Sunday, July 31, 2011

RCMP museum

Today was a busy day. We started the day by getting gas at Canadian Tire. Fortunately, Regina is an easy city to navigate. Then we headed off to the RCMP museum.

It took us about ten minutes just to get in the door because Sam was so intrigued by the moose and the bear. He even wanted to hold the bear's hand, which he is doing in this picture. We ended up buying him an RCMP bear at the gift shop which he seems to love.

To be honest, I didn't find the museum all that intriguing. Maybe if I'd had time to read everything I would have felt differently about it but with two small children there just wasn't time. And there wasn't a ton of stuff to look at. In the middle of the museum were the different forms of transportation the RCMP have used through the years.

I thought Sam looked cute in this cutout! And then there were the hats to try on, as modeled by Sam and Dave in the pictures below:

After we had toured the museum we went on a tour of the Depot. That was very interesting. One thing we found out is that ALL of the RCMP officers in Canada come here for training. They receive $500 a week and all of their expenses are paid. Once they have completed the 24 week training they can be posted to anywhere in Canada and the tour guide was very clear that this means ANY WHERE. And it doesn't sound like you get much of a choice.

This is the Cenotaph with names of RCMP officers who have been killed and also the parade grounds. The public is not allowed to walk on the parade square which I thought was very interesting.

This the chapel. The multi-faith chapel can be used for weddings, baptisms or funerals. The stained window of the women was donated to honour the wives of RCMP officers in 1973. Women have only been accepted to the force since 1974. Most of the chapel windows were paid for by the donation from a woman in England of her estate. The woman had never been to Canada and seemed to have no connection whatsoever with the RCMP. Interesting...

Below is the drill hall. RCMP trainees (or cadets, as they're referred to) earn various pieces of their uniform as they learn to march in unison. They start off in sweats and runners. Then they earn their boots and the stripe on their pants. Eventually they also earn their hats and their red serge coats. Many regiments are in various stages of their training at the same time. One thing I found really interesting is that the reason that recruits get yelled at during their training is to teach them how to keep their cool when out in "real life."

The fire hydrants in the depot were all painted like RCMP officers and a lot of the sidewalk blocks had this little RCMP emblem on them.

When we got back to the hotel, the staff had made the bed up and tucked Sam's stuffed animals in, which I thought was really cute!

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