Outgoing 19 Wing Honorary Col. Jeff Stibbard (right) and Col. Mike Atkins (centre), 19 Wing Commander, welcome newly appointed 19 Wing Honorary Col. Robert Quartermain (left) at an investiture ceremony held at 19 Wing Comox on July 4.
Honorary Col. Stibbard, chairman and CEO of JDS Energy and Mining, was appointed as Honorary Colonel of 19 Wing Comox in June, 2016. During his three-year appointment, he was an ardent supporter of 19 Wing and the RCAF.
Honorary Col. Quartermain, executive chairman and founding shareholder of Pretium Resources Inc. (Pretivm), proudly accepted the appointment and looks forward to advancing the interests of 19 Wing.
About RCAF honorary colonels
Honorary colonels are integral members of the Air Force “family.” They may be former Air Force officers or distinguished Canadian citizens, hailing from a diverse range of backgrounds, including many well-known public and community figures.
Honorary colonels are “honorary and advisory” but are, in effect, officers in virtually all respects except operations. They are vital to fostering esprit de corps within the family. They may mentor the commanding officer and members of the unit, help build relationships with other units through the honorary colonel network and aid in ensuring the maintenance of customs and traditions. By their very presence and name, they build and develop community support for their units by providing a public profile – a public face – for the unit. Perhaps one of their most important attributes, however, is simply the time they spend with all members of the unit, no matter what their rank or position, just as a highly respected member of the family would.
Previous honorary Colonels at 19 Wing
The practice of appointing honorary colonels is relatively new in the RCAF, with most RCAF squadrons appointing their first honorary colonels beginning in 1992.
19 Wing, comprising numerous squadrons and units, appointed its first honorary colonel in 2002. Previous honorary colonels were;
1. 2002 – 2007 – Iona Campagnolo
2. 2007 – 2012 – Dr. Lou Dryden
3. 2012 – 2016 – HCol Don Hewson
4. 2016 – 2019 – HCol Jeff Stibbard