Abernethy Tom J.
Home Town
Ottawa, ON
Troop # and Year
Tr. B 1964/65
Regimental Number
Training Division
Division Served
K, Depot, HQ
Pillar Location
Medals and Honours
Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, Long Service Medal with Platinum Clasp
"Story:  Training and Education: I joined the RCMP in April 1964 as a highly motivated person but also as a high school drop-out. I retired from the RCMP in 2004 after 40+ yrs as a uniformed Peace Officer. I worked in both Alberta and as an Academic Instructor specializing in Human Relations and Criminal Law at Depot before moving to HQ Ottawa to assume various duties. I graduated with “Distinction” from Carleton University’s undergraduate Admin Law faculty (BA) and the Canadian Police College’s Police Science certificate program and Executive Development Course. I also became a Treasury Board of Canada certified Pay and Benefits specialist and completed both the Controller General of Canada’s Program Evaluation and Audit courses at Queens University. This added skill-set was all provided to me by the Force. Thank you. Postings: K Div, Red Deer Sub/Div, Stettler Detachment DEC 64 – APR 66 Red Deer City Fall 66 to Fall 69 Red Deer Rural Fall 69 to APR 74 Prairie Race Track Supervision Detail – 6 Months per Spring 66 to late Fall 71 Depot Div, Human Relations and Law Instructor APR 74 to JUL 76 Montreal Olympics JUL 76 – AUG 76 HQ, Carleton University SEP 76 – APR 77 HQ, DOP, Compensation Branch APR 77 – APR 88 HQ, Treasury Board Secondment APR 81 – OCT 84 HQ Corp. Serv’s Program, Evaluation Branch APR 88 – SEP 95 HQ, Commissioner’s Audit Branch SEP 95 – MAY 97 HQ, National Police Services, Info & Ident Serv’s, Planning MAY 97 – JUL 2004 Force Memories: My favourite memories of both working with and sharing life with other members of my various detachments and units. Not just our working files but the BBQs, picnics, ball games and various socials where you get to know people. Jogging in the early morning with Governor General Roland Michener. GG from late 1960s to 1975. He was a local Red Deer boy and visited regularly. He and his wife would stay in the two Royal rail cars they would park near the entrance to the Red Deer station. A detachment member was detailed each morning to escort him on his daily 6:30 AM jog. Chalk that up to a memory. Working on Major Events while at HQ. I.E. Presidential visits by Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, Several visits by Queen Elizabeth II including being close at hand when she signed the constitution, the Pope, G7 / 8s at Montebello and Halifax, the Opening and Closing of the 1976 Olympics plus escorting the HMS Britannian from the Old Montreal harbour through the Beuharnois Locks and the Queen disembarking her yacht at the Coteau-du-lac landing and then re-escorting HMS Britannia back to Old Montreal harbour a few days later. Travelling literally all of Canada starting with my Race Track supervision duties for six summers attending rodeos, fairs and race meets from now Thunder Bay, ON to Ft St. John, BC, big city or small towns and several crisscross trips each season. Then in Compensation Br., Program Evaluation Bt., Commissioner’s Audit Team and National Police Services, I visited each and every Sub-division, major detachment and most medium sized and quite a few small detachments, in all Divisions plus literally every medium and large accredited Police Service across Canada and a few American Police Departments doing survey work and gathering information. We live in a big beautiful country and I still feel that I could be an excellent travel consultant or tour guide. Family: I met and married Dierdre Ann Paulson from Hodegville, SK while we both worked in Red Deer, AL. Our daughter Robyn was born at Red Deer in 1973, and Craig, David and Garth were all born in Ottawa in 1978, 1981 and 1982 respectfully. We currently have five grandchildren: Oceanna aged 14 living in Ottawa, Giselle aged 8, Joshua aged 4 and Seth aged 1 living in Regina, SK and Ryan aged 1 living in Iqaluit, NU. My inspiration for others, on serving in the Force: I would speak to get to know your community where you are living and working and learn the needs of that community. I was quite involved with basketball, schools and scouting in my early career. My Program Evaluation and Audit work had me re-learn the need for Community Policing and the positive results it can produce. What is important in the community may well be different from what the Force or I most value. Once you can accept that you must meet the needs of the people, they will work with you and make the job so much better. It sums up to get to know and then support and get involved in your community. I’ve always been committed to the community and I assumed greater community volunteer tasks when I retired. Today, 16 years after retirement I volunteer with the Ottawa United Way (Program Evaluation type work) and Board / Governance type work with The Quarterly, Adaptive Para-Alpine skiing and my local church, and fundraising for various charities in my neighbourhod. A second thing to inspire others would be the various career streams available in the Force and the need to stay current no matter what job you are assigned. Technology is rapidly changing and so is the Force. Embrace and learn as you go forward. The member who resists change, gets left behind and grumbles. To conclude, I do want to say that I truly enjoyed my career with the Force. The members and employees are the people who made it so interesting and productive to both myself individually, but “got the job(s) done”, and produced results that improved both the management of the Force and what the various levels of government desired. It is the taxpayers who paid my salary and benefits package and I fully appreciate everything that was and continues to be provided to me and my family. Postscript: I’ll end with this one. For the past 8 + years I’ve been a Trustee and Treasurer (volunteer) for The Quarterly. In 2023 when the Force celebrates 150 years, The Quarterly will celebrate 90 years of continuous publication of Force related stories and events. The Quarterly has published some highlights related to me and my family. In chronological order they are: – My “B” Troop 64/65 graduation photo, – Our wedding on April 25th, 1970 at Swift Current, SK, – The birth of our four children in Red Deer, AL and Ottawa ON – My retirement in July 2004, – and hopefully my Obituary in whatever month and year that will be. (Feb 21, 2021)"