Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

The Royal Military College of St. John

Reprinted with the kind permission of Andrew Cusack

WHAT BETTER WAY to celebrate this, the feast of St. John the Baptist and the national day of Quebec, than to bring you news of the reëstablishment of the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean. The site in the town of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu was first put to a military use in 1666 when the French soldiers of the Carignan-Salières Regiment. The Collège militaire royal, however, was only founded in 1952 when it was inaugurated by the Rt. Hon. Vincent Massey, CC, CH, GCStJ, CD, PC as a classical college to increase the number of French-speaking officers in the Army, the Royal Canadian Navy, and the Royal Canadian Air Force.

An artillery salute is fired as the Governor General arrives to re-open the Collège.

The end of the Cold War, however, resulted in massive cuts to Canada’s armed forces, and both the Collège militaire royal in Quebec and Royal Roads Military College in British Columbia faced the axe, as a traditional military education became the exclusive preserve of the old Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario.

Lt. Gen. the Hon. Roméo Dallaire, OC, CMM, GOQ, MSC, CD — a Senator and alumnus of the Collège — said “The decision to close the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean was particularly ill-advised,” and urged its re-opening. The Hon. Marcel Prud’homme echoed the retired general’s sentiments, rising in the Senate to say “Honourable senators, the closing of Collège militaire royale de Saint-Jean is one error of the past that I find unforgivable. Given the very important role the new administration wants to give to the armed forces, could the government now consider reopening Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean as soon as possible?”

The band of the Royal 22eme Regiment lead the march-past for the Governor General.

The government decided last year to re-establish the Collège, though not as the full university it was when it closed in 1995. Instead, the CMR will be a CEGEP or Collège d’enseignement général et professionnel. CEGEPs are two-year programs, unique to Quebec, that are equivalent to the last year of American high school and the first year of university studies. For Québécois students, they are mandatory if one desires to proceed to university. The re-founded Collège militaire royal will act, in part, as a feeder school for the Royal Military College in Kingston as well as a place of education for those who desire a Francophone education in the military tradition.

The new cadets on parade.

Assembled and ready for inspection.

Her Excellency inspects the cadets.

After reviewing the troops, Her Excellency the Governor General unveiled the grant of arms from the Canadian Heraldic Authority alongside Colonel J.U.F. Pion, head of the Collège…

… while representations of the arms & flag, the Queen’s Colour, and the College Colour were also unveiled.

Col. Pion admires the resurrected arms.

So we wish a très bonne St-Jean-Baptiste to all the Québécois, and may St. John the Baptist continue to bless his Royal Military College, his province of Quebec, and all the Dominion of Canada!