John Stolarski’s Old Newspaper Clippings

Photograph of the RCMP crest on "B" Block at "Depot" Division in Regina (Source of photo - Sheldon Boles)




With the exception of his first two years in the Force, John Stolarski spent his entire career as a Police Dog Services handler.





Throughout this career, John clipped newspaper articles about members who he had worked with.

Despite the fact that John has passed away, his family has agreed for us to re-post these articles for the interest of RCMP Veterans and current members of the Force.

The Mounties: RCMP-GRC

Photograph of the RCMP crest on "B" Block at "Depot" Division in Regina (Source of photo - Sheldon Boles)

March 24, 1973 (written by Wain King of the Winnipeg Free Press) – There is a common association in the attitude of Canadians of RCMP action against drug users and traffickers with what are seen as parallel measures taken in the Prohibition Era of the Twenties.

But the scale and scope of illicit drug operation far exceed anything conceived by the rum-runners and moonshiners of a generation ago.  An the scale and scope of police activities to counter them have grown proportionately.

While Prohibition laws were, at the most, a national concern and out of step with traditional, popular and lawful concepts in most parts of the world, those dealing with the illicit traffic and use of drugs demonstrate world-wide concern and a new measure international co-operation.

Many of the most dramatic seizures have been the result of coordinated efforts by police forces of several nations.  Such co-ordination is a major function of Interpol, to which the RCMP represents Canada.

Drug Shipments

But while the seizing of large shipments of drugs at an airport or on a ship in harbour may make brief headlines, it is remote form the immediate contact with the drug problem and related police activities affecting the Canadian public as a whole.

Perhaps nothing has brought the subject of drugs and the work of the police into sharper focus than the drug cult in schools and universities.

Here, the problem takes on a new dimension from the “Skid Row” view of pushers and addicts. It comes home.

Much of the controversy has been over the classification of marijuana.  This was dealt with at length in the report of the Le Dain commission to which extensive evidence was provided by the RCMP.

The opinion expressed by the Mounted Police was that marijuana, although less addictive and, in itself, less dangerous than “hard” drugs, is an easy stepping stone to them.

In common with legitimate big business, the narcotics and crime syndicates underwrite extensive public relation campaigns to push their products.

Much of the half-truth opinion from presumably well-intentioned and otherwise respected people in the public eye could not have been written more subtle effect by the syndicates themselves.

This has been a serious handicap to the work the force in enforcing the law on drugs.  The validity of the law is suspect.

A Mounted Policeman who has been involved in narcotics investigations for almost a decade commented, “to say that a person is only using marijuana is like saying a girl is only a little bit pregnant.  Eventually both problems will become obvious unless drastic steps are taken fast.”

Undercover Agents

Much of the most effective police work in the continuing drug war has been achieved by the use of undercover agents and informers.

Upon occasion it has roused public antagonism and been an embarrassment to the force.

For many Canadians, these methods, necessary as they may be under the circumstances, are an uncomfortable suggestion of the ‘police state.’

As a general rule, the campaign against narcotics traffic and abuse is a deadly serious matte.  But if it is possible to introduce a light note to the subject, it was achieved when the Central Experimental Farm at Ottawa undertook to raise a controlled marijuana crop on its lands within the city limits.

The hash was being grown to meet research needs behind a veil of secrecy (as near as one can keep such a distinctive crop growing in the open secret) and a high security fence.

In many cases the sorties into the ripening ‘grass‘ were made less to reap a stolen harvest for a free ‘high‘ than simply to accept the dare offered by its very presence.

But the total picture of the drug war is grim.  In no other area of its responsibilities is the force so active and outspoken to gain public understanding and support for its work.  Only in this way does it see ultimate victory.

Nowhere is the RCMP more concerned with youth than in the field of narcotics law enforcement.  And it is in the eyes of a large segment of young Canadian society that the force’s image has changed in a single generation.

Part of the action is education.  The Mounted Police is putting increasing emphasis on support of drug education on the promise that the facts will speak for themselves when they are understood.

It it works, the force hopes that the private world of the young may have no need to fear the ‘man.’

NOTE: With the legalization of medical marijuana and the popularity of marijuana amongst many segments of society, it would appear that the Force’s education program an enforcement was not successful. 


Photograph of S/S/Major Ernie Bonderud (Reg.#

Photograph of S/S/Major Ernie Bonderud (Reg.#16669)

June 26, 1976 (Nanaimo Daily Free Press) RCMP S/Sgt. Major Ernie Bonderud (Reg.#16669)served his last day in the force Friday, and today began the first one of his retirement after being a policeman for 27 years.

In his years of police work, first with the former BC Police and then with the RCMP, he worked on many cases which were part of a larger mosaic of national items – the Doukhobor problem and the Commonwealth Trust investigation to name two.

He joined the B.C. police force in 1949, serving the first few months in Penticton and then in Grand Forks districts.

Knew a few fellows who were in the force and they got me interested,” he said.

It was in these first few years that he was part of the police work revolving about the Doukhobor problem.

As a group, they weren’t violent.  There protest were on a religious basis which were in conflict with Canadian law.  Any violence a that time was from individuals rather than from the groups,” he said.

He said he has since returned to the area to visit, “and I still have friends back there” among some of the Doukhobor people.

He said the few who had caused the trouble had created a bad name for all of them, and the peaceful ones had to live down those bad reputations.

In 1952 he was transferred to Manitoba, serving in the town of Ethelbert, near Dauphin.

By now he was in the RCMP which had taken former B.C. policemen into their ranks when the national force was asked  to assume the police work for the province.

In 1954 he was transferred to Winnipeg where he served as dog master.

I had a pup on my own at the time and I admired the work the police dogs had been doing, so I gave it a try,” he said.

After a few years as a dog master he gave it up because chances of promotion in that area of work, at that time, were too slim.  That situation has changed in current years.

By 1957 he was a corporal and was transferred back to BC to Kamloops and back to the Doukhobor problem.

By now the younger men in the Sons of Freedom movement had come to the forefront.

They were planting bombs in the power lines, they planted a bomb in the Willow Inn and they blew up a gas pipeline near 100 Mile House.”

Fortunately no one was hurt and in many cases the bombs were found and made harmless,” he said.

From 1959 and for five years thereafter he served in Prince Rupert, in administrative duties.  Then in ’64 he was transferred to Victoria in charge of general investigations in his new position as sergeant and from there to Surrey.

He became one of the few staff sergeants major in the force.  The rank had been made for special purposes within the force but has since been abandoned.  He was one of the last 15 or 16 men to hold it.

Just about a year ago he was transferred to Nanaimo for his last posting prior to retirement.

He intends to live on the Island rather than return to one of the other communities in which he served.

NOTE: Ernie Bonderud passed away on July 1, 2000 at Sardis, BC.  


Photograph of Argus The Police dog, feared by the bad and loved by the good, accompanied his handler Constable Tim Boal to Conrad School Friday to satisfy the curiosity of the kids.  Argus was semi-alert, with one ear cocked for trouble, while Constable Boal fielded questions.

Photograph of Argus The Police dog, feared by the bad and loved by the good, accompanied his handler Constable Tim Boal to Conrad School Friday to satisfy the curiosity of the kids. Argus was semi-alert, with one ear cocked for trouble, while Constable Boal fielded questions.

(June 19, 1969) – CAMP DEBERT – Criminals and potential criminals in the Atlantic Provinces had better take notice.

Seven police dogs and their masters have spent the past two weeks here going over everything they were originally taught, and learning a few new skills at the same time.

They are attending the annual refresher course given by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Staff-Sgt. T. Kehoe of Innisfail, Alberta, who is in charge of the police service dog section of the RCMP said even though the dogs were completely trained before being assigned to any area, they must attend the two week course that is given each year.

A similar course is conducted in Alberta for police dogs in the western provinces, he said.

During the past two weeks, both the dogs and their masters have gone over every detail of their initial training “just to keep both in shape” said Staff Kehoe.

Yesterday, before armed forces personnel and other interested spectators, the dogs demonstrated how to disarm a ‘criminal‘ who had fled from a car, through a field, following a high speed chase.

Besides the seven ‘veteran‘ dogs, two five-months-old pups and four potential dog masters attended the course.

One of the pups, Fury, will be replacing the veteran Susie in Fredericton next year after he finished training school in Innisfail, Alberta.

Staff Kehoe said once a dog is retired, he is ‘put to sleep,’ even though it wasn’t a just reward for such a valuable comrade.

He said it wasn’t possible to give them to someone because they wouldn’t be happy without their master.

They are working dogs and they enjoy it” he said. Another factor was that RCMP and police forces around the world were turning exclusively to German Shepherds for police work.

This type are rugged, big and strong and suited for the ind of work we use them for.  They are a one-man type of dog and not everyone could handle them,” he said.

There are 25 dogs in Canada in the police service dog section of the RCMP.

There are no RCMP dogs in Ontario or Quebec, but the RCMP train dogs for the provincial police forces in each province.

There aren’t any dogs stationed in the Yukon.  The Northwest Territories or Prince Edward Island.  If dogs are required in any of these areas, they are brought in from wherever they are available, he said.

Nova Scotia has three police dogs. Deka, in Truro with Constable G. Bagnell as master; Aro in Sydney, with Constable J. Stolarski as master and Ace in Halifax, with Cpl. D.F. Marston as master.

Ace became one of the few police dogs in Canada to be wounded in action, just a few weeks ago.

New Brunswick and Newfoundland, each have two police dogs.

The number of police dogs in the force has increased by about one per year for the past five years, said Staff Kehoe.

He said there was no possible way of placing a value on the dogs.

One lost person found alive.  On murderer captured.  What is the value on a human life?” he asked.

NOTE: At present, there are 125 RCMP Police Dogs and their handlers supporting policing operations across Canada.  In British Columbia, there are 79 RCMP Police Dogs.

RCMP OFFICERS: Const. Tom Agar (left), killed, and Const. Wayne Hangman, wounded, were victims in shootout at Richmond RCMP stations.

RCMP OFFICERS: Const. Tom Agar (Reg.#33580) (left), killed on September 23, 1973, and Const. Wayne Hanniman (Reg.#35115), wounded, were victims in shootout at Richmond RCMP stations.

john Stolarski block