I've expressed my thoughts several times since becoming the CPCA President in 2021 of how impressed I am by the quality of excellence and dedication to service that so many of our CPCA Members exhibit towards the women and men of law enforcement in Canada. After reading an expression of gratitude through a FB post from a friend who serves as an RCMP officer in AB, I reached out to the organizer of the Regimental Ball; none other than our CPCA 1st Vice President Robert Parmenter.
The last Regimental Ball to be held in the Fort McMurray area was in 2015. Robert felt it was time to honor the AB RCMP officers and their partners and what better way than to host an evening of fine dining, dancing to a live band, raffles, prizes and donations. Several items were donated to raise funds including a print by a local Indigenous artist, a quilt hand made by an RCMP officer, and a chef's table. The fundraising resulted in a $2000 donation to the Centre of Hope which is a place that looks after the homeless in the Fort McMurray, AB. An additional $2000 raised was donated to Pastew Place Detoxification Centre of Fort McMurray which provides structured day counseling programs for clients who have substance use or gambling problems.
Nearly 300 persons attended the Ball on Nov 24th, and while the intention of the evening was to honor active and retired RCMP officers and their spouses, those who have been killed in the line of duty were not forgotten. A table was dedicated to our fallen officers unable to attend because of their ultimate sacrifice given in protection for those whom they swore to serve and protect. In my mind, this solidifies the need to regularly honor those who currently serve and daily sacrifice their peace and comfort to combat what is unlawful and unjust.
Robert designed a challenge coin and an etched wine glass to commemorate the occasion which were gifted to each police officer. Robert acquired sponsors for the event to offset some of the costs and met bi-weekly with a team commencing in August to ensure this regimental ball would be an unforgettable event. In recognition of his efforts, Robert was gifted an RCMP framed print presented to him by RCMP Chief Superintendent Mark Hancock. Robert is the first to say he serves without a desire for reward or recognition; however, we reap what we sow, and rightfully Robert was acknowledged for his efforts to organize a memorable evening to honor the men and women who serve Alberta in the RCMP.
On behalf of the CPCA Leadership Team, thank you Robert for your dedication to those who serve the RCMP in the Province of Alberta. Well done, good and faithful servant! Thank you to all our CPCA Members in police chaplaincy who dedicate countless hours of volunteer service to provide emotional and spiritual care for our law enforcement families across Canada.
BPS Chaplain/Constable Bruce Ewanyshyn
ICPC Director of Region 1