June 26, 2017: Sgt. Gerry Anderson (Rtd) RCMP celebrating Canada Day
Bill Tapuska introduced our guest speaker, RCMP Staff Sergeant (ret.) Gerry Anderson. Sgt Anderson worked for the force in many roles and locations across Canada. As a pilot he commanded the RCMP air detachment.
His talk to us highlighted, through personal stories, anecdotes (and a few "groaners"), aspects of the RCMP's role over almost 150 years in helping to keep Canada "glorious and free". He particularly remembers the extremely gruelling six months of intensive training following his enlistment into the force.
The RCMP was formed in 1873 by Sir John A MacDonald as the North West Mounted Police. Initially 150 men strong and totally overloaded with its responsibilities, its size doubled to 300 for the great march west in July 1874, a trip of 1000 miles taking 72 days. By the time of the rebellion led by Louis Riel in 1885, it had increased to 1000 men.
In those years, the NWMP gained tremendous respect in bringing lawfulness to Western Canada, restoring order where whiskey traders had established flourishing businesses across the US/Canada border. Several forts were established to maintain order and the NWMP were significant trusted parties in establishing positive relationships with the indigenous peoples, seeing the last of the plains treaties, Treaty 7, signed in 1877 with the Blackfoot Nation.
Sergeant Anderson was thanked by Marlene Doherty, expressing our collective thanks for both his informative presentation and his service to Canada. She presented him with the Jubilee Boltman.
reported by Les Morgan
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