Memorial Service – 6 Nov

Colonel Hugh A J Hutchinson, CD (Ret’d) 1936 – 2015

The Hutchinson family and the 6 Field Engineer Squadron Museum Association cordially invite you to a memorial service, to honour the life and service of Col Hugh Hutchinson, to be held at the Combined Mess, 6 Engineer Squadron, Lt. Col. J.P. Fell Armoury, 1513 Forbes Avenue, North Vancouver, B.C. V7M 2Y4 on 06 November 2015. The mess will be open at 1900 and the memorial service will start at 1930.

Dress: Serving Members – DEU
Civilians: Business Suit – or Regimental/Squadron blazer and tie

RSVP: by Wednesday November 4th, 2015;
to Col (Ret’d) Bill White ( , or

to Capt (Ret’d) Ed Langford (

Service History:

1955-66 Royal New Zealand Engineers, Royal Australian Engineers.; Pte. to Capt. 1966-74 6Fd Sqn RCE, Commanding Officer 1970-74; Major
1974-78 SSO Vancouver Militia District; SSO O and T; SSO L and A Milarea HQ; LCol. 1979-81 Supplementary Reserve

1981-83 Deputy Commander, Vancouver Militia District 1983-87 Commander, Vancouver Militia District; Col.

Death Notice:

Provided from CME Family Last Post (

We regret to advise of the death of Colonel Hugh Arthur James Hutchinson, CD (Retd) on 5 August 2015 in West Palm Beach Florida following a short battle with cancer. Born in Greymouth, New Zealand in 1936, Colonel Hutchinson served in the Militias in New Zealand, Australia and Canada. His service with the Royal New Zealand Engineers and the Royal Australian Engineers spanned 1955-66 in the ranks from Sapper to Captain. He served with 6th Field Squadron in Vancouver from 1966 to 1974 and was Commanding Officer 1970-74. Hugh then served 1974-78 as Senior Staff Officer at

Vancouver Militia District and Area Headquarters. After a short period with the Supplementary Reserve, he returned as Deputy Commander, Vancouver Militia District (1981-83) and Commander, Vancouver Militia District (1983-87).

Hugh’s engineering work took him to many parts of the world from Australia to Canada to Asia to North Africa. His specialty in hydro engineering gave him opportunities to be a part of the building of hydroelectric Dams in Tasmania, Australia and Mica, British Columbia as well as the construction of the Great Man Made River Project in Libya.

Notice from the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers Newsletter

Colonel Hugh Hutchinson (Retired) 1936 – 2015

We regret to announce the death of Hugh Hutchinson at home in Florida on 5 August 2015 following a short battle with cancer. Born in New Zealand, Hugh was an adventurous and energetic man who put his efforts into his progression as a Civil Engineer, the New Zealand, Australian and Canadian Militias and his many friends and colleagues all over the world. His engineering work took him to many parts of the world from Australia to Canada to Asia and North Africa. His specialty in hydro engineering gave him opportunities to be part of the building of hydro-electric dams in Tasmania, Australia and Mica, British Columbia as well as construction of the Great Man-Made River Project in Libya.

As a former commander of 6 Field Engineer Squadron, along with Tam London and Bill Dow, he was instrumental in forging the affiliation with the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia) in the 1970’s.

We are grateful to Colonel Jim Happer for sharing this sad news with us.

Extract from the obituary published in Greymouth, New Zealand

Nearly 25 years of Hugh’s career was dedicated to the construction of the Great Man- Made River Project (GMRP) in Libya in which he was initially the Phase One project manager. The GMRP involved the construction of a 4 metre internal diameter pipeline to extract water from beneath the Sahara desert and piping it thousands of kilometres to key coastal Libyan Cities.

When civil order collapsed with the demise of the Gaddafi government, Hugh worked extensively to ensure the safe extraction of his many colleagues prior to his own evacuation by the British. Hugh continued to assist the project from outside of Libya as he was enormously proud of the engineering accomplishment of the GMRP.

In addition to the celebration at the Lt Col J. P. Fell Armoury, a family ceremony to inter his ashes will be held in Greymouth, New Zealand.

Donations to the 6 Field Engineer Squadron Museum Association ( or Hospice of Palm Beach County ( are requested in lieu of flowers.

Important Dates

Messmates, mark your calendars for the following:

Jr’s Dining In – Sept 26

Occupation of the Armouries – 17 Oct – Festivities to Commemorate the Centennial of the Occupation of the Armouries

Regimental Christmas Dinner – 12 Dec

New Year’s Levee – Jan 1

Valentine’s Day Massacre – 13 Feb (Saturday Closest to Valentines Day) for a Jrs vs Snr NCOs and Officers Floor Hockey Game followed by Mixed Dining In

Vimy Dinner – April 9 for Mixed Dining In and Entertainment

Annual Reunion – April 30 (Closest to Corps Birthday on the 29th) – Dinner for the Regimental Association

Officer’s Mess Dinner – May 14

D-Day Mess Dinner – June 4 (Closest Sat)


Lets March!

Do you know what the Drill Manual says about Marching?

The standard lengths of pace are:

quick and slow time – 75 cm;
stepping out in quick and slow time – 85 cm;
stepping short in quick time and slow time – 55 cm;
double time – 1 m;
half pace in quick time (used for marching forward and back three paces or less) – 35 cm; and
side pace – 25 cm.

When marching the cadence is:

in quick time, 120 paces per minute; in slow time, 60 paces per minute; and in double time, 180 paces per minute.

During recruit training, the cadence in quick time may be increased to 140 paces per minute to encourage agility and alertness.

Units shall practice and be prepared to march and manoeuvre with other elements of the CF at the standard cadences. However, two other traditional quick march cadences may be ordered by parade commanders of units parading alone or with others sharing these customs:

-for Scottish and other units parading with a pipe band, 110 paces per minute; and

-for light infantry (less Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, which drills as a line regiment) and rifle regiments, which have traditions of maintaining special agility and alertness on the battlefield, 140 paces per minute.

Now lets do some math.

A pace is 30″ (traditionally)  and 120 per minute. convert it to decimal which is 76cm.  A little more specific hey then the manual. Round up for better explosions. 

0.76 x 120 = 91.2 metres per minute

91.2 x 60 = 5472 metres per hour or 5.472km/h which is 3.4mph

It works out at about 20 miles a day with breaks. That has been the figure since the Roman Legions  …..there is only a certain amount that a soldier can carry on a daily basis and again through history it has normally been about 60lb.

Well what about Engineers? The Corps traditionally marches at 110 beats per minute.  

I bet the Romans gave their Engineers a bit of a break too with the speed, somebody always has to carry the shovels and picks …. besides when the Infantry gets to the end, they stop. The muddy old Engineers start work. 

There is also a Junior Officer speed called “Faster then a Thousand Gazelles” which fits in here somewhere, which lasts until that guy can have his ruck weighted properly and be spoken to firmly by the WO.

Chinook Jargon and the Engineers

Just Recently as PMC, I had the opportunity to present a toast to the  Crown during the D-Day Dinner.

As we all know the toast is presented in one of the official languages by the PMC, and the reply is given in the other language by the V/PMC.

One thing that I wanted to do is to give standing to the third founding people, the First Nations of British Columbia, and so I also included in the toast a phrase in Chinook Jargon (Chinook Wawa) which was a trading language established before any settlers came to the Province.

 – The Loyal Toast

Chinook Jargon originated as a trade language of the Pacific Northwest, and spread during the 19th century from the lower Columbia River, first to other areas in modern Oregon and Washington, then British Columbia and as far as Alaska and Yukon Territory.

During this era many dictionaries were published in order to help settlers interact with the First Nations people already living there. The old settler families in the Pacific Northwest sent communiques to each other, stylishly composed entirely in “the Chinook.” Many residents of the city of Vancouver spoke Chinook Jargon as their first language, even using it at home in preference to English.

Among the first Europeans to use Chinook Jargon were traders, trappers, Voyageurs, Coureurs des bois and Catholic missionaries. Hawaiians and Chinese in the region made much use of it as well; in some places Kanakas married into the First Nations and non-native families and their particular mode of the Jargon is believed to have contained Hawaiian words, or Hawaiian styles of pronunciation; similarly the Jargon as spoken by a Chinese person or a Norwegian or a Scot will have been influenced by those individuals’ native-speaker terms and accents; and in some areas the adoption of further non-aboriginal words has been observed.

The Chinook Jargon naturally became the first language in multi-racial households, and also in multi-ethnic work environments such as canneries and lumberyards and ranches where it remained the language of the workplace well into the middle of the 20th Century.

During the Gold Rush, Chinook Jargon was used in British Columbia by gold prospectors and Royal Engineers.

Now you might have heard of:

Skookum — used in the Jargon either as a verb auxiliary for to be able or an adjective for able, strong, big, genuine, reliable – which sums up its use in BC English, although there are a wide range of possible usages:

“He’s a skookum guy” means that the person is solid and reliable while “we need somebody who’s skookum” means that a strong and large person is needed.

A carpenter, after banging a stud into place, might check it and decide, “Yeah, that’s skookum”. Asking for affirmation, someone might say “is that skookum” or “is that skookum with you?”

Skookum can also be translated simply as “O.K.” but it means something a bit more emphatic. Cheechako — Newcomer; the word is formed from “chee” (new) + “chako” (come) and was

used to refer to non-native people.

Muckamuck, high muckamuck — There’s also “high muckamuck” and even its proper form “hyas muckamuck” (pronounced “high-ass”, and in English carrying that connotation), and the variant “high mucketymuck”; “high mucketymuck/muckamuck” has spread far beyond the Pacific Northwest, and meaning a big boss, while literally meaning “big feed” or “important

banquet”, potentially meaning even a fullblown potlatch, in English it has a sense of “the guys at the head table” since “muckamuck” or “a feed” is in the same vein in non-city BC English as “grub” or “a meal/dinner”.

Klootchman or Klootch — in the Jargon meaning simply “a woman” or the female of something

Still in use in English in some areas and with people of an older background to mean a First Nations woman, or to refer to the wives/women attached to a certain group in a joking way e.g. “we sent all the klootchman to the kitchen while we played cards”.

Tyee — leader, chief, boss. Also “Big Tyee” in the context of “boss” or well-known person. In the Jargon Tyee meant chief, and could also be an adjective denoting “big”, as with “tyee salmon”

A hyas tyee means “important or big ruler”. The leader”, i.e. – king, big boss, important ruler, and is also sometimes used in English in the same way as Big Tyee. e.g. “He was the undisputed hyas tyee of all the country between the Johnstone Strait and Comox” This was also the common title used for the famous chiefs of the early era, such as Maquinna, for whom it was applied by Captain Vancouver and others in the context of “king”.

So now that you understand some words. …

I would like all you Cheechako’s at this Muckamuck to stand up.

The Royal Engineers who surveyed and built this Province would say in Chinook that they worked for the The Hyas Klootchman Tyee – the “Great Woman Ruler”, being Her Majesty Queen Victoria.

Today the Hyas Klootchman Tyee is her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.
So, Monsieur le Vice President, la Reine, le Hyas Klootchman Tyee notre Colonel en Chef”.

-Response – “The Queen”

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