2022 (05) September/October Newsletter

September/October 2022 Newsletter

The OPP Museum invites you to our Grand Opening
The wait is finally over! Our Gallery has been transformed to share new and important stories celebrating the history of the OPP. We would like to extend a formal invitation to you, our members and supporters, to join us on Thursday November 10, 2022, and celebrate the Grand Opening of Behind the Badge.
It has been a long time coming and we hope that you have enjoyed the sneak previews of the exhibit that have been shared in recent newsletters documenting our progress. The final touches are finally done, and we look forward to sharing the results with you.
Please see below for more details. Dress is business casual.

We would appreciate an R.S.V.P. by Friday November 4th, 2022 to
opp.museum@opp.ca or 705 329-6889.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Please enjoy this exclusive sneak peak of our Gallery!

Canine Calendars Have Arrived!

All proceeds from the sale of the calendars go to the OPP Youth Foundation, which supports struggling youth and Friends of The OPP Museum, which supports The OPP Museum and assists in preserving the history of the OPP. Only $15, and they make the perfect holiday gift!
Please visit www.oppshop.on.ca/canine-calendar-2023.html to order yours today – or stop by The OPP Shop in person!

September 30th– National Day of Truth and Reconciliation
By OPP Museum Staff

Reconciliation is a commitment to ensure that the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools is never forgotten. As part of the call to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a national statutory holiday was established in 2021 to honour Survivors, their families, communities and the children that never returned home. Operated between 1867 and 1996, 140 government run residential schools took thousands of children from their homes, stole their language, culture and feeling of belonging to their family, their clans and their community.   
Why an orange shirt?
Phyllis Webstad, of the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation, attended her first day at St. Joseph’s Residential School in Williams Lake, BC wearing her brand-new orange shirt, a gift from her mother. Upon her arrival at the residential school, her beautiful shirt was stripped from her and never returned. She was forced to wear a uniform, to speak only English, and was forced to lose her indigenousness. Phyllis inspired the Orange Shirt Day movement as a day to raise awareness and start important conversations about Residential Schools. By wearing orange and learning about Phyllis’ story, we show our support and respect for those whose lives, cultures and futures have been devastated by the schools.
The OPP Museum has partnered with the Indigenous Policing Bureau (IPB) to present displays celebrating and commemorating Indigenous peoples and their achievements.
Friends raised $2100.00 through the sale of orange shirts in The OPP Shop to support Niigan Mosewak, a non-profit program provided by UCCM Anishnaabe Police Services that promotes positive and healthy lifestyle choices for youth of the United Chiefs and Councils of Mnidoo Mnising communities.

General Headquarters was alight with the colour orange and staff were encouraged to show their allyship by wearing orange shirts. Photo by OPP Photographer Jayne van der Veen

The Terry Fox Run
By OPP Museum Staff

Fred Fox, brother to Terry, visited GHQ in September to thank our local Terry Fox Run coordinators Alison Stoneman and Jim Butticci

Terry Fox was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma (bone cancer) in 1977. While in hospital, Terry envisioned a run across Canada to raise money in support of those suffering with cancer. He called his journey the Marathon of Hope. Starting on April 12, 1980, in St. John’s Newfoundland, Terry would run for the next 5 months with the simple objective of informing Canadians of the importance of finding a cure for cancer. With fierce determination, he ran an average of 42 kilometres (26 miles) every day. Though he was forced to quit when the cancer spread to his lungs, Terry’s compelling dream spread across Canada and by February 1, 1981, Terry had raised $1 for every Canadian, a total of $24.17 million. Terry lost his battle in June 1981, but he lives on in the over 9,000 volunteer-led runs that are held across Canada annually which uphold the true Canadian spirit of Terry Fox.

Remembrance Day 2022
By Chris Johnstone
This November 11th, as we pause to remember the sacrifices and contributions of our service personnel, we reflect on some of the OPP officers who have military service backgrounds. One such officer was a young sailor named Jim McBride. McBride was one of many returning veterans from the Second World War who found a career in policing with the OPP.
“Sailor” Jim McBride
James Scott McBride had just turned 19 when he entered “Active Service in the Naval Forces of Canada” on April 13, 1944. The new sailor did duty on the cold and demanding North Atlantic convoy run during the last year of the war. Sea boots and pea jacket were usually always wet and often provided little protection against the elements. Jim McBride worked aboard the corvette Halifax until he was later transferred to H.M.C.S. York in Toronto pending his honourable discharge and demobilization on October 27, 1945.

Despite the cold and wet, McBride still finds a smile for the camera. (2002.2.227)
As must have happened in many Canadian households, mother and son posed for a photograph. (2002.2.228) 
Rosemary Oakley, a member of the Women’s Royal Naval Service, photographed here in 1944, met Jim McBride when he was home on leave. They married after the war. (2002.2.218)

McBride applied to the OPP in August of 1947 and was accepted on February 2, 1948. He served at the Belleville, Ottawa, and Long Sault detachments before securing a position in the Criminal Investigation Branch followed by work in the Security Branch, and Technical Support Branch. He was a key security advisor for numerous VIP events, including Royal Visits, and the 1976 Olympics.

McBride’s OPP graduation portrait. (2002.2.226)

Rosemary and Jim McBride at a mess dinner. (2002.2.222)

Sadly, Jim passed away on August 5th, 1996, at the age of 71. In 2002, Rosemary graciously donated a rich collection of photographs, artifacts and documents spanning his naval, military reserve, and police careers. It is through the kindness and love of family and colleagues that his memory is now preserved at The OPP Museum.

Some of McBride’s WWII items will be on display in the new exhibit.

Did You Know? Fast Facts about the OPP

  • In 1931, Provincial Constable Jack Hinchliffe bought a Henderson KL motorcycle at P.A. McBride Cycle in Toronto. At the time, OPP officers had to buy their own motorcycles for patrol, but were paid back for depreciation, oil and gas. This investment cost him $525.00
  • No Married Men Allowed! According to the order received from the Honourable the Attorney General, dated January 25th, 1939. Order No. 1, 1-2 stated “In future new recruits will be limited to unmarried men. All future recruits will be taken on the Force on the distinct understanding that if and when they are moved, only the expenses that would necessarily and properly be insured in moving them as unmarried men will be paid by the province. This obviously means that if after entering the Force a member of the Force marries, he must bear the additional expense that is involved in case he is moved.”
  • OPP Forensic Identification Services introduced laser fingerprint detection to the world in 1977
  • In 2008, the OPP re-introduced fixed-wing policing from the air with the purchase of a Cessna 206 for traffic enforcement
  • Indigenous recruits can choose to swear on an eagle feather when taking their Oath of Office. The OPP recognizes that by supporting the spirituality and traditions of our recruits we are contributing to a more inclusive and culturally relevant justice system for Indigenous peoples in Ontario. The eagle is an important spiritual figure in many Indigenous cultures, representing respect, honour, strength, courage and wisdom. Soaring to great heights, the eagle is believed to carry prayers and messages to the Creator. As the messenger to the Creator, the eagle and its feathers are treated with great care and shown the deepest respect. To be gifted an eagle feather is one of the highest honours as it signifies an immense contribution to people and community, and a display of the Seven Grandfather teachings. The eagle feather is considered a sacred item and is used in ceremonies as a way to speak directly to the Creator. When holding an eagle feather, you speak from your heart, and you speak your truth.
  • In ancient Rome, public safety was upheld by the Vigiles Urbani, a force of 7,000 men who dealt with criminals like thieves and enslaved people who ran away. They also acted as the local fire brigade and policed amphitheatres during gladiatorial games

Wishing you the very best for the fall,
The Communications Committee – Newsletter Team

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