This Friday night past the Canadian military garrison at CFB Suffield had a mixed mess dinner (mixed = wives and spouses to keep the boys on their best behaviour). It was an excellent time, and I felt inspired to pen this rhyming grace in honour of the occasion, trying to capture a sense of what we do at Suffield. Apologies to poets everywhere. It was well received, except from folks who served at Shilo. MP+

Gracious God, our thanks we yield,
This night at CFB Suffield.
Here amidst your vast creation,
Of endless plain, we play host nation
And call this place our happy home,
Where antelope and BATUS roam.

To a career manager, this place may be
The next best thing to Purgatory,
But we will gladly do our part,
Though it seems at times the juggler’s art,
To balance Brits, oil, gas, DRDC,
And range sustainability.

We’re proud Canucks, of Keller’s band,
Who with firehose in hand,
From Range Control do sally forth,
To battle fires and scorched earth.
Get ‘er done, we cry, and, of course, chimo!
For it could be worse, it could be Shilo.

So, good Lord, we pray you bless,
Your servants gathered in this mess.
Be with us as we take our ease,
And guard our comrades overseas.


BATUS = British Army Training Unit Suffield
DRDC = Defence Research and Development Canada
Keller = LCol Rod Keller, the Base Commander
chimo = the Canadian military engineers’ greeting and battle cry
Shilo – CFB Shilo, near Brandon, MB