By: LCol Yves Turgeon, RMC, Kingston
If you happen to be cruising down the 401 with a bit of spare time on your hands, take the time to drop in to see your museum in Kingston, co-located with the Communications and Electronic Museum. Tight on time? No problem, check out the professional youtube videos produced by a team from Algonquin College for your viewing pleasure here and/or the RCEME Museum Webpage on the Corps Website here.
We cover our heritage at two main sites; our present home station in Borden, and our old home station in Kingston.
Borden is personal to every member of the Corps, so the focus is also personal. The memorabilia represents those artifacts that have been collected by all of us to tell the story of where we have been and what we have done. It is the home for Sadie, and the home of the RCEME Book of Remembrance, and it is our record of our Corps members that sacrificed their lives for our country. As it should be, the reflection of Borden is a reflection of ourselves, for ourselves.
Kingston is our opportunity to tell our story to family, friends, and others and educate them on our history and achievements. With over 12,000 visitors per year, our Corps continues to have excellent exposure to the public. The opportunity started in the fall of 2013 with funding from the Directorate of History and Heritage, and the joint development of an Annex with the CELE Branch resulting in the opening of the RCEME Museum in May 2016. One highlight of the Opening Ceremony remains the unveiling of the Craftsman Display produced by the 2 Division RCEME personnel that represents all the skillset of all RCEME Technicians.
The Kingston museum includes a slow march through the history of RCEME from the roots of its creation in WW1 to Afghanistan, as well as a section of honour, and another on trades and technology. The entrance showcases the technician project produced by the Valcartier units, the winners of the national competition to demonstrate the ingenuity and capabilities of our technicians. The technology section highlights the old Leopard turret trainer that was previously at the School. The turret continues to be a work in progress as we are developing a plan to allow visitors to get up close and personal, while meeting all health and safety regulations. It’s a bit of a challenge when dealing with 12 year old kids who, by the way, particularly love Digger’s display and story.
In June 2019, during the Kingston LAD activities, we will be introducing a new category to the honours section entitled “Leaders and Trailblazers”. Please note that “Leaders” focuses on the demonstration of leadership, so rank may be a factor, but not exclusively so. Also, this is not an award in itself, but recognition of established achievements of Corps members that reflect well on all of us. We hope to see you in large numbers this year, especially for the 75th Anniversary of the RCEME Corps. If you wish to organize a guided tour, our Museum Committee members stand ready to accommodate your request. Please contact Mr. Ron Gillespie at firstname.lastname@example.org