John Stolarski’s Old Newspaper Clippings

Photograph of RCMP Corporal John Stolarski and his trusted police dog.





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.

MOUNTIE HATS: Changes In Uniform

Photograph of RCMP Commissioner George Brinton McClellan

Photograph of RCMP Commissioner George Brinton McClellan

1966 – OTTAWA – When RCMP Commissioner George B. McClelland glances at the Frederic Remington original over his desk, it is with the critical eye of the career Mountie.


The Remington work on the loan from a gallery in Fort Worth, Texas, show an old Northwest Mounted Policeman bucking a prairie blizzard.

A more useless type of fur hat never existed,” says the commissioner of the constable’s headpiece.  “It was retired from service a year before I joined in 1932.”

The commissioner this year aroused traditionalists by withdrawing the horse from the RCMP training program.

Enough horses will be raised and enough recruits trained to allow continuation of the famed RCMP musical ride.

Otherwise, the horse has joined the old fur hat the wide-brimmed hat, britches and spurs as part of the past of the 93-year-old force.

You can’t sit in a modern auto with a wide brimmed Mountie hat on unless you’re five-foot-four,” the commissioner, an erect six-footer, said in an interview.

As for spurs, the wear and tear on rubber floor matting alone was costing money.”

Some Mounties actually had accidents when their spurs became tangled while driving.

The decision to ditch spurs and wide-brimmed hats drew the wrath of a tall Toronto editor last year.

The commissioner told him to try driving with them for one day.

He would have had to cut a hole in the roof,” the commissioner said, chuckling.

He said horsemanship has been dropped from the training program for several reasons, the main one a demand for more Mounties.  They had to have a shorter training period.

With the force getting larger, stables and other facilities would have had to be greatly enlarged.

Commissioner McClellan is quick to admit the horse was an excellent form of physical training.

It exposed “any lack of self-control, patience or guts.”  Instructors watch to see how fast a recruit mounted after being thrown or how he treated his animal.

I don’t know anything that will bring out what’s in a man more than the riding school.”

However, the emphasis has shifted to academic training.  Meanwhile, the new physical education program stresses endurance, agility and strength.

One reason is that assaults on police are increasing tremendously.”

The accent is on judo, isometric exercises to build strength, and running to build endurance.

The flourish, the show, things we will never use again, have been done away with.”

Mounties still wear the scarlet tunics, Sam Browne belts, britches, boots and spurs for the musical ride.  This uniform also is used by constables patrolling such places as Parliament Hill.

Otherwise, it has joined Frederic Remington’s fur hat as part of the history of the force.


Photograph of RCMP Corporal John Stolarski as a Police Dog Handler and his trusted partner. (Source of photo - Mildred Stolarski).

Photograph of RCMP Corporal John Stolarski as a Police Dog Handler and his police dog “Axel.” (Source of photo – Mildred Stolarski).

The RCMP constable examined the loot transfer office at Winkler, Man., saw the fresh footprints under a broken rear window, and sent for Sultan.  He guessed that Sultan, an honour graduate of the Mounties’ school for police dogs, would know what to do about the footprints.  Sultan did – he followed the trail through lanes, across vacant lots, up and down village streets and right back to the front door of the burgled building.  Entering, he singled out a clerk working busily at a desk, plumped down in front of him and bared his teeth.  The clerk hadn’t quite enough nerve to outstare the silent dog and the silent red-coated man behind him.  He confessed that it was indeed he who had robbed his own office and had then manufactured clues to make it look like an outside job.

Sultan’s story was told in The Standard by David Willock, who cited other examples to support his theme: “RCMP Dogs Are Expert Sleuths.”  Egon, a German shepherd, had a flair for finding illicit stills.  But Egon, alas, developed a test for bootleg mash and only constant vigilance saved him from becoming an alcoholic.  Tell, another shepherd, was a physical-fitness crank.  He would break out of his kennel and be found going through all the standard maneuvers on the training field by himself.  Usually, the Mounties have about 15 dogs in service.  They find children and old people lost in the wilds, track down and actually capture escaped prisoners, lead police to caches of stolen goods.

Greatest of them all was Dale, the almost legendary Alsatian which – in 1935 – was the first dog to be officially taken on the Force.  Dale had been taught to be a good policeman by RCMP Sgt. J.N. Casey.  he paid that debt in full when the Sergeant piled his car into a snowbank during a howling Prairie blizzard.  With the temperature 65 degrees below freezing.  Dale led Cawsey and a companion through the drifts to a tiny cabin which not even Dale could have known existed.


Photograph of Constable Barry Kukura of the Nanaimo Detachment.

Photograph of Constable Barry Kukura of the Nanaimo Detachment.

Constable Barry Kukura (Reg.#29751) of the Nanaimo detachment unloads the pump-action shotgun he had handy throughout Thursday afternoon and evening while participating in the manhunt for three escaped prisoners in the Nanaimo area.  He was one of more than 40 officers involved in the Island search.


Photograph of Constable Don Edy receiving the Nanaimo Citizenship Award from

Photograph of Constable Don Edy receiving the Nanaimo Citizenship Award from Frank Cowie.

Constable Don Edy (Reg.#24415) was named Citizen of the Year for 1976 at the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce installation banquet Wednesday.

The presentation of the annual award was made by outgoing chamber president Frank Cowie who described the constable as “an active and concerned member of the community.”

Mr. Cowie said Constable Edy coaches little league baseball, is a member of the Naniamo Lions Club, a member of the board of directors of the mental health association, a collector of police badges and a correspondent with law enforcement officers all over the world, a n instructor for safety and roadside manners for children and coordinator of the rCZMP bicycle drill team.

Constable Edy, in accepting his plaque, said the position of a law officer is a “frustrating” job.

“This award makes up for 10 1/2 years of frustration and thanklessness I’ve gone through.  you don’t realize how much a pat on the back or a thank-you means to a policeman.”

On his work with children, Constable Edy said “we’ve got to give children a chance.  They’re going to pan out.”

The constable said when he was 13 or 14 years old he was a members of a choir group which went to sing at a veterans’ hospital in Calgary and “I cried.”

“I couldn’t help the people who were without families and were helpless.”

“Once I came to Nanaimo and joined the Lions Club, I am giving the help I can to the blind, the deaf and to senior citizens.”

“I thank you from the bottom of my hear for this award.  I love you all.”



Photograph of RCMP Inspector George Strathdee - OIC Nanaimo Detachment.

Photograph of RCMP Inspector George Strathdee – OIC Nanaimo Detachment.

Nanaimo’s new RCMP commanding officer ins Insp. George Strathdee, who has been transferred from Victoria detachment and will begin his first full week on duty here Monday.

He hakes over from Insp. Dan Webster, who has been transferred to Ottawa.

Insp. Strathdee has spent 25 years in the force, having joined in Duncan.  He was born in San Francisco and took his schooling in Qualicum Beach, where he got a taste of Canadian ways of life.  he later returned to Canada to become a citizen.

He said he did not intend to become a police officer at first, wanting instead to join the Royal Canadian Air Force.  But he began researching the RCMP as a career and subsequently changed his mind about the RCAF.

His service with the force has included three tours in the Canadian north, with a total of five years in the Northwest Territories and two in the Yukon.

He also served two tours of duty in Nova Scotia and one in Ottawa.

His first B.C. tours of duty began in 1965, and since then he has been in Duncan, Vancouver university, Kitimat, Chilliwack and Victoria detachments.

The last two years have been with Victoria, where he was in staffing and personnel.

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