Brief History of the Royal Military Colleges Club of Canada
The Royal Military College opened its doors to the first eighteen cadets in June 1876. A mere four years after the first class graduated, the first steps were taken to form an alumni association. This effort, initiated by two members of the first class at the College, #6 S.J.A. Denison (first Club Secretary) and #7 L.H. Irving (first Club President), resulted in the inauguration of the “Royal Military College Club” on March 15th 1884. This event was highlighted by the Club’s inaugural Annual General Meeting and Club Dinner in Toronto. Since the opening of RMC, over 27,000 Canadians have qualified to become members of The RMC Club of Canada.
Purpose. Remarkably, the purpose of the Club has not changed appreciably since the objects of the Club were first drafted in 1884. The aims of The Royal Military Colleges Club of Canada, as laid out in its constitution, are:
- the bringing together of members for mutual benefit and support;
- the encouragement and maintenance of that camaraderie which has always existed at the colleges; and
- the advancement of the welfare of its members, the cadets and the Canadian Military Colleges.
History. Some of the highlights from our Club history are:
- 1884. Founding of the Club in Toronto by #7 L.H. Irving and #6 S.J.A Denison.
- 1891. The RMC Club “Proceedings” were first published thanks to the efforts of #47 E.F.Wurtele. This was the predecessor of The Review, the Log of HMS Stone Frigate, the Club Newsletter, and now Veritas and eVeritas.
- 1906. The tradition of The Roll Call commenced.
- 1919. The Club decided to erect “a suitable memorial gateway” in memory of those ex-cadets who have laid down their lives…..”. A total of $65,247 was raised covering the complete cost of The Arch which was an impressive amount of money considering that the total number of ex-cadets at that time was 1,336. Work began in April 1923 and the Arch was officially unveiled on June 15th. 1924.
- 1920. The Commandant, Gen MacDonell, authorized Professors Bridger and Gelley to publish a bi-annual review which in later years it served double duty as the graduation yearbook.
- 1942. In June of 1942, the last class graduated from RMC during World War II. At this time, a total of 2,828 Gentlemen Cadets had attended RMC since its founding.
- 1948. As a result of considerable lobbying from the Club, RMC re-opened as a tri-service College. (It was also decided that Royal Roads would continue to serve as a tri-service institution.)
- 1949. The Club decided to commemorate the fallen from the Second War on two bronze plaques located on the flanking plinths of the Arch.
- 1950. The Old Brigade was inaugurated. Each year thereafter, all those ex-cadets celebrating 50 years since they entered one of the military Colleges are inducted into the Old Brigade.
- 1961. Le Club des Anciens du CMR (CMR Ex-Cadets Club) was created under the leadership of #3803 P.J.M Morin at Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.
- 1966. The RMC Club created the RMC Club Foundation with a mandate to support a wide variety of College activities which “enhance excellence” of the four pillars of the College.
- 1985. La Fondation des Anciens du CMR was formed under the leadership of # 12406 Pierre Ducharme.
- 1987. Commencement of the tradition whereby the Old Brigade presents College cap badges to the First Year cadets during the Reunion Weekend Badging Parade.
- 1995. Both CMR and Royal Roads Military College were closed.
- 2007. After a lengthy period of ‘rapprochement’, the CMR Ex-Cadets Club was officially merged with the RMC Club to create the Royal Military Colleges Club of Canada. With the reopening of CMR (now known as RMC Saint-Jean) and later the reinstatement of its degree-granting status in 2018, we are once again proud to represent the future graduates of two Colleges.