BOOK-DUTY DONE: MEMORIES OF FAIRMONT BARRACKS
ABOUT THE BOOK
In the past century, Fairmont Barracks has been the
RCMP’s home, training facility, post garage, stables, and
much more. In the NCOs’ and Officers’ messes, our police
officers have swapped stories and kept our traditions
alive. Over the years, thousands have worked in the
building’s offices, solving complex crimes—sometimes
highly publicized, but often not—in a communal effort
to keep all Canadians safe. This collection of 27 untold
stories, the memories of many interesting and dedicated
people, now preserved for posterity, stands is reminder
that our history is a collective one.
Praise for Duty Done: Memories of Fairmont Barracks
I have just spent the last day...and night, reading the amazing
memories recounted by those who have had a connection to our
Fairmont Barracks. It is difficult for many to understand how a
building can generate such strong and vivid memories but I, as
well, have been affected over the years by its charisma and am so
honoured to offer this review.
This amazing chronicle of the memories of so many interesting
and dedicated people is a must read. It is a very personal account
of the lives connected to the RCMP as they worked and lived in
this majestic building.
Of course, over the years, I—like those who have contributed
their memories to this book, and the thousands who hold their
own stories of this wonderful building—have also experienced
Mess get-togethers, Regimental dinners, meetings, and any
number of wonderful ceremonies to celebrate our members and
their accomplishments. The stories are a reminder of the history,
the traditions, the successes, and the struggles of those who worked
there, or who came there for a variety of reasons.
As a member of “E” Division, Fairmont always stood as a symbol
to me of the strength of the Force, from my time as a General Duty
Constable through my career as the “E” Division Commanding
Officer and beyond. I have always felt it is a very special place,
and am so pleased this chronicle will preserve its legacy for the
future. The stories within will help it to live on even after its fate
—Senator Beverley Busson
Fairmont Barracks played a pivotal role in the history of Vancouver
and of the RCMP in British Columbia. This book contains a
priceless collection of untold stories, now preserved for posterity,
and stands as a stark reminder that our history is a collective one,
in which people—in this case the police—reflect the times in
which they lived and worked. The pages of the book are brimming
with Mountie history, but more importantly, they include intimate,
sometimes serious, often humorous anecdotes that explain how
the RCMP helped to preserve and protect the peace for all people.
Fairmont Barracks is a testament to their devotion to duty and the
RCMP’s well earned respect as Canada’s national police.
—D/Comm’r (Ret’d) Peter German
We’ve all heard the timeworn expression “If these walls could
talk, imagine the stories they would tell.” In a sense, the walls at
Fairmont Barracks do talk, through utterances captured by many
storytellers who collaborated to produce this very fine book of
Duty Done: Memories of Fairmont Barracks consists of twenty-seven
short stories written by RCMP employees and family
members who were associated with the institution in one way or
What the book [tells] us is quite simple. The RCMP and, by
extension, Fairmont Barracks, is steeped in history and tradition.
It also concludes that camaraderie was evident in the countless
courses, ceremonies, and activities that tens of thousands
of employees attended. And finally, with the realization that
Fairmont’s future may be in peril, it deeply saddens all of us.
S/Sgt. (Ret ’d) Michael Duncan