Coutts Common, Maple Grove & the memorial benches

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Though not the geographical centre of the camp, Coutts Common is the social centre of camp. Cadets meet friends but there are also muster parades, drumhead services and concerts on the tree lined grass square. The common wasn't always this important; it started life as just an open space, weeds and wild grass turning brown in the heat of summer. In the 1950s it was used for various activities, but it wasn't until the late 1960s that training officer, Capt Jim Coutts, realized that cadets were watching Saturday night movies in the hot stuffy confines of B3 which had been used for many years as an indoor drill hall, boxing ring and movie theatre. Capt Coutts instructed carpenters to build a whitewashed 20' outdoor screen and had it installed on the north end of the common so cadets could watch movies under the stars every Saturday night, a far more comfortable and enjoyable experience. The screen was employed every summer from 1970 to the early 1980s when VHS machines and cheaper televisions eventually replaced the old 16mm projector. 
The annual drumhead service was held for many years in Polson Park, downtown. In the early 1970s it was moved to the outdoor chapel on the escarpment along building C4. In the 1980s the service was moved to Coutts Common where it held to this day. 

In 2000, two CIC officers were married on the common. 

In recent years, it was decided that it would be appropriate to have concrete memorial benches installed on the common to honour former cadets and staff who had passed on. The common would have an even greater sense of meaning for staff and cadets. 

Maple Grove, located immediately southeast of Coutts Common along the escarpment overlooking the valley and Middleton Mountain, was instituted in 1985 by CO, LCol Brian Munro and several former COs who planted maple saplings on what had been an otherwise unassuming knoll. Today it is another shaded, green place where cadets and staff can sit and relax.

 

Church parade on Coutts Common, 1972 (Cam Leblond)

 

The benches in clockwise rotation from the east side of Coutts Common

(F. Arseneault)

 

 

(F. Arseneault)

 

 

(F. Arseneault)

 

 

(F. Arseneault)

 

 

(F. Arseneault)

 

 

(F. Arseneault)

 

 

(F. Arseneault)

 

 

The benches on Maple Grove

(F. Arseneault)

 

 

(F. Arseneault)

 

 

(F. Arseneault)