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Jananuary '09

Volume 22 No.4                                                                      Edited by Don Grant & Vern Hall

Tuesday, 25 November 2008                        

Real Life Adventures of the RCMP

Robert Knuckle & Carl McLeod

This was a joint presentation by Bob Knuckle, an author and retired teacher, and Carl MacLeod, a retired RCMP officer.  Carl was a highly regarded undercover operator with the RCMP. He worked for the RCMP for 32 years – mostly based in Hamilton.

Bob has written several books related to the Mounties.  After he spoke at an RCMP veteran’s meeting Carl approached him.  Carl had a manuscript he had written about his career with as an undercover operator with the RCMP and he wanted Bob the review it.  Bob read the manuscript and while it was readable, he did not think it was saleable.  It read too much like a police report.  In Bob’s view it needed dialogue and description.  Dialogue was needed to bring the manuscript to life and description was needed to sweep the reader along.

The two men worked on the book weekly for the best part of a year.  They picked the most interesting cases for the chapters.  Each week, when they’d meet, Bob would have many questions which would allow him to get the information to add the dialogue and description to the manuscript. When they had completed their work, Bob was able to get a contract, from his publisher, very quickly, because it was expected the nature of the book would make it saleable.

There are 1500 RCMP officers trained for this work but only about 600 are actually doing it.  It is strictly a volunteer role.  The RCMP maintains a master file of the people trained for the role and from it selects appropriate people depending on the case.  Once offered the role, the person has the right to accept of reject it.

The RCMP takes a lot of care with their undercover operators.  Once one is assigned, 8 people are assigned to keep the person safe.  An example was given of a case that moved across Canada from Vancouver to Toronto and in each province along the way 8 people were assigned to cover the person – a total of 40 people across the 5 provinces.

When working undercover Carl had to live as if he belonged to the drug world.  He wore expensive clothing and jewelry, drove expensive cars and had unlimited expense accounts to wine and dine the clients.  When working as an undercover operator Carl assumed another identity with all of the necessary documentation.

Carl got into undercover work quite by accident when he was first with RCMP.  He was curious about how undercover worked and went to a meeting with an undercover operator.  He ended up being recruited as the operator’s driver.  He believes he was fortunate that his wife accepted what he was doing because he loved it.  He gained confidence as his career evolved until he dealing with the top echelon of criminals.

Carl and Bob’s book was available for sale at the meeting and several Probians bought one.✥

Club News

50/50 Draw
First prize winner was John Rule. Second prize was won by Jack Brown.

Attendance & Membership

There were 96 members and 3 guests at the November meeting.

Doug Fixter, John Gertridge, and Chuck Thompson, were inducted. At present there are four on our waiting list.

Bell Ringers
% Art Hodgins & Gord Ferguson for pushing the email version of PRO BUZZ, now saving the club about $1,000 per year in printing and mailing costs.
% Don Grant for PRO BUZZ, layout and design, and recent development of the club web site.

Book Club
The Book Club will meet on Wednesday, 11th of February at 2pm. at Art Hodgin’s house. Any Probus member who would like to join, please contact Lynn Matthews    ( 519 579 4035 )

Duty Roster, January meeting

Introduction: David Oille
Thanker: John Rule

Wellness Report

Ron Hustwitt advises that no one has reported any  major ailments at this time!

Click here to see print edition of this issue

Who am I?

Daniel St-Pierre

I was born on a farm at Ste-Anne des Monts in 1938, the fourth of eleven children. After schooling in the village, I attended Bathurst College where I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

During my last three years at Bathurst, I spent my summers in the tank corps at Camp Borden.

I registered at the Faculty of Law at Ottawa University and graduated with a degree in Civil Law. Following admission to the Quebec bar, I began my law practice in Mont-Joli.

During the summer of 1966, I received a visit from Andre Anderson who talked to me about joining Mutual Life as an estate planner in their department in Montreal. The offer appealed to me and after a few interviews I joined the company in November of that year.

This gave me the opportunity to work with managers and agents in the province of Quebec, dealing with financial, taxation, and estate situations. Of course, the objective was the sale of life insurance by the agent to meet the needs of the client.

I became manager of that service in 1968, then in 1972 I received another visit from Andre Anderson offering me a transfer to head office in Waterloo to join the legal department as counsel for the Province of Quebec.

My work was to provide legal services on all aspects of the operations of the company in that province, including insurance, investments, taxation, and litigation.

In 1992, I retired from Mutual Life and joined Comcorp, n organization funded by the life insurance industry to deal with bankruptcies of life insurance companies. I acted as their general counsel until 2002 when I retired for good.

I ran successfully as a separate school trustee, representing the Francophone taxpayers.

In 1974, I started negotiating with the school board for the opening of a French grade school in Kitchener. Our work resulted in the opening of Cardinal Leger School in 1976.

We invited Cardinal Leger for the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the opening of the school. Unfortunately, he had to turn down our invitation due to a conflict in his schedule, but generously offered to delegate his brother Jules to represent him if that were acceptable to us.

Considering the fact that Jules Leger was the Governor-General of Canada, we accepted immediately!
We were totally unaware that his visit would cause quite a protocol storm at City Hall. We learned very quickly that the Governor-General does not slip quietly into town, cut the ribbon, say a few words, then depart.

In any event, it turned out to be a grandiose event for our school, and the local politicians also benefited from his visit.

In 1965, I married Rachel Turbide of the Magdalen Islands, the fourth child of a family of sixteen. We did not follow in our parents footsteps. Our family was limited to two children, a son Andre living in Montreal and a daughter Isabelle, the mother of our two grandchildren, Julia age nine, and Eric age six.

I play tennis, [ a good partner of many years has been John Goman], go for long walks, and do a bit of reading.

And that is my story. ✥

Club News

Emergency Phone Committee
This committee of 35 members consists of one member and one alternate on each two page spread of the club directory. In an emergency situation, such as a cancelled  meeting on short notice, each will telephone the other seven members on those pages.

Editor’s Notes
The great photography from the Christmas party was provided by Dolf Bogad.      Vern Hall contributed the excellent write up of  our speakers address at the November meeting.

January Meeting Notice
If the Rec Complex will be closed by a strike on our meeting date you will be phoned that the meeting is cancelled. If the strike is on, but the Complex open, our meeting will be as scheduled.

Attention All Members

Your assistance is requested to make us aware of any medical concerns or transportation difficulties of members. Please notify Ron Hustwitt (519-746-1282) prior to a meeting. Please call and keep us current!

Click here to see Christmas Party pictures for January issue of PRO BUZZ