Editor’s Note: The following is posted anonymously at the request of the author. 

I was a homeless cadet while at RMC

My class left RMC in May to attend BOTC in Chilliwack. BOTC was between phase 1 and 2. Our BOTC ended in July and we were due back to RMC around Labour Day. I had no where to live. Certainly, no money for a motel. Just before BOTC finished, I received a message telling me that I had to report to RMC to get my scarlets. I was to be the cadet at the CFB Toronto new RMC recruit swearing in ceremony. Great I thought, I can ask someone to let me live in my old room. I did not expect to see 1500 sea cadets swarming the entire college. No room for me.

I went back to Toronto and started couch surfing at some of my high school friends houses. One family allowed me to sleep in their basement. I got a job making $2 an hour in a sweat shop to help pay my way. This job was certainly a rude awakening as to what I had to look forward to if I quit the army.  I could see CFB Toronto from my buddies house. I finally caught the inter-base bus back to RMC to start 2nd year.

I did not have to worry about being homeless anymore by third year. I had tried out for the football team and made it. (Anyone that tried out made it). I had to report to RMC for training camp as soon as my Phase 2 ended. The same for fourth year.

It is easy in hindsight to say that I should have approached an officer at RMC and failing that CFB Toronto to get quarters. Someone somewhere would have found a spot for me. Who wants to tell others that they are homeless? Pride goeth before the fall and my pride stopped me. Plain and simple. I have never told anyone this story before. Pride. There must have been other homeless cadets since I graduated many years ago. If you find yourself in this position, tell someone at RMC. Even the Padre. The CF will help you. Perhaps someone on the RMC senior staff will read this note and decide that it should be a briefing point for the cadets.

The following came from 7723 Paul Beswick.

I have some more and recent news that I wanted to share with you about my good friend and 1968 RMC classmate, #7690, Dr. Craig Riddell.  Craig is well-known nationally and internationally as labour economist.

At their annual meeting (virtual again this year), the Canadian Economics Association (CEA) has just awarded Craig their prestigious Doug Purvis Memorial Prize, which is awarded annually to the authors of a highly significant, written contribution to Canadian economic policy: https://www.economics.ca/cpages/doug-purvis-memorial-prize  This award was established in 1994 in honour and memory of noted Canadian economist Doug Purvis and this is the third time Craig has been awarded this prize … including 1994, its inaugural year.

What is especially significant about Craig being awarded the prize this year is that he was awarded it together with his son, Dr. Chris Riddell, a University of Waterloo economics professor: https://uwaterloo.ca/economics/people-profiles/chris-riddell … talk about a chip off the (not-so) old block!


  1. Michael Blair on June 22, 2021 at 12:27 pm

    Well done Craig. And I was so sure you would never amount to anything!! LOL. We are all proud of you.

  2. Bill Macmillan on June 22, 2021 at 9:41 pm

    well done Craig, it must have been special to share it with your son.

  3. Eric Ruff on June 26, 2021 at 11:19 am

    Congratulations, Craig. Well deserved. Looking forward to seeing you at our next reunion. Cheers!

  4. Larry Cassie on July 3, 2021 at 4:50 pm

    Fantastic to see our esteemed classmate earn recognition once again from the CEA for exemplary achievement. Congratulations, Craig, and to your son, Chris! What a memorable family treasure to be able to share this award together.

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