In early July 1975 I was invited out to RRMC to for an introductory visit after being accepted into the University Training Plan for Men (UTPM). It was a whirl wind 5-day tour of the facilities with detailed briefings on what to expect if I were to enter the 4-year program. fo me it was a 'no-brainer'. There was no way I wasn't going to take full advantage of this opportunity. The photo on the right is a group photo of everyone who was invited to consider the program. This was a relatively new program designed to give enlisted men an opportunity to attend university. Up until now enlisted men who were accepted into the UTPM program attended civilian university. There were 13 of us who started in 1975 and 11 of us made it to graduation in 1979.
There were many rumors at the time that the castle was haunted by
the ghost of Mrs Dunsmuir. All UTPM Cadets had to stand watches in
the Castle once every two weeks. When you were on duty in the castle
you had to do rounds of the castle at night as a fire sentry. Then
you had to sleep over night on the third floor. As an old wooden
building it would make odd sounds as the building cooled off in the
evening. It was these sounds that sounded like someone was walking
the halls. When you sleep there for the first time overnight
you don't get much sleep because you swear that you're not alone.
As you would expect studying at Military College has a large portion focused on military drill and parades. Military foot drill or to put it simply - marching in formation was integrated as part of the academic curriculum. So you would be studying physics or math one minute and the next sweating on a hot parade square. Precision drill is not as easy as it looks it takes hours and hours of practice. We would spend about 4 hours per week on the parade square practicing and then every second Saturday there was a formal parade practice and a formal Commandant's every second Sunday.