Sorry to be so late with this post but I played hookey from my posting duties with the Captain after our final day of the OMMC ended at about 2:00 pm. We wandered around the streets of Kingston and hit a lot of shops to buy souveniers for our families and have a final dinner.
Today started out with the usual breakfast before leaving for CFB Kingston to visit the RCEME Museum. After a short brief on the creation of the museum and their future plans, the kind folks there let the kids into the candy store when they brought us into their very well planned SPACIOUS Archive Room. This room is two stories and I think it would be only a little exaggeration to say that it is almost the size of our whole museum! We entered into a room locked with an wire cage, two army NCM’s in CadPat handing out cotton and latex gloves, and then we spread out to see all of the storage area. Shelves upon shelves of radios and electronic equipment, vehicles, and upstairs real storage closets that roll in and out on tracks, holding uniforms, boots, artefacts, collections of metal objects, anything you can think of having in an electronics museum, they have storage for it!!
Just as we finished up and were about to leave, a surprise guest appeared to tell us all about a project- also a memorial-that is very important to her. This was WO Renay Groves, and she was there to tell us about a project very dear to her heart. In 2009 she was given all the poppies that had been lain on the fallen in Kandahar.Brig-General John Vance told her she would know what to do with them. After looking around her at the grieving soldiers, some suffering from PTSD, she decided to make a physical memorial from one of the trucks that had been hid by an IED, killing some of her comrades. She brought together a group who were struggling and they healed as they worked on this tribute to those who had fallen. The poppies the WO had been given were bronzed and attached randomly to the monument “to suggest the randomness of death…” (see article from Kingston Whig Standard). She was very passionate about the project, but more so for the fellow soldiers and families that were affected by the death of a soldier in combat and those soldiers that are having difficulty surviving in the aftermath. Her request from us was to invite them to our museum to present the memorial and have a learning moment with any visitors or staff who would be willing to listen. We gave her our cards and hopefully we will hear from them soon!
Then it was off to the Vimy Officer’s Mess for a great meal, and to say good-bye to those who were leaving tonight.
It has been a fascinating wonderful experience for me and I’m glad I have been able to share it with you!