Vancouver Division with Surrey Detachment

RCMP Veterans’ Association

Veterans Helping Veterans and Their Families

This information is being provided to all Association Members

Dear Association Members,

A short while ago our new Executive Officer, Mike Cote drew my attention to a notice being circulated within Surrey Detachment by Sgt. Shane Stovern regarding a drop-in centre at the detachment office on October 15th., where members of Vancouver Division of the Veterans’ Association would be available to assist on a variety of topics including,

  • Mental Health and Wellness
  • RCMP Pension and Benefits Planning
  • Benefit Trust Fund Information / Applications
  • Disability Pensions / VAC Applications
  • Survivor Benefits / Funeral Services
  • Veterans’ Independence Program

Or simply to say hi!

Sgt. Shane Stovern

The Veterans, Ric Hall and Rupert Bullock would be available from 1030 – 1330 .
This was the first time that either I or Mike Cote had heard of such a terrific innovation in the style of the Association’s business that I thought we should try and drill down on this and perhaps find some building blocks for other Divisions who might like to give this idea a whirl.

Unfortunately, in the end, Rupert was unable to attend but he referred me to Ric Hall who provided a fascinating and detailed description of how this all came about.

Surrey Detachment

So, with great appreciation, here is the story of how this began and continues, from Ric,

“After I retired from the Force I was asked to come and work at Surrey Detachment in the Training Section, specifically dealing with New Members arriving from “Depot” and undergoing the Field Coaching Program.  After 11 years it was getting time to truly hang up my spurs.  In my last few years at the detachment Beth McAndie was appointed the Staff Sgt. Major for Surrey Detachment.   Knowing I was on the Executive of the Vancouver Division we shared many conversations on how the detachment and the Veterans’ Association could work together.   The Vancouver Division was formed in 1913 and until the new “E” Division HQs was opened at Green Timbers, Surrey, we never had an office.   When Green Timbers opened we were given a small office.   That was short lived as our office space was required for operations.  During one of our many discussions Beth asked if I had any ideas for her to work on before I left.   At the time the detachment was about to commence renovations.   So, I threw it out that if during the renovations and the addition of space at the old Surrey City Hall, just down the street from Surrey’s Main Detachment building, being added perhaps they could think about an office for the Veterans’ Association.   “Leave it with me”, said the S/S/M.

The rest is history, a new OIC arrived and he was fully supportive.  It took some time but when the renovations were completed there was one office set aside for the Vancouver Division of the RCMP Veterans’ Association in the Main Detachment.   With Beth McAndie being commissioned Sgt.Shane Stovern has been filling the role of /S/S/M and the transition has been seamless in the support we receive from the detachment.  The Vancouver Division’s catchment area is huge, but the majority of our members live in the Surrey/Langley/Delta area which makes Surrey Detachment the center of our world.

We have arranged with the detachment that we will have members of our division, make that members of the Executive, attend the detachment on the second Tuesday of each month.   The purpose is to allow serving members to drop in and chat, it may be about retirement or just to sit and talk with the “old guys” and hear about how things were in the past.  What it does do is open the door to familiarize serving members with what the Veterans’ Association is all about.   Though we do have regularly scheduled days to visit we are also allowed the luxury of dropping in at any time we may need to use the office.

One of the additonal things we do to assist retired members (or family members when a member passes on) when downsizing is help them dispose of their old kit.   As you can imagine Surrey Detachment with 850 plus members has a lot of kit to dispose of and they have a system in place to collect the kit and eventually be burned.  We are allowed to use their collection process to assist our members. 

We attend the Officer in Charge’s Awards Night and make a presentation to the member nominated by his peers/supervisors for the Vancouver Divisions’ annual award to the member who best represents the Core Values of the Force.   We also attend the Surrey Board of Trade’s annual awards presentations to members, units, Auxiliary Constable and municipal employee of the year and provide a historical display of kit for the event.

Of course, this can all change if the plan to transit from the RCMP to Surrey’s own police force goes ahead.

Ric Hall 24394/O.1330”

Personally, I think this is a view of our Association in full flight – a sample of what we can and do do to help both serving and Association members.  The ability to chat with the serving members and get an idea of what they need or what we could be doing to assist them is fundamental to our function.  That combined with the work our members do to help retired members makes for a terrific organization.

I would like to offer a huge salute to Vancouver Division for the work they do in helping others – truly a selfless endeavour.

James Forrest
Director of Communications
RCMP Veterans’ Associationt

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Updated all members list for 2019 – deletes previous regional lists: Atlantic, Prairies & Pacific.

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