I had an email recently from
old long time friend Simon MacDowell (author and wargamer, amongst other things: see Legio Wargames website) which included a photo he'd taken during a recent visit to the Fort St. Jean museum at R.M.C St. Jean ( C.M.R or College Militaire Royal de St. Jean as it was known when we were there).
|Soldiers of the Carignan-Salieres building the first fort at St. Jean in 1666.|
(diorama built in 1973)
Now there is nothing really extraordinary about the diorama except that I made it in 1973! The figures are converted Airfix (ahhh good old low heat soldering iron, paper, plastecene and glue!) I find it hard to believe that it survived and is still on display.
That was when I was a '1st Year' cadet (meaning it was my 2nd year having been a 'Prep' the year before) and a member of the museum club which was working to establish a museum. Well, made it with some help from then new recruit Simon which led to wargames and 5 decades of friendship (so far, not done yet).
The museum was eventually opened and accredited, and I was the 3rd Cadet Curator. In the latter part of the 20thC, sometime around when the Berlin Wall came down and history and wars "ended", the Canadian Forces shut down two of the three military colleges and the St. Jean campus was used for some senior officer courses and I think various civilian courses and possibly for sports team training, Anyway, once it was discovered that there were going to be more wars after all, the St. Jean campus was reinstated as a military college that was not only bilingual, but also bisexual, well, no, that's the wrong term, coed is better, but call it what you will, looking back at 5 years in my teens and early 20's when the only females were a handful of antique waitresses in the mess and a couple of secretaries and a librarian.....sighhh....
But I digress, the museum had been preserved and when the college was reopened the museum was as well, in a larger setting with a much bigger budget judging by the pictures! I'm hoping to get there in person some day and see what they've done with the place where I grew from kid to adult, and see what they've made of the little museum that a small group of cadets put together half a century ago.