OCdts. On Parade

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By: 3918 Al Roberts

On 30 January, under the able leadership of its President, 9068 Jean Drouin, Secretary, 4100 Jacques Choquette, and Treasurer, 6027 Gilles Tremblay, the Quebec Branch held its annual gala dinner at the venerable Cercle de la Garnison de Québec (formerly known as the Garrison Club), which is located just below the entrance to La Citadelle in Old Quebec – a most charming and historic location. A total of 79 attendees enjoyed a delicious and elegantly served meal. There were 55 persons from the Quebec Branch (including spouses), 11 from the Fort Saint-Jean Branch headed by its President, 8765 Claude Tassé, and two officers and 11 cadets from RMCSJ. One of these officers was the guest of honour, 12603 Colonel François Pion, Commandant of CMRSJ.

Following dinner, the Adjutant of the Old Brigade, 3918 Al Roberts, conducted the traditional roll call. The first to stand was H15200 the Honourable Gilles Lamontagne, former Minister of National Defence and former Chairman of the RMC Board of Governors (amongst several other prestigious posts held during a long and illustrious career). He was the only veteran of WWII present. The senior ex-cadet present was 3209 Joe Ford, who entered RMC in 1950.

An amusing incident occurred when the roll call reached 10838 Marc Grondin (CMR Entry 1971). After Marc called out his number and name, a beautiful (much) younger female ex-cadet, 20676 Tanya Rousselle (CMR Entry 1992), jumped up from her place, rushed around to where Marc was standing and gave him a big hug and kiss before returning to her seat without saying a word. When Marc regained his composure, he asked in a somewhat unsteady voice (but without any hint of objection!) just what that was all about. Tanya brought down the house when she replied, “That’s the year I was born!!”. The story doesn’t end there, however. Two of the cadets from CMRSJ quietly approached Tanya after the dinner was over and told her that they’d been born in the year she entered CMR!!! So there were many generations of cadets and ex-cadets present for this most enjoyable affair.

The evening concluded with an informative and illustrated description of CMRSJ and its many activities by Colonel Pion. The clarity and precision of this presentation helped many better understand what is going on at this ‘new’ College. The speaker was thanked by 5059 Guy Charest, who gave a learned, sometimes witty, response that nicely rounded out the evening’s activities. Such were the pleasant surroundings and agreeable atmosphere, it took some time before the contented attendees finally took leave of the premises!

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