Old Brigade Issue
Email from Neil to Peter Dawe 11 September 2009:
The Reunion page on the RMC Club website shows the class of 1963 as entering the Old Brigade.
The class of 1964 is also entering the Old Brigade this year
all the best
Neil Carscadden 5986
Reply from 3918 A.K. Roberts
Adjutant, Old Brigade:
Reply from 3918 A.K. Roberts Adjutant, Old Brigade:
It is true that the Club's Reunion website page is incomplete with regard to the Class of 64. What should be shown is: Class of 1964 (Early Welcome into Old Brigade)
As you are undoubtedly aware, a recent amendment to the Constitution (Section 14.3) allows classes to opt for an early welcome into the Old Brigade some four months in advance of their members actually entering the Brigade. Section 14.2 of the Constitution remains as it was and dictates when ex-cadets enter the Old Brigade (i.e., after "fifty (50) or more years have elapsed from the year of entry into a Canadian Military College"). The only reason we were able to introduce the amendment was due to the loose manner in which Section 14.2 was originally written. The Early Welcome Amendment satisfies the desire of older members of the Brigade to keep the 50-year rule intact while, at the same time, allowing incoming classes to respect their five-year reunion cycles and still be able to "adopt the customs normally accorded to members of the Old Brigade" during the Reunion Weekend immediately preceding the year they actually enter the Brigade.
Looking forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks.
3918 A.K. Roberts Adjutant, Old Brigade
31 May 2009
The entry below was posted in 2008, before the referendum in 2009. However, it is still true. The results of the referendum were 85 percent in favour.
WE DID IT!!!
5 July 2008 Email from the Adjutant of the Old Brigade:
Email from the Adjutant of the Old Brigade:
From: A.K. Roberts
Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2008 10:04 PM
Subject: Old Brigade Entry
On 23 May the annual meeting of General Council was held at Campus Fort Saint-Jean. As usual, it was preceded by a meeting of the Executive Committee. One of the agenda items was Old Brigade Entry. I had previously reported the inputs from the OBAC during an Executive Committee conference call on 09 April. During that conference call it was agreed unanimously that the entry criterion detailed in Article 14.2 of the Club's Constitution would remain unchanged, but that the Early Welcome Option would be offered to classes commencing in 2009. This position was confirmed unanimously by both the EC and GC on 23 May.
This 'solution' is clearly a compromise. As a member of the Executive Committee on the one hand and as Adjutant of the Old Brigade on the other, I have responsibilities to both. There was considerable, but not unanimous, 'downward' pressure from members of the Old Brigade in favour of the status quo. At the same time, members of the EC (including myself) and Foundation were being subjected to very strident 'upward' demands from most of the next 10 incoming (to the Old Brigade) classes for change to entry into the Brigade at 45 years of graduation.
As the President of the Club said during the 23 May meetings, I got it from one direction and he got it from the other. Under such circumstances, it seemed that a compromise was in order, and that is what occurred. The definition for entry has been maintained, but Early Welcome will be extended to those classes who wish it. The President informs me that the 'renegade' classes are more than happy with this outcome. While this solution does not meet with unanimous approval, it avoids what would probably have been a nasty constitutional exercise as well as the possible weakening of the Old Brigade.
Further, at Old Brigade dinners and other similar functions the roll call will henceforth be by year of entry up to1947 and thereafter by class, commencing with the Class of 52. This may be modified for functions held at Campus Fort Saint-Jean because classes from the former CMR de Saint-Jean usually refer to themselves by their year of entry.
12 October 2007 Voting results to date regarding the year of our next reunion:
Voting results to date regarding the year of our next reunion:
Current counts. If you have not voted yet, or did not receive the question, contact Neil. We have received replies from 101 people out of 131 email addresses on file.
20 Sept 2007 Message from 6776 Colonel T.A.H. Sparling (First Vice-President of the Club):
Message from 6776 Colonel T.A.H. Sparling (First Vice-President of the Club):
I am not sure if you have received a response to this note. I wanted to let you know that your proposal will be on the agenda of the next meeting of the Executive Committee on 28 Sep. We have not yet heard the reaction from The Old Brigade, but the Adjt of the Old Brigade will be at our next meeting. Should the proposal receive approval by the EC it will then have to be presented to General Council, followed by a constitutional change proposal which will have to be presented to the membership at large. I will give you a report on the deliberations following Reunion weekend and will address the issue in an upcoming issue of e-Veritas.
20 Sept 2007 Message from 3918 A.K. Roberts, Adjutant, Old Brigade, to Peter Dawe Class of 1967:
Message from 3918 A.K. Roberts, Adjutant, Old Brigade, to Peter Dawe Class of 1967:
As you undoubtedly aware there has been some agitation by a number of the 1960s classes to modify the terms of entry into the Old Brigade. The more I hear of this, the more sympathetic I generally become to the aim of holding to the five-year cycle of reunions and having the members of classes celebrate their entry into the Brigade at their 45th reunion of graduation. Issues that are divisive and cause heartburn to Club members must be addressed and resolved in an equitable fashion, if at all possible. The time seems to have come to act accordingly with regard to this issue.
I am not, however, in full agreement with the details of the various proposals and justifications put forward to date in favour of this move. I will, therefore, offer my own proposal to this end after full discussion with the Old Brigade Advisory Council (made up of one representative from each of the Old Brigade Classes commencing with the Class of 52 plus the Adjutant Emeritus, BGen Mike Webber of the RMC Entry Class of 1937). In the meantime, the issue is on the agenda for the meeting of the Executive Committee next week in Kingston.
It is my hope that we can all work together to come to an amical agreement which will meet the demand of the 'reformers' to keep the five-year cycle of reunions intact, while accomodating entry into the Old Brigade with the desires of older members who have a traditional attachment to the 50-year from entry defintion. In this way, when an amendment to the constitution goes to the membership at large for approval, it will be consensual rather that conflictual.
I would suggest that there is a fair possibility that your (Class of 1967) next reunion, which will coincide with the celebration of the entry of your class members into the Old Brigade, will be in 2012. I will keep you and the secretaries of the other classes concerned informed of what transpires in the coming months with regard to discussions within the Executive Committee and the Old Brigade Advisory Council. A reasonable aim would be to have this resolved by the time of the Executive Committee meeting next May (which coincides with the 2008 meeting of General Council).
I hope that we will find the occasion next weekend to meet for a few minutes.
17 Sept 2007 Proposals for our next reunion:
Proposals for our next reunion:
1. We carry on with the five-year reunion schedule and have one in 2009, and then return to join the Old Brigade in 2010. (In 2009, do we attend the Club event on Saturday, or organize our own functions for both Friday and Saturday?)
2. We forgo a reunion in 2009 and all attend the reunion in 2010 to take our places in the ranks of the Old Brigade.
3. We have our reunion in 2009, and do not return again until 2014, and plan our own events. Individuals can join the Old Brigade in 2009, 2010, 2014, or not at all.
4. We plan to have a reunion in 2009 regardless, on our current schedule. If the Club changes its position, and we can join the Old Brigade as a Class, then we consider going to an Old Brigade dinner (St. Jean or Kingston) to do the ceremony together. If the Club does not change its position, we have our own dinner and ceremony.
1 Sept 2007 Reply from 12046 Pierre Ducharme (President of the Club), copied to Neil:
Reply from 12046 Pierre Ducharme (President of the Club), copied to Neil:
I share Peter’s opinions in as much as the issue keeps coming back and requires being addressed and that the Club is a democratic institution.
Therefore, Al may want a broader consultation (perhaps a survey through e-Veritas) in order to make his recommendations.
As we all know, changing the Constitution is a 12-18 months process so we will have to be patient on this one.
PRÉSIDENT, CLUB DES COLLÈGES MILITAIRES ROYAUXPRESIDENT, ROYAL MILITARY COLLEGES CLUB OF CANADA
12046 Pierre Ducharme
31 August 2007 Reply from S150 LCol P.N. Dawe (Executive Director of the Club):
Reply from S150 LCol P.N. Dawe (Executive Director of the Club):
I expect Al Roberts to answer this in detail when he climbs back in the saddle after a prolonged vacation in NS. Being the very simple former Army officer I was, and realizing I am not operating at full speed, I will nonetheless offer a couple of comments that may or may not be helpful.
1. There is obviously an issue of concern here because it keeps coming back. The Club is not a dictatorship and, as far as I know, no one has a vested interest in keeping the current version of the Constitution if it doesn't work. That said, a bunch of fairly smart guys did the best they could a few years back. A key aspect of the policy is that folks enter the OB 50 years after entry but when they actually mark the occasion with dinner at one of the colleges would be the prerogative of the classes and individuals. The key thing here is the 50 year stipulation.
2. Would it be wrong to say that a key issue now is the timing of the entry, 50 years after entry as presently stated in the Constitution, because it falls outside the 5-year cycle for RMC and RRMC folks who did four years? That does present a significant problem for organizers and is devisive. If this is indeed the case, the 45 years after grad would be a good way to maintain the 5-year cycle and ease planning. I don't recall this factor being considered when the matter was discussed in 2002-03, not to say it wasn't though. Upon mature reflection, I think it may well be the most important factor. So what? Some guys may enter the OB only 49 years after entry. Big deal if the change makes folks happy....in my opinion. The overriding concern when the existant policy was arrived at was making sure that folks who didn't complete their programs, or who repeated, could join "their" class to do the formal part of entry into the OB; allowances must be made to include these people if we entertain a new policy.
My comments for what they are worth....I am in favour of changing the Constitution.
31 August 2007 Email from Neil to Ex-cadet Board:
Email from Neil to Ex-cadet Board:
Subject: Entry to Old Brigade
12046 J. J. Pierre Ducharme
10080 Robert T. Booth
6776 Colonel T.A.H. Sparling
15988 T.J. Kearns
S150 LCol P.N. Dawe
I would like to raise the Old Brigade issue once again. Since it was last raised in 2003, many other classes besides the Class of 1964 are now concerned with this issue. We now have preliminary support from the Secretaries for the Classes of 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, and 1972. We expect to hear soon from the Classes of 1967 and 1971, whether they will also support a change to the entry policy.
These Classes wish to join the Old Brigade as a Class, not as individuals who entered college at CMR and other locations.
Old Brigade Facts:
Classes are the essential unit of currency for the Ex-Cadet Club- therefore wherever possible one should seek common reference points for each class (eg date of graduation). Anything else will inevitably be divisive. Any changes to eligibility criteria do not and should not affect existing members, only future members.
Finally, the precedent has already been set for adapting the Old Brigade entry policy to the needs of the day, when it was changed from “class” to “individual” after WWII. Why not take a careful look at the needs of today and do it again?
The only alternative that resolves all the anomalies is the one our class has been proposing - entry 45 years after graduation. The "45 years from graduation" alternative is a common reference point that does not devalue the present entry policy.
When the Board considered this matter in 2003, we received the attached letter from 6777 Michel Charron, who was President at that time. The reasons given for denying our motion were:
Points one and two are not valid. Our motion includes both non-graduates and “repeaters”.
Points three and four describe the problem, and are not reasons for failing to resolve the problem. The current policy causes a lot of debate and division in a class, with reunion dates being adjusted, and some class members undergoing the induction ceremony at a different time than others. In addition to reunion issues, an individual must choose:
The members of the Class of 1964 have been debating these issues, since our next five-year reunion is due in 2009. Some class members want to have the reunion on schedule, some wish to delay it by one year, some class members will go to CMR in 2009 for the induction ceremony, some will do it in Kingston, and some class members are fed up with the Club and the Old Brigade issue entirely. We have at least one classmate who entered CMR for first year, and not prep year. He cannot even join the Old Brigade with his classmates from CMR, if they choose to join before those from RMC and RRMC.
I am asking for the Board’s support to end this divisiveness.
Our motion to change the policy is attached. The wording may be adjusted based on the Classes supporting the motion, and to mention a change to “Article 14.0 Old Brigade”.
Neil J. Carscadden
5986 Class of 1964
31 August 2007 Wording of motion sent to Board:
Wording of motion sent to Board:
Class of 1964 Motion
Whereas since 2002 there has been a divisive time factor that separates members of classes by their entry year, with regard to joining the Old Brigade;
And whereas classes, particularly following the time of RMC's degree granting, have strongly adopted graduation year as their unifying and identifying link;
And whereas the reason for changing the entry criteria from Class to Individual after WWII (fragmentation of classes before graduation because of entry into the regular forces) is no longer relevant;
The Class of 1964, with the support of the Classes of 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, and 1972....., moves that, with respect to the Old Brigade, the RMC Club adopt procedures to permit members of a Class to enter the Old Brigade 45 years following the Class's graduation year. For this purpose, a Class is defined as a cohort of officer cadets that graduates in a particular year, as well as all those who entered one of the Canadian Military Colleges at the same time as any of those in said class; and furthermore, that nothing shall interfere with individual admission to the Old Brigade fifty or more years from college entry, for those so qualified, and desiring to do so.
17 Oct 2004 The motion to the AGM by the Class of 1964 was defeated at the meeting on 2 October 2004. We did not pursue it due to a lack of support by other classes.
The motion to the AGM by the Class of 1964 was defeated at the meeting on 2 October 2004. We did not pursue it due to a lack of support by other classes.
It has been reported that there now is a proposal to delay our next reunion until the year 2010, so all those who wish to enter the Old Brigade can do so together.
28 Sept 2003 The Class of 1964 introduced a motion at the AGM, which reads:
The Class of 1964 introduced a motion at the AGM, which reads:
Notice of Motion for an Amendment to the Constitution
"The Class of 1964 moves that the RMC Club Old Brigade adopt procedures to permit a Class to enter as a body 45 years following the graduation year. A Class may be defined as those who graduate in a particular year, as well as all those who entered one of the colleges at the same time as any of those graduating. Although this would permit admission for some after 49 years from entry, such procedures in no way diminish individual admission to the Old Brigade fifty or more years from entry, for those who choose to enter the Old Brigade with an alternate class."
26 Sept 2003 Letter to Veritas
Letter to Veritas
5611 Gerry Stowe
Dear Mr. Stowe;
We would appreciate it if you would publish the attached letter in the next issue of Veritas.
Somehow, our last submission was side-tracked, and went to the Executive Committee of the Club, instead of to Veritas.
As we have said before, we are raising this issue again because it did not receive proper attention the last time it was raised (nor this time). There was no general publicity, such as a letter in Veritas; and we were told that it would be brought to the attention of all class secretaries, so that it could be debated by all classes, and this was never done.
The 25 plus mixed classes, which have graduated since 1962, are the people affected by the current policy, and these people should express their opinion on the matter. If no other class feels as our class does on the issue, after proper attention has been given to the issue, then we will accept that decision.
The ad hoc Old Brigade Committee, Class of 1964:
5992 A.J. Barrett
6219 R.W. Boadway
6164 B.N. Cameron
5956 N.J. Carscadden
6182 R.B. Harrison
5998 R.S. Reid
6000 R.A. Robin
6209 G.G. Stewart
6137 W. van der Schee
28 August 2003 Response to original Letter to Veritas
Response to original Letter to Veritas
RMC Class of '64
c/o 6219 Robin Boadway
203 College Street
Kingston, ON K7L 4L9
Changes to Old Brigade admission criteria
Please accept my sincere regrets for taking so long to get back to your class on this very controversial matter but it has been a very busy summer for me from the perspectives of work, family and Club.
The suggested proposition debated by the Executive Committee on the 23 May 2003 was that the criteria for entry to the Old Brigade should be 45 years after graduation rather than the current 50 or more years from the year of entry. The main points raised during the discussion were:
Your request that the criteria for admission to the Old Brigade be reconsidered was put to a vote and was not approved by the Executive Committee. The current policy of fifty years from entry is inclusive, flexible and it works. The issue has been the subject of considerable deliberation over the last few years and is now considered closed.
6777 Michel Charron
20 March 2003 Letter to Veritas
Letter to Veritas
We, members of the Class of 1964, were interested to read the recent article in the December 2002 issue of Veritas about the first class to enter CMR fifty years ago in 1952, and who entered the Old Brigade in 2002. We wonder how the CMR class of 1952 feel about becoming members of the Old Brigade without their classmates who entered at RMC and RR in 1953.
Cette question préoccupe grandement les membres de la classe de 1964. Nous ne voulons pas joindre la Brigade des aînés séparément. Nous nous considérons tous membres de la classe de 1964.
When our class first raised this issue starting in 1999, many of the responses we received from club officials stated that a person is free to enter the Old Brigade when s/he wishes, and therefore CMR graduates could enter the Old Brigade with their classmates who started at RMC and RR. But in late 2001, the constitution was amended so that a person "shall become a member of the Old Brigade" after 50 years, rather than "be eligible to become a member". We were very disappointed with this amendment, after all the communications from our class, stating that we would like to enter the Old Brigade as a class.
Bien que les traditions soient importantes pour nous tous, d’autres vécues au collège depuis de nombreuses années ont été modifiées dans le passé. A la fin des années 1970, l’exécutif national de RMC a reçu de longs arguments s’opposant à deux questions d’envergures: (1) La possibilité que des jeunes filles puissent joindre le collège, et (2) La décision de tenir le dîner annuel à l’aréna Constantine, au lieu de la salle à manger, et ainsi permettre aux conjointes et invités de participer. Ces arguments, s’opposant aux changements, s’appuyaient sur la tradition! Aujourd’hui, la plupart d’entre nous approuvons ces changements.
The Class of 1964 is a Class. We enjoy doing things as a Class. Entry to the Old Brigade is a special event that we want to do together. We want to be able to dedicate the endowment funds that we raise as a Class to the college at the time our Class enters the old brigade. Almost all ex-cadet activities are based on the year of graduation; for example:
The constitution was written and the current Old Brigade tradition established at a time that CMR did not exist. However, we have recently learned that prior to WW2, entry to the Old Brigade was based on classes, not individuals!
We the members of the Class of 1964 feel strongly that a reconsideration of the criteria for admission to the Old Brigade is again warranted. May we reiterate the position of the Class of 1964. Entry to the Old Brigade should be simultaneous for all members of each individual graduating class and the criteria should be 45 years after graduation. We would like to know how other classes feel about this issue.
De la part du comité ad hoc la Brigade des aînés, classe 1964:
5992 A.J. Barrett, 6219 R.W. Boadway, 6164 B.N. Cameron, 5986 N.J. Carscadden, 6182 R.B. Harrison, 5998 R.S. Reid, 6000 R.A. Robin, 6209 G.G. Stewart, 6137 W. van der Schee
11 Dec 2001 Email from Barry Winfield to Gord Stewart:
Email from Barry Winfield to Gord Stewart:
Gord, sorry that I missed you as an addressee. How serious is this?
Reply from Gord Stewart to Barry Winfield:
Reply from Gord Stewart to Barry Winfield:
You and I have discussed this issue before – about 2 years ago as we were establishing the rules for setting up our Class Endowment. At that time, I expressed the desire of our Class to have the Constitution changed so that we could enter the Old Brigade together as one Class. Dr. Jim Barrett presented our position to the Board. We were told that all Class Secretaries, of Classes that had CMR Members, would be contacted to see if their Class also supported this view. This was never done. Instead, the Board subsequently decided the issue on their own, without consultation.
I made my position on this decision to our then President, Mike Morres, during his trip to Edmonton. His response was very dismissive.
When I heard that RMC was considering changes to the School Year such that the Recruit Class would not show up until after Christmas due to an extended period of Military Studies prior to starting their Studies at RMC, I understood that the RMC Club was considering changing the timing of the Reunion Weekend so that the Members of the Old Brigade could continue to Badge the Recruits. If the Reunion Weekend was held later in the year, it seemed that it would be even easier to make the point of entry, for the majority of the members, to be the 45th Reunion from Graduation if, for example, we simply delayed our Reunion date from September to January. In the case of our Class, this would mean that our 45th Reunion that would have been held at the end of September 2009, would be held in January 2010. Those Classmates from CMR, who by the old (existing) rules, were eligible to join in September, would delay joining by 4 months. The remainder of our Class (those of us that started at RR and RMC) would be joining 8 months early. Surely, even the tradition bound Members of the Old Brigade, could accept this small compromise.
However, as nice as this sounds, it seems that the change in the School Year that was “Cast in Stone” only 2 years ago when I attended the Red & White Program Weekend, may not become a reality. Perhaps the decision has been reached but not communicated to the rest of us.
So, I guess it will be up to our Class to initiate a change to the constitution at the time of our next Reunion. At least that was my original thought as I wanted to have a significant number of potential voters present at the Annual Meeting. However, with the latest fiasco regarding a change to the Constitution to allow for mail ballots (by the way, I found it very curious that a proposed change to the Constitution that was supposed to make the process more available to the average Member would be considered at a Special Meeting that was convenient to only those members in the Toronto to Ottawa area – at least the Members in Kingston for a Reunion Weekend come from across Canada and around the World. If they were interested in a Constitution change, they only had to get up one hour earlier since most of them attend the Parade, not make a special trip just to consider an amendment. So the process used to make the change to make the process more open is even more restrictive than normal. (Makes perfect sense – right?), maybe we can start the process sooner.
I am upset that the promises made to Dr. Jim Barrett were not kept. Our Class relied on the word of the Executive and I am sure that they too are disappointed by the turn of events. Can you make available the list of Class Secretaries of all the affected Classes? Or, is this list secret? I think that our Class would like to make our position known to all the Classes. I believe that the list of reasons that we have would apply to their Classes as well. I find it strange that after all the effort spent over the last many years to finally join the RMC & CMR Clubs, that the Executive does not recognize just how divisive the current policy is to Class solidarity and comradeship. The Class of ’64 is a Class. We enjoy doing things as a Class. Entry to the Old Brigade is a special event that we want to do together. We want to be able to dedicate the Endowment Funds that we raise as a Class to the College at the time our Class enters the Old Brigade as a Class.
It is not fair to those Classmates that started at CMR to have their prep year disregarded, or to tell them that they can enter the Old Brigade twice. The Executive needs to reconsider their position and to honour their commitments to us. However, if they don’t, we will not go away. I suppose our next step would be to start a letter writing campaign to the Newsletter. Then we will see if the other Classes agree with our proposal.
G. Gordon Stewart
11 Dec 2001 Letter from Neil Carscadden to some classmates:
Letter from Neil Carscadden to some classmates:
What is our Class response to Barry's question, ie, what do we recommend? I have attached a list of "facts", and Barry's list of alternatives. The only alternative that resolves all the anomalies is the one we have been proposing - entry 45 years after graduation.
If the current Old Brigade members are going to block any change, then I won't be joining
Old Brigade Facts:
Alternatives (in the words of Barry Winfield):
Reply from Jim Barrett
Hi Neil et al,
I must say that dealing with that lot can be terribly frustrating, and I've tried to stay out of it. I have really only three thoughts:
1. Classes are the essential unit of currency for the Club- therefore wherever possible one should seek common reference points for each class (eg date of graduation). Anything else will inevitably be divisive.
2. If there is a debate on entry policy between older and newer classes, a decision in favour of the old boys is not an action that encourages entry to the Old Brigade.
3. Finally, the precedent has already been set for adapting the Old Brigade entry policy to the needs of the day. Why not take a careful look at the needs of today and do it again?
The "45 years from graduation" alternative is a common reference point that does not devalue the present entry policy. We proposed it once, I suppose we could try and make the point again. One way might be to collect a list of folk who will either resign from the Club over this issue or publicly refuse to enter the Old Brigade (Barry says this is impossible- we "just become" members, but the impact will be there.)
Hope all is well with you. All best wishes,
7 Dec 2001 Letter from Neil Carscadden to Mike Morres
Letter from Neil Carscadden to Mike Morres
President, RMC Club of Canada
I just received my notice of the SGM to amend the constitution of the RMC Club.
I am very disappointed with the amendment regarding the Old Brigade. After all the communication from the class of 1964, stating that we would like to enter the Old Brigade as a Class, this amendment is a real slap in the face to all cadets from CMR.
Many of the responses we have received from Club officials has been to state that a person is free to enter the Old Brigade when he wishes, and therefore we can enter the Old Brigade with our classmates who started at RMC and RR.
If you are amending the constitution so that a person "shall become a member of the Old Brigade" after 50 years, rather than "be eligible to"; your past responses have become meaningless.
I have pledged $10,000 to the RMC Foundation, which I am paying at a rate of $1000 per year. I am afraid I must revoke that pledge.
Please discontinue the charges to my VISA account effective immediately.
Neil Carscadden 5986
Reply from Barry Winfield to Brian Cameron
Brian, every Class from 1957 onward is concerned with this issue. Our Class is as keen as yours to get this sorted out. As you know, I fought hard, during my four years as ED, to come up with a flexible policy. The Club was caught on the horns of a dilemma. Here are the options that they considered:
You can speak with Al Derrick (Belleville) and Al Pickering, both of whom entered twice. They are pre-CMR, so this situation has existed ever since the Old Brigade concept began in 1951. They both donate to two Classes.
Now to the new wording of "shall become." That does not compel a CMR grad or a repeater to formally enter the Old Brigade - that is, attend the Dinner and go on parade - the year before their classmates. The old wording was "shall be eligible to become a member of the Old Brigade." That wording was not appropriate because it implied that someone or some group (the Executive Committee?) had to rule on each individual's eligibility to enter the Old Brigade.
Clearly, the Foundation does not want the College and our cadets to suffer, through reduced donations and endowments, because the post-1956 Classes feel ignored or rebuffed in coming up with a universally applicable solution to this tricky issue. What wording does your Class recommend for the Constitution, Brian? I hope that this explanation helps a bit.
12 Sept 2000 Letter from Gord Stewart to Barry Winfield
Letter from Gord Stewart to Barry Winfield
To: Barry Winfield
Subject: FW: Old Brigade Eligibility
Wyn sent me a copy of his correspondence with John Leggat. It was my understanding after Jim brought our concerns to the Executive, that John was asked to contact all the Class Secretary's of the Classes affected for their views. If there was support for our request to change the entry date to 45 years from graduation, then an amendment would be proposed to the Constitution at the Annual Meeting. It appears that no follow-up occurred and so we are not in a position to put this on this years agenda.
If the current staff and Executive do not wish to deal with this issue, then the Class of '64 will take the necessary action to ensure it is on the agenda of the 2004 Annual Meeting. It is unfortunate that the intervening classes will have to contend with a split entry.
I realize that the Constitution was written and the tradition established at a time that CMR did not exist. However, at a time that we are trying to bring the ex-cadet clubs of the two colleges together, it surprises me that the older ex-cadets, who did not have any CMR members of their class, can be so insensitive to the expressed desire of the wishes of the classes with members from other colleges to maintain class solidarity. We need to find ways to accommodate change. Yes, traditions are important. But, what is more important, is the rational behind those traditions. Pre- WW2, most ex-cadets identified with their year of entry. There were only a few classmates in any year that repeated, and therefore did not graduate with their year-of-entry classmates.
However, with the introduction of the 5-year program at CMR, the situation changed. The CMR cadets did not arrive at RMC until their third year. They have little in common with the class ahead of them. In fact, except for those in their own squadron, or team mates on rep teams, they had little contact with the majority of them. Hence, it is only logical that they would wish to enter the Old Brigade with their graduating class. To do so, means that they have to delay their eligibility for one year. Since there is no guarantee that everyone would choose to do so, this could lead to fractionation within the graduating class. A situation no one wants.
I wonder if we can't find a compromise solution. Since we are moving toward a new entry format for new recruits, wherein the recruits do not show up at the College until the end of the calendar year, this means that there will not be a recruit class at the College for ex-cadet weekend if it continues to be held at the end of September. If we changed the date of the Ex-cadet weekend to coincide with the arrival of the recruits and held it in the new year, this would mean that the Old Brigade could continue to present the hat badges to the recruit class. If the classes that would currently have their reunion in September had it the following January, then the class having their 45th reunion would consist of those that entered the CMR fifty years ago in September of the previous year and those that entered RR and RMC fifty years ago in September of the current calendar year.
This might solve more than one problem.
Regards, G. Gordon Stewart
10 Sept 2000 Letter from Wyn to John Leggat
Letter from Wyn to John Leggat
To: John Leggat
Cc: Mike Morres
Subject: Old Brigade Eligibility
As an ex-Cadet who started at CMR, I read with some dismay the paragraph in your most recent President's Message in Veritas concerning entry into the Old Brigade. You and the Executive Committee are well aware of the position of the class of 1964 on this issue, outlined as it was by Jim Barrett and reinforced in Bob Reid's letter. As class secretary, I can inform you that the position is one agreed to at a class meeting during last year's ex-Cadet week-end.
Your assertion that "the Executive Committee believes that the constitution adequately addresses the question" is not an adequate response to the proposal. The criteria for admission to the Old Brigade were established during another time and under different circumstances, when CMR, with its additional year, did not exist. The inference drawn from your statement is that the additional CMR year is of no consequence, but you may rest assured that several thousand ex-Cadets who started at CMR will disagree with that sentiment. You further state that membership in the Old Brigade is an individual matter; however, all members of the Class of 64 would prefer to be inducted in the same year, for we have a strong sense of collective identity that transcends college of origin.
In light of changed conditions, that is the establishment of CMR in 1952, I feel strongly that a reconsideration of the criteria for admission to the Old Brigade is warranted, and that a break with tradition is warrented. There is nothing magic or sacred about 50 years. I would like something more in depth than the stated belief of the Executive Committee. Indeed, I am given to understand by one of our class members that the Executive Committee had committed itself to polling the secretaries of the affected classes from 1952 to the closure of CMR to determine their preferences. If this happened, I was not consulted. Additionally, I am rather surprised that the issue did not arise in your rapprochement meeting with L'Association du Fort St-Jean.
May I reiterate the position of the Class of 64. Admission to the Old Brigade should be simultaneous for all members of each individual class, and should come at 50 years after admission for ex-CMR cadets and 49 years for ex-RMC and Royal Roads cadets. The issue does not become critical until 2002 when the first CMR ex-cadets are eligible for admission to the Old Brigade, and I am confident that the Executive Committee will be able to reach a more considered position by then, and change the constitution accordingly.
6137 Wyn van der Schee, Secretary, Class of 1964
Reply from John Leggatt
Reply from John Leggatt
Thanks for the note. I do not want to leave with you with the impression that the letter that Jim Barrett brought to the committee did not receive full consideration. In fact, Jim came to our Executive Committee meeting last year and we had a full discussion on the matter. He left in agreement with the position outlined in VERITAS.
The Constitution states that on achieving fifty years from date of entry an ex-cadet is eligible for entry into the Old Brigade. Thus a CMR entry ex-cadet is eligible a year before his Royal Roads and RMC counterparts. This I see as the individual aspect of what the Constitution tells us. You as a CMR entrant would be eligible for membership in the Old Brigade a year earlier than many of your classmates.
Then there is the question of the celebration where a class marks entry into the Old Brigade. This is a matter of decision by the Class. My read is that classes will want to do this together regardless as to when the members of the Class are eligible for membership. Thus the CMR members of the class would have one year of eligibility prior to the celebration.
Needless to say, Mike Weber has been engaged all along in the discussions and is fully in agreement.
I am not sure if this deals with your concerns. The point in VERITAS might have been a bit curt, but I am given a space limit.
Does this help at all in clarifying the situation?
5 Sept 2000 Letter from Bob Reid to John Leggat
Letter from Bob Reid to John Leggat
Col. John J. Leggat, C.D.
RMC Club President
Dear Col. Leggat:
Re: Entry into Old Brigade
I am deeply disappointed by the recent decision of the RMC Club executive not to change the requirement for entry into the Old Brigade. I am not of the opinion that the constitution adequately addresses the question. It makes a distinction between classmates. I know other CMR/RMC ex-cadets who agree with me that the time period should be changed to treat classmates equally. It is more than an individual matter. It is a matter that means a great deal to those of us who entered a year prior to our Royal Roads and RMC classmates. When I am asked what class I belong to, I reply the "Class of '64". I do not reply, the "Class of '59". At the annual branch dinners the roll call is not by year of entry but by year of graduation.
The year of entry creates other problems. It does not take into account those cadets who repeated a year. For example, a CMR entry classmate of mine who entered in 1959 but who graduated in 1965 would be eligible to enter the Old Brigade two years before his classmates in the Class of '65. He then must wait two years to enter with his classmates. Then, there is the example of Bruce Greaves who entered CMR in 1958 and repeated two years - one for medical reasons the other for academic reasons. He graduated in 1965. Your response might well be "well, it is his choice!" But, why not attempt to accommodate those of us who feel strongly about this issue. What is the opposition to any change based on? Tradition?
I was on the RMC national executive in the late 1970's and listened to lengthy arguments opposing two major issues: (I) the entry of young women into the College, and (ii) the decision to move the annual dinner from the mess hall to Constantine Rink and allow spouses and guests to attend. The arguments opposing these changes were based on tradition!
As stated in the previous paragraph I served on the national executive from 1979-82; served on the Vancouver branch executive from 1976 -85; was branch President in 1979-80; and hosted the annual branch BBQ during the decade of the 1990's. I graduate from RMC in 1964 and was granted an MA in War Studies in 1970 - I was in the second class of graduates in this program [Col. Dan Loomis being the first graduate in 1969]. I have been an alumnus who has been concerned about the welfare of the College and supported the Club's efforts in providing this support. In regard to my commitment to the Club and College I ask that you talk to Dr. Jim Barrett, a CMR/RMC classmate and friend.
I ask that the executive reconsider this issue and make a recommendation to the annual general meeting changing the present constitution to allow classmates to enter the Old Brigade without some having to make a decision to wait a year to enter with their classmates. Why should an ex-cadet who happened to enter through CMR have to make this decision? Doesn't our recruit year count as a year spent in the military colleges program? Why not make the time period 46 years from graduation? This time period would apply to everyone no matter which college they entered or whatever year they entered. Who would it prejudice? CMR/RMC graduates have not as yet been eligible to join the Old Brigade; but soon will be [in 2007 I think]. I think their opinions should be sought by the executive and considered.
I look forward to receiving your reply to my request for this matter to be reconsidered.
Robert S. Reid, C.D.
5998 Associate Professor and Assistant Dean