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Our friends shall never be forgotten

Col John P. "Jake" Beer, MBE, CD  

20 Feb, 1920 - 25 July, 2011 



This sad announcement comes from Harry Rice in Victoria:

It is my very sad duty to report that the most highly esteemed Gunner,
Colonel Jake Beer, passed away in Victoria at 8 pm 25 July, 2011.  

Further details and arrangements regarding the passing of Colonel Beer
will be provided as they become available. 

From LCol(r) Craig Cotter comes this short review of Col Beer’s career:

Colonel John P. (Jake) Beer, MBE, CD‏

Colonel Beer enjoyed a long and distinguished career serving the Canada and the Guns, including outstanding service during war and peace including WW2 and Korea and the Cold War. 

Col Beer served with distinction during WW2 and Korea and in a number of extremely important post war  appointments including IG duties at the School of Artillery CFB Shilo, various Regimental positions culminating in command of 2 RCHA. He took command of 2RCHA under very difficult circumstances.  The Regt had been banned from live firing because of a number of training incidents.  The previous CO suffered a fatal heart attack while on a regimental parade and collapsed and died right after getting off parade.  2RCHA was scheduled for the next rotation to Germany in 2 years.  Col Beer led his regt through a training program that re-established it as an operational regt and then took it to Germany where he commanded it for another 2 years for a total of 4 years.

His appointment as Chief of Artillery at FMCHQ and NDHQ was noteworthy in that Colonel Jake Beer was the last officer designated Chief of Artillery, since to this day the appointment is titled Director of Artillery. He was Chief of Arty during the very difficult, early days of unification and, for part of his time as CArty, there were no serving gunner generals so he was fighting alone.  He lost some battles (e.g., Air OPs went to the air force, was forced to buy the Italian pack how), but he also won some major victories (e.g., retained IG, A/IG and Master Gunner courses) following this be was appointed COS Pacific Militia Area
when that headquarters was stationed at CFB Esquimalt.  

On retirement from the CF and the COS PMA appointment Colonel Beer then went on to serve as the Honorary Colonel 5 (BC) Fd Bty for a number of years.  After retiring as HLCol of 5 Bty, he was asked to be a presenter at the annual RCA Jr Offr's Training at the Home Station.  He did this for several years until his failing eye sight made it virtually impossible.  He continued his civic involvement on the Board of the Victoria and Vancouver Island Corps of Commissionaires and Commandant of the Vernon Cadet Camp.  Also for years, he volunteered at the Victoria Hospice helping terminally ill patients.  He finally had to stop that because of back problems and failing eye sight.  However, he has now become a volunteer peer counselor for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind and has organized and presented their orientation program for the newly blind.


LCol CL Cotter


Col Beer took command of Vernon Army Cadet Camp (VACSTC) from LCol Vince Lilley in 1976 through to 1979. In 1979 He was instrumental along with Mayor Niel Davidson of Vernon for having Vernon Army Cadet Camp be given the Freedom of the City, a first for the cadet organization anywhere in the country on Aug 4, 1979 in celebration of the centennial of the Royal Canadian Army Cadets. Col Beer was very much respected and admired. 


Capt James A.B. (Rusty) Willett 

16 May, 1934 - 18 Aug, 2011 

Rusty passed away on Thursday, August 18th 2011 in Victoria, B.C.  He
was born in Ituna, Saskatchewan on the 16 May, 1934.  He served his
country as an officer of the Canadian Armed Forces for thirty five
years.  Beloved husband of Shirley, loving father of two sons; two
daughters and four granddaughters.  He is sadly missed by family and

This is from the Daily Colonist dated 06 Sep 2011

Rusty served in Vernon Army Cadet Camp in 1982


Maj Rick Spier, CD  

16 Feb 1929 - 30 Nov 2011


February 16, 1929 - November 30, 2011 It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father and grandfather - Opa. After a courageous 13 month battle with lung cancer, Rick went home to be with his Lord. He will be forever missed by Lois, his wife of 57 years, his son Murray (Marilyn), daughters Daphne (Michael), Soraya (Glenn), Coralee (Michael) and grandchildren Shannon, Meryl, Adrien, Matthew, Jennifer and Cameron. Predeceased by his sister Trudy ( Blok), and brother John, Rick is survived by brothers; Renus, Leo, Ralph, Neil, Bill, Dirk, Arie, and sister Helen. During his life as a high school teacher at Burnaby South Secondary, volunteer member Community Police of New Westminster, retired major of the Royal Westminster Regiment and C.O. of the Royal Westminster Cadet Corps, decorated Canadian Forces soldier (CD), President of the Canadian Club, Hyack Festival President, President of Cascade Christian Counsel Association and member, B.F.M. Co-Founder, President and volunteer, and devout family & church member, Rick touched many lives. We will cherish Rick's memory and hold him forever close in our hearts. Our family would like to express our sincere appreciation to the kind and caring staff of the Maple Ridge McKinney Creek Hospice and to the physicians and nurses who tended to dad over the past year. A service is planned at Haney Presbyterian Church on Tuesday, December 6th at 11am followed by lunch. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Maple Ridge Bibles for Missions Store. Maj Pier served ten years at Vernon ACSTC (1979-85)



Capt Frank Mario Mascaro, CD

April 18, 1932 - January 18, 2012

Dear husband, father, grandfather Frank passed away peacefully on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at the age 79 years after a brave struggle with cancer. Frank is survived by his devoted wife Marion, children Ruth (Anne), Phil, Gina (Fred), and Kathy (Dawn) and his four grandchildren Brittany, Jacqueline, Sierra and Clay as well as many special friends and relatives. Frank was born in Blairmore, Alberta and had a terrific upbringing in the Crowsnest Pass. He was a member of the army reserve and instructed cadets prior to joining the military, Queen's Own Rifles of Canada in the mid 50's. In 1960, Frank became the chief cadet instructor for the QORofC Cadet Corps and was honored recently for that service. After marrying Marion in 1957, the couple soon made Calgary their home and raised their family in Brentwood. As an outdoor adventure-lover and a Boy Scout leader, he made sure all his kids learned how to survive in the great outdoors, fire a rifle, fix the car, and hang drywall amongst countless other lessons. Frank had a long and successful sales-career with Alberta Government Telephones, retiring early and moving into the hardware business. Over all those years, Frank made numerous lifetime friends and truly loved his work for that reason. Frank joined the Royal Canadian Airforce Association alongside Marion as she is ex-airforce. Over the years he was a right-hand man on many committees within that organization. He spent many volunteer hours dedicated to the Calgary Wing and once again collected more lifetime friendships through his activities. Since his "real" retirement, Frank joined the Airdrie Model Aircraft Society and became an official "flying nut". He loved his hobby and his many RC airplanes, but again it was the people and camaraderie he loved most. Daughter Ruth lives overseas and Frank even joined the flying clubs in Plymouth, England, making great friends there too over his various visits. The family wishes to thank the incredible people who supported Frank and family throughout his illness. The Tom Baker staff, the palliative home care angels, the caring staff at Agape hospice, friends, precious neighbors and extended family. A Memorial Service will be held at FOSTER'S GARDEN CHAPEL, 3220 – 4 Street N.W., Calgary (across from Queen's Park Cemetery) on Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations in Frank's memory may be made directly to the 2554 PPCLI Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps, P.O. Box 35059 Sarcee Postal Outlet, Calgary, AB T3E 7C7. Expressions of sympathy may be forwarded to the family via the website


Colonel Douglas Ludlow, CD

1930 – 2012


WINNIPEG, Manitoba: Members of Manitoba ’s military community are mourning the passing of Colonel Douglas Ludlow, CD, who passed away Tuesday morning, January 31, 2012 at the St. Norbert Nursing Home where he had resided for the past several years.

Colonel Ludlow had a long history with the military both in England and Canada .  Born in Watford, Hertfordshire , England , he enlisted as a private in the British Army in 1948,   emigrated to Canada in August 1951 and took up residence in Winnipeg .

 In 1955, he enrolled in the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada as a second Lieutenant and by 1969 he had attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and was  appointed commanding officer of the Camerons in January 1965.  He served in that position until August 1969.

Lieutenant Colonel (Ret’d) Ken McCuaig, a past president of the Canadian Infantry Association  and a former Cameron Commanding Officer remembers him as a keen supporter of the Infantry and a strong advocate for the Reserve component.  LCol McCuaig remembers him “stressing that the Reserve component of which the Camerons are part, provide the only Canadian military footprint to most communities across the country and regularly make valuable contributions to their communities like fighting the Red River floods”.

Colonel Ludlow went on to serve as District Army Cadet Coordinator for Winnipeg in December 1969 following which he was appointed Senior Staff Officer (Reserves) responsible for Logistics and Administration for Land Reserves throughout the Prairies. 

In June 1973, he was promoted to the rank of Colonel and appointed Commander, Manitoba Militia District ( Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario ).   Five years later he was appointed by the Chief of the Defence Staff as the Senior Staff Officer (Land) to the Chief of Reserves.

Following his retirement from active service, he was appointed Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of his regiment, The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada In November 1993 and served with distinction until December 2008.  

Lieutenant Colonel (Ret’d) Reg Churchward, a former Cameron Commanding Officer,  says “during his tenure as Honorary Lieutenant Colonel, he distinguished himself as a champion for his regiment and its soldiers.  He worked tirelessly to better his regiment and its soldiers”.

In 2008, he was recognized for his many contributions to the Canadian Army and was presented with a Chief of the Defence Staff Citation in a special ceremony in Minto Armoury.  His retirement as Honorary Colonel was recognized by the members of the Cameron Regimental Senate and Advisory Board and his many friends at a retirement dinner in his honour at the Fort Gary Hotel in January 2009.  Most recently he was made a Life Member of the 78th Fraser Highlanders, Fort Garry Outpost.

A funeral services will be held on Monday, February 6, 2012 at St. Paul ’s Anglican Church, 830 North Drive at Point Road , Winnipeg .  Cremation has taken place  A memorial page is posted on the Neil Bardal website



 LCol Robert Edwin Clark, OMM, CD (Ret'd) 

8 April, 1931 - 12 January, 2012 


LCOL Robert E. Clark, (Bob) passed away peacefully at
his home in Sooke, BC at the age of 80. Bob was born in Sarnia, Ontario.

Bob is survived by and will be dearly missed by his loving wife of 57
years, Edelgard (Gardy). He will also be dearly missed by his son James
(Jimmy) and daughter-in-law Jolene, his daughter Brenda and son-in-law
Stewart, his daughter Tracy, his grandchildren Katelyn, Hillary, Braeden
and Sean, and his feline side-kick Kerli. He will be lovingly remembered
by his sister Susan Dickieson and her husband Daryl, his brother Peter
Ward and his wife Ruth and his brother Fred Ward. In 1951, Bob enlisted
in the Canadian Forces as a career infantry soldier with the Royal
Canadian Regiment, sailing almost immediately for duty in Korea. In
1955, he married Gardy while stationed in Germany. The family enjoyed
their European and cross-Canada postings and made the most of
opportunities to learn about and enjoy different cultures. Bob and Gardy
settled in Sooke in 1980, and Bob served his last few years of military
service as Commanding Officer of the Vernon Army Cadet Camp. Upon
retirement after 37 years of distinguished military service, "the
Colonel" pursued his passion for politics, serving the community of
Sooke and the Capital Regional District as Regional Director for two
terms. Ever active, even in retirement, Bob continued to work
tirelessly, productively and wholeheartedly within the community. With
his Scottish heritage and his love of march music, one of Bob's last
proudest achievements was the establishment of Sooke's own marching
band, the Sooke Pipes and Drums. Wellknown for his hearty laugh, Bob was
a generous, straightforward and warm-hearted soul who was loved and
appreciated by all who knew him. He will be greatly missed.
A celebration of Bob's life will be held at the Sooke Royal Canadian
Legion 54, 6726 Eustace Road, Sooke, BC on Tuesday, January 31st, 2012
at 2:00 pm. Condolences may be offered to the family at

Major (Retd) Lloyd Grandjean "Sam" Meckbach, CD

 31 January 2012

Sam Meckbach, the former DCO of 2 Cdo passed away on the 31 January 2012 after a final battle with cancer.

Sam began his military career in 1956 in a High School Cadet Corps #109 in Ingersoll Ontario. He attended cadet leadership and communication courses in London, Ipperwash and Blackdown and took the Banff National Cadet Camp in 1960.

He joined 3 RCR (The London and Oxford Fusiliers) in 1959 and then attended Officer Training in Borden in 1962. Sam served with 2nd and 1st Bns of The Canadian Guards and on their reduction in 1969 he was transferred to 2 PPCLI in NW Europe.

Sam was posted to the Combat Training Centre in Gagetown, 2 Commando in Edmonton, and then 3PPCLI in Victoria. Subsequent postings with the RSS Pacific in 1979 at Bay Street Armouries and 1982 in Vancouver linked Sam to the Militia units in BC and the cadet participation in many BC unit activities.

In 1985 Sam left the Regular Forces and joined 11 Svc Bn as DCO and later his civilian job took him to Vancouver where he served with Militia Area HQ at Jericho.

In 1996 Sam was asked by RCSU Pacific to address some cadet issues and as a result he volunteered to serve as C Coy Commander in Vernon CSTC and later as the DCO. This led to his appointment as CO of 3005 RCAC (11 Svc Bn) in Saanich. In 2000, Sam went to Connaught CSTC and was privileged in 2001 to take the National Rifle Team to Bisley UK.

After five summers in Connaught Sam was again given one of those once in a lifetime opportunities to command Whitehorse CSTC, in 2005 and 2006. In the past, Sam has managed a convenience store in Victoria for ten years and for four years was the Director of the Provincial Emergency Program Academy at the Justice Institute in Vancouver.

Recently he has delivered the Harassment Advisor and Harassment Investigator courses for the Admiral and conducts Administrative Investigations into Human Rights violations for the Base Commander Esquimalt.

Sam is a graduate of many courses including Staff Colleges at Kingston, ON and Quetta, Pakistan. In addition, he has completed the US Ranger course, the Australian Jungle Warfare course and the Royal Marines UK High Angle training. Sam served with the UN in Cyprus in 1964 and 1974 (as DCO of 2 CDO during the Turkish invasion). He retired in 2007 after 48 years of Regular and Reserve Force service.

Sam was currently serving as the Executive Director of the Army Cadet League of Canada – BC Branch and he was a past president of the Vancouver Island Branch of the RCR Association. Sam Meckbach was married to Marjorie (nee Purkiss) and they have two children and six grandchildren, all residing in BC.






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