Event celebrates 40 stories from 40 years of female RCMP service

Tue, Mar 1, 2016

Surrey, B.C. – Forty-one years ago this Thursday, the first female members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police graduated from the RCMP’s training facility in Regina, Saskatchewan.

The event marked a momentous occasion on two fronts: the hard work of the Force’s first female cadets, and the first time women would begin serving the country as dedicated regular members of the RCMP. In honour of Troop 17’s 40th graduation anniversary, three RCMP officers with over five decades of experience between them released Red Coat Diaries: True Stories from the Women of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police late last year.

On March 3, a special reading at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) will celebrate the book, which features stories from the RCMP’s first female officers through to today’s members, from all ranks and areas across the country.

“The stories are varied, some tell of sad events while others will make you laugh. The stories all consider the unique challenges and benefits of being a woman in uniform. I was honoured to work with the contributors in developing their stories. They all had such important stories to tell and I'm glad that we can share them,” said Veronica Fox, one of the book’s co-editors and a criminology faculty member at KPU.

“Thus far, we have received a positive reaction from many of our readers.”

A poignant look at the remarkable and unique stories of female officers, Red Coat Diaries features 40 stories from four decades of female service in the RCMP. The foreword was written by Beverley Busson, who graduated with Troop 17 and later became the first female commissioner of the RCMP.

Fox, who provided stories for the book, was a contributor to a previously published book in the Red Coat Diaries series. Currently a corporal in the Behavioural Sciences Group at B.C. RCMP headquarters, she was invited by the editor of the first volume to be more involved in the second. Stephanie Ashton, a criminology instructor at KPU and a sergeant with the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, has also provided a story for the latest edition.

Both Fox and Ashton will be at the KPU Surrey event this week, along with some of the RCMP’s groundbreaking women with whole careers of stories to share. The event will include readings by some of the women featured in the book, including Corporal Donna Morse (retired) of Troop 17. There will also be a panel Q&A session and book signing, and a limited number of copies of Red Coat Diaries on sale for $20.

WHEN: Thursday, March 3 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
WHERE: KPU Surrey, 12666 72nd Ave., Fir building, room 124
INFO: To RSVP email veronica.fox@kpu.ca

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has served the Metro Vancouver region since 1981, and has opened doors to success for more than 200,000 learners. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs in business, liberal arts, design, health, science and horticulture, trades and technology, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 120 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates, citations and apprenticeships. Learn more at kpu.ca.    

The book cover is available here.

Media contact:
Hayley Woodin
Media Specialist
t: 604.599.2883
c: 604.364.1288

For more KPU news: