class of '76 invites all members to get together in Kingston.  Details will be finalized in the near future, but for planning purposes, here is a rough outline of events:
Thursday 22 Sep - Foundation Dinner
Friday 23 Sep - Golf Tournament, Recruit Obstacle Course, and Class of '76 Meet and Greet at Fort Frontenac Officers' Mess.
Saturday 24 Sep - Cadet Parade when the Recruits join the Wing, get 'badged', and receive coins from the Old Brigade.  Our Class of 76 will join the RMC Club dinner at the Senior Staff Mess.
Sunday 25 Sep - Ex-Cadet Parade where we will marching as Senior Class that has not joined the Old Brigade.

Karmin McKay wants everyone to know about Outward Bound

Outward Bound offers a variety of courses for vets (means anyone from class of 76). They are free of charge. I recently attended the mountain hiking course and it was very rewarding, challenging as well as interesting. My course contained 5 women, 3 men with both serving and retired CF personnel across all 3 services. I will apply for next years sea kayaking course.
Some courses are not fully subscribed and it only takes 15 minutes to complete the application form.
Outward Bound

So DB, get out west to climb mountains again. Anyone coming out West is entitled to a free steak dinner chez McKay.


Coining the Rookies Upon Entering the Old Brigade

The Class of '71 (those old guys we form up beside every 5 years and make comments like "We will look much better than them in 5 years) are starting their planning for their entrance into the Old Brigade in 2016. They are wondering if they should continue the recent tradition of coining the rookies so they are gathering feedback from follow on classes that will be affected. I will paste in their email sent to Class Secretaries and Webmasters. I would ask you to read it and post your thoughts on our FB page or send me an email. For your info, I have also attached the replies that Chuck and I sent to Geoff Bennett, but do not be constrained by our personal opinion.
To secretaries and webmasters of RMC Classes from the seventies
From 8788 Geoff Bennett, Class of 1971
In recent years a new "tradition" has appeared at RMC. After the Recruit Obstacle Course members of the Old Brigade present RMC coins to all recruits. The cost of the coins is approximately $3,200 and is paid for by the Class entering the Old Brigade. I'm not sure how the tradition began but it may have been an initiative of the Class of 1966 with support from Al Roberts (former OB Adjutant) and Gerry Stowe (current OB Adjutant). Note that the Class of 1966 has donated more money to the Foundation than any other.
When Ray Hook, our Class Secretary, and I asked Gerry Stowe if the Class of 1971 could opt out of the coin tradition, he said that the coins would still be distributed but that the cost would have to come out of the OB account, the balance of which would be cut in half.
We asked one of our classmates to do a random sample of cadets to find out if this tradition is meaningful to them. Surprisingly, about 75% of first year cadets appreciated the coin and did not view it as a mere souvenir. Older cadets and recent Ex-Cadets also value the coins and often bring them to Mess functions along with other regimental coins.
In my opinion our class money would be better spent on donations to the Foundation or other worthwhile projects. We are currently planning to contribute to the Danny McLeod Athletic Endowment Fund when our class enters the OB in 2016. Most of our classmates are unaware of the coin tradition and may not be too happy about another request for money.
According to "a reliable source" at RMC, the Class of 1969 was reluctant to continue this tradition but in the end they decided to go along with it.
So Ray and I are in a bit of a quandary. We are not happy that another class has instigated this rather expensive tradition, thus committing all younger classes without consulting them. We thought that it might be a good idea to canvass your opinions to see if there is a united feeling one way or the other.
Accordingly, could I ask you for a Yes or No response plus any comments you might have. Kindly reply to me and I'll summarize the results for everyone's benefit later.
PS This coin tradition is not to be confused with the badging ceremony after the Saturday parade, which is paid by Her Majesty.

  Click here for the response from Chuck and John.

Paul Amyotte named President of Engineers Canada

Engineers Canada is pleased to welcome Paul Amyotte, FEC, P.Eng., as its president for the 2014-2015 term. Dr. Amyotte will lead the Engineers Canada Board in support of the provincial and territorial engineering regulatory bodies to advance the engineering profession and its self-regulation in the public interest.  Click here for the news release.

Passing of for Annette Payne - 7 Apr 2014 - wife of Rick Payne

A donation to the Canadian Cancer Society in memory of Annette was made on behalf of our Class of 76.

Her full obituary is posted here

Request from the Class of 63 to the Class of 76

On the occasion of its entry into the Old Brigade in 2009, the Class of 63 created and donated to the College the RMC Wall of Honour "To recognize ex-cadets of the Royal Military Colleges (RMC, RRMC, CMR), and others with College numbers, for outstanding achievements and contributions to Canada or the World, and to inspire cadets thereby". The original agreement between the Class of 63, the Foundation and RMC states that "within ten years, the Class of 63 will have identified another class or classes to assume the leadership and management of the Wall..."

The letter to the Classes of 73 to 93 is posted here.  If you think that this is something that our Class of 76 should participate in, please contact Bill Sergeant.

Mike More's son Rob

Mike More's son Rob was one of the victims of the OC Transpo-train crash. I have posted an Ottawa Sun article about Rob here.  Mike has informed us that the service will be at Capital Memorial Gardens, 3700 Prince of Wales, Ottawa. Visitation will be 5-8pm Wed Sep 25th and again noon to 1pm on Thurs 26th with service to follow.

35th Reunion & Eventual Class Gift - October 2011

Our Class members started meeting each other at Friday's obstacle course. We enjoyed seeing the way the recruit flights worked together to get tasks done - like using strategy in getting everyone over the high wall. It contrasted strongly with the style of race we had which was much more individualistic and the goal was simply to get yourself to the end as fast as possible. Friday evening, we got together at the Cadet Mess and got a chance to chat with everybody to catch up on what was going on in everyone's life. On Saturday morning, we were able to witness the 'badging' of the Recruits by the Old Brigade entry class (1966) and got to see the new 1st year cadets join the Cadet Wing. Saturday afternoon was dedicated to sports - some events were intercollegiate and there were 7 competitions between Ex-Cadets vs Cadets. On Sunday morning, we formed up on parade under the direction of Chuck Oliviero. We looked very sharp on parade in the mist and rain as we treked out to the Arch for the annual service for fallen comrades. While the comments from the group were quite entertaining, the best quote was attributed to Cole Tokei after they read off the list of RMC Grads who passed away in the past year. Cole said "If you are going to die, make sure you do it in the year preceding one of our 5-year reunions so our boys will be on parade to hear your name called". On the return to the parade square, the presentation of the Piiper Challenge Cup was presented. The tradition calls for the RMC CWC to accept the trophy if RMC wins, or the senior Ex-cadet from a winning team if the Ex-cadets win. Most of the games were close, but the Ex-cadets won 4-3 so our Class of 76 was honoured to have the most senior ex-cadets participating and both were on winning teams. John McManus (Water Polo) and Dave Harvie (Rugby) marched out to accept the trophy.

Class Gift to RMC Foundation

For Class of 76 members, this link is a good start. You can read about some of the ongoing projects available and they may spur your creativity in choosing a 'Class of 76' endeavour. This is part of the Foundation website which is easy to navigate through.

Take a moment to look through the whole site - under the heading "Ways to give" you will see how to ensure your donations go directly to our class fund or a specific project. I think this will ensure future donations do not end up in a project not of the donor's choosing. From the left hand side menu you can go directly to make an online donation. For those of you who did so on the weekend - again - thank you very much! From our meeting in ML7 (where the seats were not as comfortable as the theatre seats from the 70s), Bill Sergeant received about 6 volunteers to join the steering committee to come up with a 'Class of 76' plan. Bill suggested some initial guidelines which included drafting a framework document by the end of November 2011 that defines the guiding principles for the selection of a class project. Some of the terms that were bantered about at the meeting were: teamwork (Tony Bowie); visibility; focus; Centennial class; unique. This is not meant to be an inclusive list, rather one to get us all thinking. The framework should also include how many classmates constitute a quorum to approve the potential project, who or what positions (i.e. class secretary, committee chair, elected officials) will be given authority to commit funds for the project, who will oversee the implementation of the project, and what should happen to any remaining funds once all class members have departed this life.

Tragedy strikes John Rose - 1 June 2010


Dear Comrades, Our Classmate John Rose shone on the sports field, was a loyal teammate and friend, and was personally very popular at RMC. Therefore, it should surprise no one then, that last Saturday afternoon, in scenic lakeside Invermere, a bright and shining sun pushed back the relentless rain that had, to now, been our B.C. Spring..........and revealed that over ten percent of the town's population of 3600 had come out to pay their final respects to their departed town doctor, colleague, and friend. Clearly Dr. Johnson Albert Rose was well loved and respected by the townsfolk of Invermere. Besides the sheer numbers that swelled Christ Church Trinity that day, the constant sound of attending ladies' sniffles, throughout the three Eulogies offered up, underscored the deep sadness and grief that gripped the entire town. Indeed, even prior to my arriving at the Church, while assisting the two middle-aged owners of Invermere's Canterbury Florists, Joanne and Sandy, with the final touches on our Class of '76 floral arrangement, both ladies choked up when speaking of Dr. Johnson Rose, and the tragic accident that took him all too soon.

At Ray Ray's Pub, overlooking Invermere Beach, where I lunched and changed into my suit, the patrons I talked to all knew our Classmate, and all mourned his loss. "Shocking" and "tragic" were the common adjectives most used, with one man cursing the rail line that split the town and impeded town peoples' progress. The Service was simple and dignified as Paul Rose, the oldest surviving brother, was introduced by the Anglican Parson, and delivered a heartfelt and poignant Eulogy highlighting Johnson's many accomplishments, interests, and passions. Johnson, Paul told us, was the best oldest brother any boy could've had, and that Johnson had always wanted to be a doctor. Apparently, historical dealings with "the four Rose boys" growing up in nearby Cranbrook, included the concept of picking a fight with one, meant taking on the other three as well. Paul spoke of the enormous pride and love Johnson held for his wife Denise, her skills and efforts as a great wife and mother.........and in her considerable Art talent and accomplishments. On two occasions, Paul emphasized the enormous level of Johnson's pride in his two sons Trevor, 20 and James 18.......and their tremendous accomplishments as two local area sports phenoms. I remember thinking then that "the apples didn't fall far from the tree." Paul lightened the sombreness a tad by referring to Johnson's penchant for British high-performance Sports Cars, his reluctance to operate them at less than their maximum rated speeds.........and "the account" he paid-off (over some time) with the local RCMP.

The second Eulogy was from an elderly physician who had recruited our Classmate as a young UBC Medical School Graduate, to intern there in the Columbia Valley. He spoke of John's determination on the ice, as he led the local area doctors to a Medical Association Hockey Championship over teams of MDs from much larger urban areas. That determination, zeal and passion was even stronger, he reported, when Dr. Johnson Rose took on the Provincial Health bureaucracy to obtain important and expensive resources for their local Hospital. In Johnson's soft-spoken manner, evidently visiting BC Healthcare reps would describe a long-awaited item in great detail.........John would politely let them finish.......and then say two words........"but, WHEN??!!!" Apparently the Dr. Rose "But When??!!" procurement methodology worked very well, as Invermere has more medical hardware today per capita than any other berg in Southeast BC!!

The final Eulogy was from a lady physician who was Johnson's Medical Practice partner. She was a little shaky at the beginning, but recovered very well to entertain us with stories of John's affinity for exceedingly strong coffee, his dry sense of humour, his off-the-wall observations...........and his ability to silently disappear out the office backdoor (usually down to the Hospital to check on a patient) without being noticed. A reception followed, and I was able to meet John's lovely wife Denise, and his sons, Trevor and James. I also met John's three brothers, Paul, Kevin and Derek. I explained (to all of them) that I had known John (and it was "John" at RMC, and not Johnson, because everything in the military is abbreviated)........and that John had been the Rugby star from Royal Roads who became the fastest player on the RMC Redmen Football team, our starting halfback, and just a guy who was a naturally gifted athlete.........but more than that, John had been truly a great Cadet, comrade, Classmate, and buddy. No one had ever, I reported, nobody at RMC, staff or cadet, had ever had a bad word to say about John. The young John Rose had possessed a quiet confidence about him, soft-spoken yet very witty, with a instant and infectious laugh. He was a very easy guy to like, I said. I made a point of emphasizing that I was there representing all 200-plus Class of '76 comrades of John's, and that many emails about John had gone around Canada, from coast to coast to coast, those past few days. Denise was particularly moved by our Floral Tribute, complete with one RMC insignia front & centre (could be alleged from a pre-worn RMC polo shirt I brought along in the car) and was most appreciative that our Class, from all those decades ago, would remember John so fondly and vividly. I told his sons that their dad was proud and confident, but never vain.........a fiery competitor on the sports field, yet easy-going in everyday situations. John had so many great traits and also strong values like loyalty, toughness, and courage. It was obvious, I said to his sons, that the good people of Invermere knew that Johnson was a great man, and that I was there to tell them, in all honesty and sincerity, that John had also been a great guy as a young man just starting out. In the end, like the town of Invermere, our Class of '76 is poorer today than we were one week ago. This was a shocking and tragic accident which befell a Community Leader, a healer, a devoted husband and father, and an esteemed and valued comrade to us. As Paul Rose said in his heartfelt Eulogy......... "we are all richer for having known Johnson Albert Rose!"
R.I.P. John Rose



Memorial Arch 90th Anniversary

June 25, 2013 marked the 90th Anniversary at a landmark of the Royal Military College of Canada. On 25 June 1923, as part of that year's Graduation Day activities the Governor-General of Canada, His Excellency Viscount Byng, of Vimy, officially laid the cornerstone of the Memorial Arch. Deposited within the stone, in a sealed copper box, were nominal rolls of Cadets and Staff, pamphlets concerning the Arch, the RMCC Review of May 1923, Canadian coins and stamps and the Roll of Honour of the College. Designed by architect J. M. Lyle, Esq., of Toronto and funded by the RMC Club of Canada with monies raised from ex-cadets and other friends of the College. The Memorial Arch, which in all its humble grace, stood completed in 1924. The Arch commemorates the ex-cadets who had lost their lives in the Great War as well as earlier conflicts. The stones around The Arch continue to bear the names of Cadets fallen in conflict, in peacekeeping or fallen to other causes while in service.

Remember 1975's how to 'Faint on Parade'

Vancouver Sun 1978 'By the left! Paaaaaasss ... out!'

Col (ret) Tim Ryley's background  Author's Reply