Montreal has a population of 1.621 million people. It is the largest city in the province. It is the second largest city in the country and the 9th largest city in North America. There is a huge military population in the Montreal region made up of those working at Longue Point, all of the reserve units, the headquarters, 84 army, navy and air cadet units, each with roughly 4-5 CIC officers and their headquarters. There are veterans and retirees from the regular and the reserve force. There are Navy League Cadets. A large number of cadets eventually join the forces. In addition to this, there are many benevolent associations, museums, charities and Canadian Legions in the Montreal area that strive to support the military’s goals.
This is especially noticeable on remembrance parades in the city where members of the regular force are few and far between. In the east end of Montreal the remembrance parade is made up of navy cadets, navy league cadets and the Legion. In Hudson, it is the Black Watch cadets, their pipes and drums, the Legion, veterans, retirees, and the scouting movement that make up the remembrance parade. The trumpeter at the Montreal West parade was from the 306 Wing Concert Band The bagpiper was a reservist. There were no regulars. The Battle of Britain parade in the West Island was made up of the 438 Wing (air reserve) band, The 306 Wing Pipes and Drums (air force association), several air cadet corps, the legion, veterans and retirees.
There is much more to the military community than the Megaplex and the regular force stationed at St-Jean.
The CFSA in Montreal has strived to serve both communities.
Some of the relationships that any incoming executive need to be aware of:
- The 306 Wing, Air Force Association Concert Band
- Sea Scouts
- Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary
- Navy League Cadets
- Canada Company
- 34 Combat Engineer Regiment
- HMCS Donnacona
- The Black Watch
- École de voile Lachine
- City of Dorval
These are in addition to the Canadian Forces Recruiting Center Montreal, Transport Canada, the 438 Wing band, 31 Svc Bn and various other units and headquarters that use the facilities during the summer, for their barbecue, sports and team-building days. In the past we have provided meeting space for the « Conseil des anciens commandants du 4e Bn, Royal 22e Régiment ». We have supported (camping and sailing) the St-Jean Garrision and CFB Valcartier with their summer programs for children.
During the summer of 2014 we hosted the 100th anniversary of the Royal Montreal Regiment at the club.
These are all made possible by volunteers, from the executive committee, taking time off work to come down to the club, open the gate, the cantine and to supervise the event (unpaid).
We have reciprocal agreements with all of the sailing clubs on the lake, the Hudson Yacht club, Vaudreuil sur le Lac, Kingston, Brockville and Stormont yacht clubs.
Environment Canada uses the club facilities to test the water on the lake.
The 306 Wing, Air Force Association Concert Band. An agreement between the concert band and the former executive is in place to allow the use of the club facilities to practice on Monday evenings during the summer. The concert band performs at many events supporting the military community. We are very proud to support this military band and their good works at promoting the military in the community.
This year the 306 Wing Air Force Association Concert Band played at our opening ceremony and they also played for the 100th anniversary of the Royal Montreal Regiment barbecue at the club. They are involved in remembrance ceremonies throughout the city.
Perhaps one of the more notable events that they play at is The Montreal Military Culture Festival (See http://montrealmcf.com/montreal-military-culture-festival), a non-profit organization which seeks to increase the general public’s awareness of the military’s contribution to the culture of Montreal, past, present and future. It also aims to remind people of the different historical events for which Canadians in the military played an important role.
This is a four day event which takes place in the old port of Montreal. This event is made possible by the sponsorship and participation of:
- Vieux Port Montreal
- Parks Canada
- The Government of Canada
- The City of Montreal
- The Black Watch Museum
- The Royal Montreal Regiment Museum
- Le Musée de la Logistique des Forces canadiennes
- Le Musée Régiment de Maisonneuve
- The Regimental Museum of the Canadian Grenadier Guards
- The Fort Saint-Jean Museum
- The Canadian Aviation Heritage Centre
- The Stewart Museum (Part of LCol (Ret’d) Bruce Bolton’s, MMM, CD organization)
- The Château Ramezay
- Canada Company
- Le Corps historique du Québec
In summary, this is a very important event in the life of Montreal. It serves to promote the military, military history, military music and recruiting. By allowing the 306 Wing Air Force Association Concert Band to practice at the club, we do our part to support the military community in Montreal.
One of our regular members is a Sea Scout leader. He has organized various outings on our club boats and camping events on our grounds. They in turn help out with the maintenance of the club and club boats. The Commodore met with the senior organization of the Sea Scouts to determine how we could best help this organization.
Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary
The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary store their rescue vessel on the property during the off season. They hold their training and planning meetings at the club house. Several of our members are also members of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary. They do boat inspections for members of the club.
Navy League Cadets
The Navy League Cadets conduct a weekend camping at the clubhouse and are introduced to sailing on the whaler. This is a yearly event. Usually, regular cadets who have previously been involved with Navy League cadets camp with these youth and support the staff.
Video, 2014 Flag Lowering Ceremony
Canada Company began in May 2006 with a pledge to stand shoulder to shoulder with our troops for the sacrifices they make every day. The organization has since grown to over 500 members, and has become an influential voice advocating for our troops at home and abroad.
Canada Company has quickly established a reputation among senior Military leaders, media and many members of the business community as a growing outreach between Canada’s Armed Forces and the corporate world.
We are proud to support them. See the video here. At this event, Major General Guy LaRoche spoke to members of the business community on the topic of leadership.
34 Combat Engineer Regiment
The 34 Combat Engineer Regiment conducts their watermanship training, disaster response and water purification exercises (reverse osmosis water purification unit ROWPU) regularly at the club. This year they have expressed an interest in conducting an exercise with their clearance divers in the spring. See pictures here.
HMCS Donnacona has a long relationship with the club and was very active at the club during the Oka Crisis. We recently met with their officers and they plan to conduct diving exercises in the spring. Also discussed was allowing them to use some of our small outboard motors in need of repair by their staff conducting a small motor repair course.
The Black Watch (reserve unit, association and cadets)
The Black Watch use the premises extensively for their regimental and association picnics, the cadets for waterman ship training (canoeing, kayaking, sailing) and for conducting training lectures when access to the armory is limited. See letter of thanks.
École de voile Lachine
We have an arrangement with L’École de voile Lachine whereby they conduct sail training for our members at greatly reduced prices compared to our civilian counterparts. This was negotiated by BGen Lachance when he was on their board of directors. We lend them two of our sailboats (one 420, one mistral). This ensures that we have enough boats there to conduct training. It also serves to reduce our cost as they get to use the boats during the season. They maintain these boats.
City of Dorval
The city of Dorval uses our facilities to store their canoes. In exchange, we are permitted to use the canoes. We also allow the city to load fireworks onto a barge at our dock and fire them from our premises during the St. Jean Baptiste and Canada day ceremonies. All safety precautions are taken and the Coast Guard is involved.
The trees that are on Dorval Island were part of a joint effort betwen the City of Dorval, the 34 Combat Engineer Regiment and the Canadian Forces Sailing Assoction. The trees, with their roots, made the Island more stable and has encouraged new wildlife on the Island.
Talks with the Mayor of Dorval indicate that they would like to set up a canoe, kayak and dragon boat club for the city residents and use our facilities. At present, they are the only municipality on the lake that doesn’t have such a club close at hand.