Barry Bradley’s Old Newspaper Clippings






Throughout his career in the Force (1960 – 1995), Veteran Barry Bradley developed a newspaper scrapebook containing notable news stories about the RCMP in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.



Each week, we will post three or four of these old newspaper clippings for the interest of Veterans and their families. This week’s webpage includes some interesting stories reflecting different aspects of activities in the RCMP. These stories would have been forgotten if not saved by Barry and to be shared with others.


Photograph of

Photograph of Constable Michael Robert Mason’s grave marker (Source of photo – RCMP Gravesite database).

Courtenay (November 29, 1971) — A light plane that crashed here Friday killing an RCMP officer and injuring three other policemen was refused landing clearance at Comox Armed Forces Base just before the crash, it was learned today.

Capt. Tony Brett, public relations spokesman at the base, confirmed that the plane’s pilot had asked permission to land.

“But he didn’t declare an emergency,” said Brett. “He gave no indication he was in trouble, or was having safety trouble, or was having safety problems. The use of Department of National Defence airports is ono by prior permission for non-military aircraft, except in the cases of an emergency.”

Brett, himself a pilot, said ti would have been natural for the pilot of the light plane to indicate there was an emergency if that were the case.

“If there had been anything unusual about the request, or if it was a hysterical request, then things would have turned out differently,” he said.

The four police officers were flying from Victoria to Campbell River on a special investigation when they were forced back by back weather.

Constable Michael Robert Mason, 29, (Reg. #22830) of Victoria, was killed when the Cessna 172, in which he was a passenger, clipped a tree while attempting to land in heavy turbulence at Courtenay civic airport. The plan then plunged upside down into the Courtenay River.

Corporal T.A. Menzies said Sunday that no date has been set for the inquest pending the release from Victoria’s Royal Jubilee hospital of the pilot, Detective James Robert MacDonald 27, of the Victoria city police.

MacDonald, who suffered a broken arm and a shoulder injury, was in fairly good condition in hospital.

Sgt. Edward hardy, 41, also of the Victoria city police, was in satisfactory condition in St. Joseph’s Hospital in Comox with head and facial injuries, while RCMP Sgt. W. L. Dempsey, 43, of Victoria was released from the hospital Saturday.

Dempsey told The Sun today he did not know why MacDonald wanted to land at Comox, nor did he know why the military refused permission.

“Coming into Courtenay, we just dropped down and ended up too low, we hit two trees and went strewth down into the water,” he said.

Roy Parrett, provincial representative of the Canadian Aircraft Owners’ and Pilots’ Association said Saturday he would recommend his grow carry out its own investigation of the accident.


Photograph of the scale of justice statue at the New Westminster Court House (Source of photo - Sheldon Boles).

Photograph of the scale of justice statue at the New Westminster Court House (Source of photo – Sheldon Boles).

(1971) – KAMLOOPS – An RCMP Constable now faces three charges of perjury following testimony he gave in the trial of one of 20 people arrested here in July after an undercover drug investigation.

Two more informations were sworn Friday against Const. Robert Cameron Cumming (Reg. #25499) by persons who claim he gave false testimony at the hashish trafficking trial Wednesday of Joseph Claude Pierce, 22, of Kamloops.

An earlier charge was laid Thursday by Bartley Milligan, 21, of Kamloops, who said the constabular lied when he testified that at no time during his undercover investigation in May and June did he carry a switchblade knife, prohibited under the Criminal Code.

On Friday, Mulligan laid a second charge, alleging that Cumming committed perjury when he testified that he did not carry a pistol during the investigation. Mulligan said he and Cumming were in a Kamloops nightclub in June and the constable handed him a .45-calibre pistol before heading for the dance floor.

When Cumming returned, Mulligan said, he asked for the pistol back, stuck it in his waistband and left the nightclub.

The third information was sworn Friday by Frederick Weldon Montgomery, 24, also of Kamloops.

He said Cumming perjured when he said he never passed marijuana or any other narcotic substance to anyone while on the undercover assignment.

Montgomery said that he was invited with two others June 10 to Cumming’s room after they met the constable in a Kamloops beer parlor.

Montgomery said eight joints were rolled, the four in the room smoked four of them and Cumming placed the remaining four in his hatband.

They then returned to the beer parlor. Montgromery said, and Cumming gave the hat containing the joints to a girl.

Cumming is the chief Crown witness in most of the 20 trials, delayed pending the perjury charges.



(June 1971) – The attorney-general’s department will apply Tuesday for a B.C. Supreme Court order to conduct a new inquest into the Boxing Day car crash at Haney which killed five member of the same family.

Lawyer David Hinds, chief government counsel in the Chilliwack area, said in an interview Wednesday that the court will be asked to quash the original inquest, which concluded Jan. 19.

Ronald Jonson, 36, his wife, and three of their five children were killed when their car was in collision with a vehicle driven by 21-year-old RCMP Constable Orville Nickel (Reg.#27156), off duty at the time.

Hinds, who will make the court application on behalf of Attorney-General Les Peterson, conducted a study of the controversial first inquest along with chief B.C. coroner Glen McDonald, of Vancouver in May.

Following newspaper publicity and complaints from Haney residents that the inquest was incomplete, Peterson asked Hinds to re-question inquest witnesses and persons not called at the inquest, and McDonald to study the transcript of the trial.

Their reports were handed to Peterson in June.

Peterson refused to comment on the court application Wednesday. “We agreed that all comment would have to come from counsel,” he said.

Hinds declined to say when Peterson had ordered the application for a sec on inquest.

He said it would be up to the court to decide under the B.C. Coroner’s Act, which coroner will conduct a second inquest and under what conditions it will take place.

The original inquest was conducted by Haney coroner Dr. S.R. Arber, who was also the attending physician at the collision scene, at the intersection of Lougheed Highway and 221st Street.

The inquest jury ruled that both drivers were to blame in the Dec. 26 collision.

The jury also absolved RCMP officers at the scene from criticism that they had prevented help being given the fatally-injured family while giving their attention to Constable Orville Nickel.