Originally, the Ex-Cadets Club and the Foundation were one and the same. Founded in 1961 by PJM Morin, the Ex-Cadets Club helped bridge the gap between past and present, providing services to its members, officer cadets and the College.
Thus, for many years, the Club’s aim was to bring members together, encourage and maintain an esprit de corps and enhance the well-being of its members, officer cadets and the Collège militaire royal (CMR). In practice, the Club was helping to pay for some Cadet Wing activities. Its largest contribution to the College was the unveiling of the Ex-Cadets Memorial on October 8, 1977, on the occasion of Ex-Cadets Foundation’s 25th anniversary. For several years, the Club also awarded many trophies and medals, such as the Ex-Cadet silver medal, Ex-Cadet honorary plaque, PJM Morin trophy, etc.
During this time, the Club and its ex-cadets were also promoting military heritage as part of their mission. A Heritage Committee had long existed at CMR Saint-Jean and was chaired by the Director of Cadets with the active participation of the Cadet Wing Commander (CWC). CMR Saint-Jean’s heritage was largely developed by ex-cadet classes. Some examples include:
· Class of 1973 provided the sundial installed on the College Promenade
· Class of 1975 donated the bell in the officer cadets’ mess
· Class of 1979 donated the gong used in the officer cadets’ mess
· Class of 1983 donated a large wooden sculpture bearing the College’s logo
· Class of 1984 donated an oak grandfather clock
· Class of 1988 donated a stained-glass window for the library
Until the College’s closure in 1995, the Foundation played a leading role in the funding of activities, events and recognition of work excellence in officer cadets. In 2011, recognizing the RMC Foundation of Canada’s positive contribution to the excellence of officer cadets from the two military colleges, the Ex-Cadets Foundation decided to focus its mission primarily on supporting the Fort Saint-Jean Museum and its related activities, including those of the site’s military and historic heritage. Following the closure of CMR Saint-Jean in 1995, the Foundation funded a portion of the College’s preservation activities and volunteered to watch over the heritage assets of the CMR and Fort Saint-Jean.