Corporal ‘Cam’ Gordon Irwin Cameron – #8681

 

RCMP Gordon Cameron

 

 

 

Gordon Cameron spent his entire life in the service to his community.  In 1980, he was awarded the Order of Canada.

 

 

 

 

 

EARLY YEARS

Gordon Irwin Cameron was born on January 22, 1900 at Trois-Riveres Quebec.  The family moved to Ottawa in 1912 after Gordon’s father passed away.

After shortly arriving in Ottawa, Gordon joined the Ottawa Army Cadets.  With the outbreak of World War I, many men rushed to join the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

In 1916 at Ottawa, Gordon joined the Canadian Army by lying about his age.  Prior to being shipped overseas, the military authorities discovered his true age.  As such, he was retained in the Canadian Army but was not permitted to go overseas.  Gordon remained at Petawawa for the duration of time in the Army.  

Photograph of

1917 -Photograph of Gordon Cameron in the Canadian Expeditionary Force at Camp Petawawa (Source of photo – Ione Christensen).

JOINS THE FORCE

After receiving his discharge from the Canadian Army, he joined the Royal North West Mounted Police on August 17, 1919 for a three year term of service.  He received his basic training at the “Depot” Division in Regina.

Photograph of the

1924 – Photograph of the RCMP stables at the Fairmount in Vancouver (Source of the photo – Ione Christensen).

1922 - Photograph of RCMP members practising lance drill in preparation for a Musical Ride demonstration (Source of Ione Christensen).

1924 – Photograph of RCMP Fairmont Barrack members practising lance drill in preparation for a Musical Ride demonstration (Source of Ione Christensen).

After graduation, he was transferred to “E” Division – Vancouver BC then to Esquimalt.  At the termination of his three year term, Gordon took his discharge on August 26, 1922.

1921 - Photograph of

1922 – Photograph of Gordon Cameron doing welding work on a oil line in California.   He is wearing his old RCMP high brown boots on this job site (Source of photo – Ione Christensen).

It was then that Gordon and a friend headed to the California oil fields to work as a welders.

1924 - Photograph of the RCMP Fairmount First Aid Instructors.  (Source of photo -Ione CHRISTENSEN of Whitehorse YT)

1924 – Photograph of the RCMP Fairmount First Aid Instructors. Constable Gordon Cameron is the member in the rear row in the middle. (Source of photo -Ione Christensen of Whitehorse YT)

According to Gordon’s daughter, “it was not as romantic as they had hoped and they came back to Ottawa and rejoined the Force. Dad was sent to Regina for training and then to Vancouver in late 1923 or early 1924 that summer he was posted to a very small Island off Vancouver Island. I think it was Sandy Island just off Union Bay – it was a bird sanctuary and he was to make sure no one took the eggs when the birds were nesting.

#5_Elsa_Det_1924

1924 – Photograph of RCMP members at Elsa Detachment in the Yukon (Source of photo – Ione Christensen).

In late 1924, he was posted to Elsa in the Yukon to do under cover work to get evidence on gambling and prostitution. Once this was done, they decided it would cost too much to send him back to Vancouver – so he was posted to Dawson City 1925.

Photograph

1926 – Photograph of RCMP Constable Gordon Cameron at Dawson Detachment in the Yukon (Source of photo – Ione Christensen).

Dad did a short posting at Mayo but most of his time was spent in Dawson until 1928.

He had met my mother and they had permission to marry in June of 1928. Then the Officer Commanding had a heart attack on New Years Day of 1928.

The new Officer Commanding did not want any marry men on his post so he cancelled dad’s permission to marry. Consequently, dad purchased out of the Force on June 27th 1928.

Cam and Martha then left Dawson City and traveled to Ottawa, where members of Cam’s family had several business. He went to work with them but with the crash of 1929 the business were lost. Cam and Martha with Cam’s brother and his wife decided to head West to the Peace River Country where faming land was being give free to those who wish to break the land. So off they went by car on this great adventure, arriving in Dawson Creek in late August 1929. They traded the car for a wagon, plow, three horses, a cow and some chickens. They each received a quarter section just over the BC board in Alberta.

Needless to say, they did not do all that well.  Neither of them were farmers. I came along in 1933 and mother said that was it, no more farming.

So they moved on to Vancouver in 1934 and Dad re-engaged on March 5, 1934 in the Force once again.

1934 - Photograph of the RCMP Musical Ride from the Fairmount Barrack performing in Portland Oregon (Source of photo - Ione Christensen).

June 10 – 14, 1934 – Photograph of the RCMP Musical Ride team from the Fairmount Barrack performing at the Canadian Legion Convention in Portland Oregon (Source of photo – Ione Christensen).

He spent the summer out with the fishing fleet at the north end of Vancouver Island. Mother and I went back to the Yukon for the summer returning to Vancouver in the fall. The next spring Dad was posted to Fort Selkirk in the Yukon.”

1936 - Photograph of Constable Gordon Cameron at

1936 – Photograph of Constable Gordon Cameron at Fort Selkirk (Source of photo – Ione Christensen).

While a Selkirk, Gordon performed a wide range of responsibilities in addition to policing such as: enforcing the game laws; meeting incoming planes and sternwheelers; distributing medicines; digging graves for burials; delivering mail and performing multiple tasks within the community.  His patrols were undertaken by boat in the summer and dog team in the winter.

1940 - Photograph of Constable Gordon Cameron

1940 – Photograph of Constable Gordon Cameron assisting with a burial service at Fort. Selkirk (Source of photo – Ione Christensen).

On the occasions when Gordon was away, Martha would be left in charge of the detachment.

1939 - Photograph of Gordon Cameron, Martha Cameron and their daughter Iona

1939 – Photograph of Gordon Cameron, Martha Cameron and their daughter Ione.

According to Ione Christiansen, “Selkirk was a one man (and woman, Mother) post with five dogs and a 14 foot canoe with a 10 horsepower outboard to do all the patrols between Whitehorse and Dawson and all of the Pelly River country. We were there 15 years till it closed down in 1949 when Dad retired and we moved to Whitehorse.”

IN RETIREMENT

Ione further outlined “dad then worked for the Territorial Government – first in the Game Department and later in the Health Department as the Health Inspector for the Yukon.  In 1971, dad was appointed as the  ‘sergeant-of-arms’ in the Yukon Legislature and held this position until 1986.

Photograph of Gordon Cameron as the "Sergeant-of-Arms" for the Yukon Legislature (Source of photo - Ione Christensen).

Photograph of Gordon Cameron as the “Sergeant-of-Arms” for the Yukon Legislature (Source of photo – Ione Christensen).

Dad was very active in the RCMP Veterans’ Association here in Yukon and the planning of the 100 anniversary of the Force in Yukon 1995.

Photograph of the Yukon RCMP Cennetial crest.

Photograph of the 100th anniversary of the RCMP in the Yukon.

He went into a seniors home in October 1995 and past away on April 29, 1996.

In 1980, Gordon was awarded the Order of Canada.

Ione concluded by saying “dad was the ultimate diplomat and took the civil servant’ part of his job very seriously. He was always there to serve, and was in the service for most of his life.

Photograph of Corporal Gordon Cameron's RCMP grave marker (Source of photo - RCMP Gravesite database).

Photograph of Corporal Gordon Cameron’s RCMP grave marker (Source of photo – RCMP Gravesite database).

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