Please try to keep both Butch Whitlaw (Phone # = 613-723-4797) and myself advised of any changes to your e-mail addresses. We both maintain lists for different purposes and in different formats. It is doubly difficult when we send out messages to large groups of addressees and have many returned because of incorrect addresses. It is also somewhat disheartening when we lose track of old friends. The whole purpose of this site is to maintain contact. Please keep both of us advised of any changes.
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Lest We Forget

Bill Reitsma

Reitsma Gerard "Bill" - May 30, 1931 - January 9, 2018

Gerard's life came to a peaceful end on January 9 at the KinVillage Care Home in Tsawwassen, BC. He was 86 years old. Gerard was one of eight children born to Gerrit Reitsma and Tetje Wynia of Bentley, Alberta.

Gerard joined the Royal Canadian Navy in May 1949 and received his basic training at HMCS Cornwallis. He served in the Korean War on board HMCS Cayuga 1950-1952. After the war, as part of the Navy's Special Services Branch, he became an expert in signals intelligence and served at HMC NRS Churchill. It was here, in 1953, that he met Wren Doreen Patterson (1927-2000), whom he would later marry in 1960. From 1955 to 1971, Gerard was stationed at the Vancouver Wireless Station VWS-Ladner, which was then a centre of Cold War operations. He also accepted unique missions at the wireless base in Alert, located in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

In later years, Gerard worked as a bookkeeper for Sparmac Timber, and in his retirement, developed his artistic side as he photographed and painted many of Delta's historic buildings. His paintings were made into a series of art cards, and his artwork today graces the walls of many homes. Gerard was also a member of the Tsawwassen Curling Club, and a member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 289 Tsawwassen.

The family wishes to thank the staff at KinVillage for providing Dad with excellent care, Dr. Stewart Noble for his support as family physician, the kind volunteers at Delta Hospice Society, and Kim Muzyka for her dedicated friendship to Dad over the years.

Please join Gerard's sons, Raymond Reitsma (Will Fong) and Richard Reitsma (Michelle), and their families in a celebration of life for Gerard Reitsma on Saturday, February 3, at 11:00 am, at the Ladner United Church, 4960 48th Avenue, Delta. Reception to follow in the Church Hall.

Eric White

White Eric

Born In: Middleton, Nova Scotia, Canada
Born: May 5th, 1943

Passed in: St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
Passed on: December 30th, 2017

It is with sadness that we announce that Eric passed away peacefully at the Miller Centre in St. John's after a valiant battle with cancer on Saturday, December 30, 2017. Eric was in his seventy fifth year and leaves behind his sister Connie, dear brother Rick (Alexis), his nieces Coral, Coline, Connie, Margaret, Tracy and his nephew Reid. Will be missed by Sean (Angie) Sullivan and Harold (Linda) Sullivan, along with Lil (Terrance) Hawkins, Bonnie Edney and other friends from the Southern Shore. Predeceased by his father Rexford White in 1991, his mother Annie White in 1997 and brother Robert White in 1987. Our thanks to Andrea and Mike for their warm hospitality and a special thank you to the staff at the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Centre and the guardian angels in the Palliative Care Unit. Cremation and a private Celebration of Eric's life has already taken place.

Mike Frost

Frost Edward Michael Shepherd

Mr. Edward Michael Shepherd Frost of Miramichi, NB, passed away on Saturday March 4th, 2017 at the age of 78, formally of Ottawa, ON.

Mike was born to parents Lewis and Joy Earle on December 3, 1938 in Kingston Jamaica. The younger of two siblings, his sister, Marguerite preceded him in 2012. Mike had many fond memories of his grandmother, Rita. At the young age of thirteen, Mike left Jamaica to travel to Vancouver, Canada. Where he eventually attended University of British Columbia and Joined the Canadian Navy. While in the Navy he meets an Ottawa girl, Carole, who became his wife of 58 years.

Mike and Carole married in 1958 and had three children. After a distinguished career in the Navy, Mike had a long career in the civil service working for the Communications Security Establishment. After retiring in 1990, became a successful author and speaker then moving to Miramichi in 2002.

Mike is survived by his wife Carole, and sons Anthony, Daniel and David (Colleen), and brother Max Earle in Jamaica; two grandchildren Emily and Lucas and his faithful companion Moya.

The cremation will take place on March 8 and a celebration of life will be held in Ottawa at a later date. The family is grateful for the condolences, but declines flowers, and requests that donations be made to the Palliative Care Unit at the Miramichi Regional Hospital. Funeral arrangements are under the care of Maher's Funeral Home Miramichi, NB. Telephone 773-4321 or

Dean Weir

Weir Dean

Dean Weir, of Calgary, passed away on Thursday, November 23, 2017 at the age of 47 years.

Warrant Officer Dean Weir dedicated 30 years of his life to The Canadian Armed Forces. During his career, he did several tours over seas and was decorated with multiple medals for his service and achievements.

Dean is survived by his sister, Tammy; his dog, his best friend, Molly; as well as numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. Dean was predeceased by his parents, Loretta and Gordon Weir, and grandparents, Ethel and John Weir and Doris and Thomas Miller.

Service details to be announced at a later date.  

If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to The Calgary Poppy Fund, #1, 4539 – 6th Street NE, Calgary, AB  T2E 3Z6, telephone:  403-265-6304,

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Gary Eldridge

Eldridge Gareth "Gary" J - CMDR (retired)

Gary' peacefully passed Oct 12, 2017 a few weeks shy of his 86th birthday.

He was born Oct 26, 1931 in Norfolk, UK. He is survived by his wife Lois of 39 yrs; sister Mary; children Janice, Kathy, Susie, Christopher, Anthony; niece Lesa; nephew Mike; 9 grandchildren and a host of great-grandchildren.

Gary proudly served 33 yrs within our Cdn Navy 1951-1984.

A special thanks to the staff at Cowichan District Hospital. As requested there will be no service. 

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Larry Meisner

Meisner Edward Lawrence "Larry" - June 9, 1949 - October 20, 2017.

While holding a picture of his grandson in his hand, and surrounded by his family at his bedside Larry passed away at the Kingston General Hospital. Larry is survived by his wife Linda (nee Bawtinheimer) of 46 years his daughter Nancy, son Shawn, daughter-in law Melissa and his most precious grandson Payton.

He is the son of Edward (deceased) and Edna Meisner of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. He is survived by his sister Diane Fava of Keswick Ontario, brother Arnold of Eastville Col Co Nova Scotia, predeceased by brother Michael and half sister Kathleen Flynn. He will be remembered by several nieces and nephews.

Larry was a proud member of the Air Force for 31 years and also Legion member of branch 137 Napanee.

The family will receive friends at the Wartman Funeral Home "Napanee Chapel" on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 from 7-9 pm. with a Legion service at 6:30 pm. Funeral Service in the Chapel on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at 11:00 am. Interment Newburgh Cemetery. Reception will be held at the Napanee Legion at 1:00 pm. Friends desiring may contribute by cheque or credit card to the Cancer Society or The Royal Canadian Legion 137 Poppy Fund. On-line condolences at

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Christina Love

Love Christina Doris (nee Hicks) 1930 - 2017

In her 87th year, passed away October 8 at Providence Care Hospital in Kingston surrounded by her children. She was the beloved wife of Morley Love (predeceased), treasured mother of Brian (Suzanne), Brenda (Russell) and Jennifer (Bradley), loving grandmother of Keith (Vanessa), Melissa (Eric), Martin, Alicia, and Caleb, and delighted great-grandmother of Tyler, Sidnee, Adele, and Jaida Rose. Christina was also the cherished sister of her predeceased siblings, Geraldine, George, and Marion; and the dear aunt of many nieces and nephews.

Christina will be dearly missed by her wonderful friends across Canada who became her family as she and Morley moved often with the Royal Canadian Navy.

Friends and family will gather on Saturday, October 21, 2017 in the Beechwood Cemetery hall at 9:30 a.m. for procession to the Graveside Service to commence at 10 a.m. Reception to follow at Beechwood from 10:30-12:30. In lieu of flowers, donations to Providence Care Hospital (UHKF) would be appreciated. Abundant thanks to the staff of Connell 9 and Heritage 2 for their warmth and care for the entire family. Arrangements entrusted to James Reid Funeral Home, Kingston, ON.

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291 Birthday Oct 1, 2011

1 October 2011 marked the Birthday of the Communicator Research (Comm Rsch) occupation and 45 Years of excellence in SIGINT operations.

1966 Integration and Unification

July 19, 1966 - Integration and Unification, creation of the Canadian Forces Supplementary Radio System (CFSRS). Stations previously controlled independently, by the three services would now be directed by a Commander headquartered at HMCS Gloucester.

October 1, 1966 - Military Occupation (MOC) 291 (Communicator Research Operator) was created. RCN Radioman Special (RS) trade, along with the Radio Telegraphic Operators (R&TG) of the Royal Canadian Signal Corps and the Royal Canadian Air Force Communications (Comm Op) began their duties as 291'rs.

Now, the Comm Rsch occupation is not only involved with SIGINT operations but with EW and Network Operations as well.

Also this year, the 1 October 2011 marks the official stand-up of the new Army Communication and Information Systems Specialist (ACISS) which is the new Signals Military Employment Structure which regroup the former Lineman (Lmn); Signal Operator (Sig Op); and Land Communications & Information Systems Technician (LCIS Tech) occupations. Happy Belated Birthday to those two occupations!

Michel C. Boislard
CWO | Adjc
CFIOG CWO | Adjudant-chef du GOIFC
Ph/Tél: 613.945.3153
Fax/Télécopieur: 613.945.3199



From Tom Jenkins
The CF no longer has Military Occupation Codes (MOC) and therefore MOC 291 no longer exists. The MOC has been replaced with the Military Occupational Structure Identifications Codes (MOSID). They are a five digit code, and 291ers have been awarded MOSID 00120.
As for the name of the trade, nothing has changed there. We are still Communicator Research, though it is often printed in error as Communications vice Communicator.
That being said, I do believe we will continue to refer to ourselves as 291ers for a long time yet. Somehow "00120ers" doesn't have the same ring to it!
Have a good one.


Missing the Service Life

Relayed from Ron Lauzon: and courtesy The Sigs Club blog............

Occasionally, I venture back to one or another military post, where I'm greeted by an imposing security guard who looks carefully at my identification card, hands it back and says, "Have a good day, Sir!" Every time I go back to any Military Base it feels good to be called by my previous rank, but odd to be in civilian clothes, walking among the servicemen and servicewomen going about their duties as I once did, many years ago. The military is a comfort zone for anyone who has ever worn the uniform. It's a place where you know the rules and know they are enforced -- a place where everybody is busy, but not too busy to take care of business.

Because there exists behind the gates of every military facility an institutional understanding of respect, order, uniformity, accountability and dedication that becomes part of your marrow and never, ever leaves you. Personally, I miss the fact that you always knew where you stood in the military, and who you were dealing with. That's because you could read somebody's uniform from 20 feet away and know the score. Service personnel wear their careers on their uniforms, so to speak. When you approach each other, you can read their name tag, examine their rank and, if they are in dress uniform, read their ribbons and know where they've served.

I miss all those little things you take for granted when you're in the ranks, like breaking starch on a set of fatigues fresh from the laundry and standing in a perfectly straight line military formation that looks like a mirror as it stretches to the endless horizon.

I miss the sight of troops marching in the early morning mist, the sound of boot heels thumping in unison on the tarmac, the bark of drill instructors and the sing-song answers from the squads as they pass by in review. To romanticize military service is to be far removed from its reality, because it's very serious business -- especially in times of war. But, I miss the salutes I'd throw at senior officers and the crisp returns as we crisscrossed with a "by-your-leave" sir.

I miss the smell of jet fuel hanging heavily on the night air and the sound of engines roaring down runways and disappearing into the clouds. I even miss the hurry-up-and-wait mentality that enlisted men gripe about constantly, a masterful invention that bonded people more than they'll ever know or admit. I miss people taking off their hats when they enter a building, speaking directly and clearly to others and never showing disrespect for rank, race, religion or gender. I miss being a small cog in a machine so complex it constantly circumnavigates the Earth and so simple it feeds everyone on time, three times a day, on the ground, in the air or at sea. Mostly, I don't know anyone who has served who regrets it, and doesn't feel a sense of pride when they pass through those gates and re-enter the world they left behind with their youth.

Face it - we miss it............ Whether you had one tour or a career, it shaped your life.

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