Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Canadian Authors Association Retreat May 2-8

This year, the CAA has set up a writing retreat, AGM, and conference in Grand Bend, Ontario. I have never been to Grand Bend, but once was close: when going through the selection process for the Regular Officer Training Plan (navy) many years ago, I and other candidates were housed at Centralia RCAF base. Grand Bend was touted by those in the know as a party town, and various members of the group made their way there "after hours"--I seem to recall it was basically an AWOL situation. I was not among them. But May 2-8, I'll be in Grand Bend. I wonder if it has changed much since 1959.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Vancouver Military Studies Conference

Some 150 people stayed indoors on a glorious Vancouver weekend to attend the first annual Vancouver Military Studies Conference. The guiding force behind the conference was retired air force colonel Keith Maxwell, who is also archivist for the British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught's Own). Keith and his committee lined up a great slate of presenters: Professor Mike Bechthold of Wilfred Laurier University; Dr James Wood of University of Victoria; retired Colonel Patrick Dennis, also of WLU; Christine Leppard, University of Calgary; and Dr Geoffrey Hayes, University of Waterloo.
The final event was a panel discussion on the topic of "Reserve Soldiers in Afghanistan", with a question-and-answer session that was factual but at times emotional. The soldiers in attendance ranged in rank from private to major, and presented a very relevant picture of soldiering in Afghanistan that highlighted the day. The photos show Keith introducing the panel.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Moreuil Day

March 30th, 1918, was the occasion of the bloody Battle of Moreuil Wood. The day is commemorated annually by Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians). This year, through sheer good luck, I was able to make a presentation on the Canadian Cavalry Brigade (of which the LSH(RC) was a part) to a combined group of Naval Officers Association of BC and the Royal United Services Institute on March 30. It was an opportunity to talk about a part of Canadian history that is generally beneath the radar of modern courses. A very rewarding experience, for which I am truly grateful.