Memories of the 2007 Reunion
The purpose of this page is to allow classmates to comment on any aspect of our 2007 reunion and to give their opinion on two aspects of our next reunion.
COMMENTS ON THE REUNION:
WIH: With the exception of Saturday night, excellent accommodation, food and arrangements. Kudos to AKR and Don. Saturday night needs work.
Lawlor: Wonderful time seeing everyone again. I wondered whether the Friday evening after dinner” passing the mike time “ should be revised to have one ex cadet and one woman from each table say something rather than every ex cadet speaking while the wives sit silently listening. That would (may) also free up more time after dinner to continue conversations started but not finished before dinner.
Tim Ryley: I was struck this Reunion Weekend by the improbable way in which many of our Class wore their berets. This is, of course, understandable since the beret was not in normal use when we graduated, and has only recently been sported by the Naval and Air Force personnel of the CF. At least one, who shall remain nameless, wore his as if it were a pillbox, perched precariously over his right ear. Others wore theirs with no apparent effort to shape them. Few, I suspect, have removed the lining and shrunk them in boiling water so as to make shaping them easier and more successful. Since the parade on Sunday mornings places the Class (and of course, all attending Ex Cadets) in front of the whole Wing, we should be at pains to wear our berets in a more military manner. Our berets should match if not surpass our prowess on the march. I feel that the Class of 57 should set the example in this important matter. I therefore suggest that at the next reunion, you ask the College RSM or a member of his staff whom he designates, to give our assembled classmates, ideally in time for each who so requires, instruction on the shaping and wear of the beret. In my view, the beret should be placed on the head so that the leather piping lies in a horizontal plane one finger breadth above the eyebrows and with the RMC badge centred over the left eye. For your earnest consideration as Class Secretary.
Jack Hicks:General Kudos++ to AKR and Coulter for one of our best gatherings. I do agree with Tim that many of us need instruction on wearing the beret. Rather than wait until the event, could instructions not be published ahead of time. Boiling one's beret on the Friday night would leave some soggy heads the next day. Although Air Force, I did wear the blue beret with UNEF and was soon told by my hospital WO the correct order of dress.I would also suggest that those ex-cadets not appropriately dressed should be asked to fall out of the march to the arch. I noted at least one individual in jeans and t-shirt (not Old Brigade).
- Bill Broughton: In addition to your Kudos to Al and Don, may I add your name to the list for your excellent web site and for hitting the follow-up so promptly!
- Earl Schaubel: Here is my feedback and opinions on the class of 57 reunion. I completely agree with WIH. My thanks to Bill, Al and Don and partners for their usual excellent work.
Regarding Lawlor’s comments on the “passing the mike time”: I enjoy hearing from all of our classmates; I think that it is time well spent. I think that there is a good balance of brief “great to be here” and longer contributions – Mike’s joke, Spence’s ruminating, Sam’s thoughtful marker proposal, Sig’s very touching wrap up, etc all added to the enjoyment.
Tim’s advice on the wearing of the beret is valuable and correct; however I do believe that it is would be a violation to cut and boil it. (My logic is somewhat similar to Tom Snyder’s “If man wasn’t meant to eat animals, why are they made of meat”.)
- Doug Gilpin: The weekend was an unqualified success, at times beautiful: Friday's dinner, the best ever, the DGC is the finest ever.The Saturday parade made me so proud that I had been part of the college, and the parade quality this early in the year was impressive, (maybe as good as we were?). BGen Lawson's address, I thought, brought the cadets and ex-cadets together, ("every ex-cadet stood in scarlet on this square as you are now.......") and this was reinforced on Sunday. The memorial swords for Capts Goddard and Dawe also brought us together and enhanced for me a respect for what many of these cadets may face. Al, while I hesitate to encourage you to increase your time in front of a microphone, you did a fine job. Thank you so much for everything that you all have done.
- Murray Copeland: First our thanks to you, Al & Don for getting our class all together for one of the best, well organized reunions Pat & I have been able to get to. In the company of Dean & Joan Wellsman we attended and participated in every activity possible, but for the sports events. We enjoyed them all, especially taking part in the medallion presentations after the obstacle race and in the badging ceremony. The class dinner at the DGC was a super location and a great affair with an excellent meal. On the other hand we were very disappointed in the OB dinner at the SAM Centre. The gym setting, hot meal served cold (and having to reorder a second choice) were not befitting a formal affair, considering the significance and cost of this traditional event.
- Ron Capern: (Class of 56):Thanks for keeping me on your distribution list for notices about additions to your web site. I was interested to view your Classmates' comments on your past reunion, the dinners and social occasions.The OB dinner seems to continue to suffer from too many people attending - and I agree that the problem will only get worse as more (and larger) Classes join the OB. Our Class (RR '54 & RMC '56) offered two options for Saturday evening last year. Some folks went to the OB dinner (many out of a sense of duty, and some of them were not overly pleased); others had a Class dinner at the Donald Gordon Centre - where many of our Class stayed for the weekend. I feel that we always seem to congregate as a Class - even at the OB dinner - so why not simply hold a Class dinner, in a smaller, more convivial locale?From the photos I viewed on your web site, I agree with comments on wearing of berets by your Classmates. RSM Coggins would have had a fit, had he seen you on parade! As an old sailor (one who wore a beret while serving on submarines), I disagree with the Army view that one has to remove the liner and boil the beret to a semblance of its original size. We sailors simply put it on (correctly - the band about 1/2 " above the eyebrows, cap badge centred over the left eye) and pulled the fabric well down over the right ear.
- Dean Wellsman:The Reunion 2007 week-end was everything it was supposed to be - fun - nostalgic - informative - re-charging etc. Al and Don did a lot of work and their efforts are much appreciated.The one disappointment was the Old Brigade Dinner - it was the worst meal (at that price) that we have ever experienced.My wife has told me that she will never go to another Old Brigade Dinner in that venue and I will not impose that experience on her again.In spite of that disappointment it was great to see and talk with old friends and we will be at the next reunion (God willing) in three or five years.
- Peter Kirkham:The suggestion of a Friday night cocktail party/finger food affair, with the primary purpose being to meet, and mingle, in my opinion, will be even more powerful as 78 year olds, with the less stamina that this age implies. A DGC dinner on the Saturday night would be a perfect complement to such a Friday night.Further, as Ron Capern observes, in 2012 we will have the class of 1962 observing its reunion within the old brigade. If the caterer cannot handle the numbers currently attending, there is no way that he/she will be able to accommodate the this increased attendance.I have had people from other classes indicate to me that they have not been encouraged to attend the old brigade dinner, in their non- reunion years, because their numbers would overwhelm the capability of the caterer.Further, I am told that the $70 price tag that we paid this year included the rental of tables, table cloths, floor coverings, and other amenities. Thus, the food represented only a small proportion of the cost of our tickets. Obviously, a facility like the DGC is able to host such an event without all of these ancillary costs, or for less money with such ancillaries included..On balance, in my opinion, the evidence seems to overwhelmingly support the suggestions put forward by Earl and Len.
- Clarke Moggridge:The Beret Disarray: Even the casual observer of the March to the Arch Parades would have noticed the studied indifference which most OB members have worn the beret for 50 years or more. In retrospect, a headgear which required far less personal attention would have been more appropriate. But we are stuck with it. When I was serving in the Artillery, we had a little blue booklet, in which among other things, had back and front pictures of a officer in each of the different orders of dress. Such a picture on our website would be of benefit. Perhaps Tim Riley, the first to formally complain about the beret disarray, should provide a first solution - a picture of himself in proper attire, with a few short notes: the beret badge being over the left eye with the band two fingers above the eyebrow, ribbon ends tucked into the band and the beret pulled over the right ear, etc. His picture could also demonstrate where medal(s) and class year badge should be placed. If Tim cannot cannot find the appropriate grey flannel trousers and black footwear in his closet, he could have the picture done in black and white and send it to our OB Adjutant for approval.I really enjoy the march to the Arch - well, so far anyway. But if I had to undergo some sort of inspection by a drill sergeant beforehand, I would pass and just watch, or go home early. The accommodation and Friday night dinner is super. As for the after-dinner-mike: it was 3/4 along when it got to my table so I passed it on without a murmur. I was later chastised by several distaff attendees. I would leave the tradition alone, and each member can make his own decision.
- Tom Drummond:However, there is another issue. If the ceremony of badging the cadet recruits is important, then it is also important to mark the entry of the new OB class. In my opinion, this does not need to be done at a formal dinner, but perhaps as part of the parade ceremony on Sunday. Maybe Al could walk down the ranks of the OB recruits and present each with an appropriate momento of the occasion, such as a certificate or perhaps a badge which they can then insert into their (misshapen) berets.On the matter of shaping berets, there is long criticism but short solution to the problem. Fortunately, mine was done by my peacekeeper daughter. However, it should be remembered that the use of hot water also results in shinking, so start with a beret one size larger than needed. Let those who know how to do it give some SPECIFIC advice, otherwise don't criticise. On the other hand, I have seen some "operational" army berets looking like a cow patty draped over the head.
- Bill Campbell:Thanks for the update Bill. II support your approach 100%
- John Plant:There seem to be a lot of complaints about both the OB dinner and the other one, most saying they will not do it again.
- Glenn Giddings:From my point of view the Friday night party was first class. I didn't stay for the old brigade dinner so missed that joyous event.
Cindy Allan To Peter Dawe:
1. Good afternoon, Peter. I would like to bring to your attention the question of proper dress for Ex-Cadets who march in the parade for the Sun morning memorial service. Since he headed the parade as Adjt of the Old Brigade, I discussed it with Al Roberts before leaving Kingston, but he said that it was a matter for the RMC Club.
2. Most of the Ex-Cadets who participated wore navy blazers and grey flannels and were "uniform" in appearance. The few who wore business suits were at least presentable. One woman in the final and presumably most junior group on parade was dressed in worn and faded blue jeans with some sort of blue jean and tapestry jacket--she looked dreadful. I heard many comments from other people about how inappropriately dressed this woman was, and how disrespectful it was of the parade tradition.
3. My suggestion is that the RMC Club remind its alumni through the class secretaries and any written notices about the Ex-Cadet Weekend that there is a standard of dress required for all who would participate in the parade. In addition, there should be a mechanism by which those who are inappropriately dressed when they "fall in" will be asked to leave the parade. It is regrettable that not every RMC Club member's judgement can be relied on, and those who lack it to that extent should not be permitted to march in the parade.
Peter Dawe's Reply:
You know, some things are important to me and some things are not. To me, the most important thing is that the young woman actually showed up to take part in the parade, something others, with or without taste, didn't bother to do. It is my opinion that she will have learned from this and will wear something more appropriate the next time, or not. In the interim she is a young woman still serving, is in exemplary physical condition and speaks well; that puts her well ahead of many other folks in that parade, despite the dress issue. My opinion for what it is worth. I will leave this to others to regulate.
Cindy Allan's Reply to Peter Dawe's Reply:
The "others" left to regulate this matter are apparently Tim Sparling, Jeff Kearns, Gordon J. Clarke, and Al Roberts.
The woman concerned had a non-speaking role on the parade. Confirmation that she is a serving CF member makes me think even more poorly of her judgement with respect to this event.
OPINION 1: When should the next reunion be held, 2010 or 2012?
This question has been complicated by the class of '60 which has booked 50 rooms at the DGCC for their reunion in 2010. There is not enough room for our class in 2010 so Don Coulter has tentatively booked 2012. If the class opts for 2010, we must choose alternative accommodation.
(*in both columns
Comment on Opinion 1:
WIH: Access to the DGCC overrides all other considerations. Perhaps Don should book 2017, 2022, 2027, 2032, 2037 .... etc.
George Logan: I prefer 2012 but will likely attend any selected year
Jack Hicks: My vote is for 2012, reinforced by Coulter's prudent booking of the DGCC. The venue this year was excellent in all respects.
Len Pitura: Why not try 2011 if the DGCC is available? Otherwise 2012 is fine.
Bill Broughton: Dora and I still like the idea of a reunion in both three and five years. Great that Don has cornered the Gordon Centre for 2012. Perhaps he could scout elsewhere for 2010 and advise. That way we can have a show of hands for the two dates with known venues. As far as later dates are concerned, I don't know how far down stream the Gordon Centre will accept bookings, but I suggest for now that we should speak for 2015 and 2017. You can see that we like the five year plus an in betweener.
Murray Copeland: 2012 is OK with me but as we get older and thinner in the ranks I'd be quite happy with a shorter 3 or 4 year reunion interval.
Clarke Moggridge: Having spent four cadet years in Kingston, I really don't have anything to celebrate in 2010 - certainly not those first two years. But I did go with the Roadies in their celebration at the Royal Roads dinner in June(?) 2005. Perhaps the 2010 reunion should be at RR and CMR? I'm sure we could whip up a fine reunion in Victoria if sanctioned!
Ike Stuart: Thanks for all your work. 2012 is good for me. Ike.
Glenn Giddings:I agree with 2012 for the next reunion( god willing) and suggest that each of us pick a classmate who didn't attend this year's reunion and see if we can'tconvince him to turn up in 2012.
OPINION 2: What should we do about Saturday night?
Continue the OB event as before to show support for the OB, especially the recruit class entering
SAM CENTRE DIFFERENT VENUE
Organize a second class dinner at the same or a different venue than the Friday night event
(* see comments)
Leave Classmates free to organize small groups for dinner at their choice of venue
Comment on Opinion 2
WIH: The basic concept of the present Saturday night event is flawed. The venue is noisy and unattractive, to cater an edible meal to such a large group is virtually impossible, there is little mixing among classes so why be together, the numbers of ex-cadets and OB members will continue to grow quickly and the event will ultimately become unmanageable.
Jack Hicks: I think the Old Brigade 'Dinner' is now a dodo. The numbers are simply too great to make for an enjoyable occasion. A second class dinner or make it a free evening for classmates to organize as they wish would be preferred
Len Pitura: I agree that the increasing size of the group Saturday night limits the opportunity to mingle with anyone, let alone your own classmates. May I suggest a cocktail party early Saturday evening cash bar, finger food and then the individuals can opt for whatever they prefer that evening--OB Dinner or some private dining.
Bill Broughton: We prefer the idea that the class generally have the Sat. dinner together. Whether that is separately as a class or with the Old Brigade as a class, we should wait until we see what the College does to improve the locale and fare for the Old Brigade and then take a poll. Basically, as the jingle goes, "The more we are together, the happier we'll be!" Hence, the success of the Sat. lunch. Finally, I think that I wore my beret correctly, but maybe not quite as close to me eyebrows as Tim would like!
*Earl Schaubel: I propose changing the format for our weekend. I prefer not to have two large meals on consecutive nights. (Three large dinners for those who have attended the Legacy Dinner)I suggest that we meet at the Donald Gordon Centre for a cocktails and hors d’oeuvres (finger food) on early Friday evening and have our class dinner on Saturday. (A modification of Len Pitura’s suggestion.)
I see the benefits of this proposal to be;
1) the cocktail party on the first day provides a good mixing opportunity, with time to reunite with more classmates and partners;
2) people who have traveled much of the day to get to Kingston would be less hassled and more rested on the Saturday evening; (not to mention the golfers!)
3) a cocktail party on the evening following the class dinner, and the ensuing dispersal into small groups, might be anti-climactic.
WIH: I must confess that I rather like the ideas put forth by Len and Earl and would favour a "light" meet and greet Friday night, followed by a Saturday night dinner. The suggestion will likely give our O.B. Adj. an attack of apoplexy but, hey, we're just giving our opinions. I wouldn't mind supporting the O.B. and its new recruits if I felt it was being done effectively.
Murray Copeland: Definitely not the SAM Centre. I lean towards Earl's suggestion of a Friday night 'Meet & Greet' and a Saturday night Class Dinner. This affords us the opportunity of circulating with more of our own classmates than time has allowed to date. But how could we manage without the loyal presence on Sat. of our Class Sec./OB Adjutant? Otherwise it's the traditional Class Dinner on Friday and separate last minute arrangements for a Casual Dinner on Sat.
Clarke Moggridge: I went to the first one with anticipation, but was somewhat annoyed when treated like a first year cadet again - not happy memories. But Al, being a gentler man and with round tables, it could be be better. But it was not, for different reasons. The caterer has an impossible task for a sit down dinner where there is no preparation facility. And it is really a repeat of Friday, with other classes around us, in a gymnasium. Formal gear and party dresses seemed so out of place. Pity Spenny Volk and Mike Valiquet couldn't decorate it like they used to do for our balls in the new gym. I would support an OB finger food cocktail party, where we just might mingle with the other classes. Whether people went then to join the younger group's party or went to dinner elsewhere would be personal choice.
Tom Drummond: I like the idea of a Friday night class cocktail party followed by a class dinner on Saturday, both held at the DGC. The Old Brigade dinner was not at all enjoyable at this year's venue. I thought that the dinner venue in 2004 was far superior. I agree that the problem of attendance is only going to get worse year by year. Frankly, I would not be troubled with cancellation of the OB dinner altogether.
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