JACK MURDOCH by Scott Fuller
 
I first met Jack Murdoch when posted from 447 SAM Squadron Lamacaza, Quebec to CFB Ottawa (South) formerly called CFB Uplands.....
 
I was called in by the BPERO, Jack Murdoch urgently at 9:30 or so and asked if I would run his tunic up to the Tailor shop and have the tailor iron it for him as he had been called up to the base headquarters by the Chief Admin Officer, a LCOL KEENE.......and for him to BE THERE in TUNIC and TIE.....sharply
at 10am......so off I ran over to the CANEX tailor shop and sweet-talked the tailor (a nice Lebanese fella) to iron up his tunic.....I hurried back to the Gym, where Jack was standing outside, having a nervous smoke......he was happy as a clam that I had managed to get his tunic ironed.....he slipped it on and popped into his VW "bug" and zipped away just in time to get to HQ at 10am.....
 
He returned red-faced just after lunch.........after being presented by the Commander of Air Transport Command (who was visiting Uplands that day from Command Headquarters in Trenton.....) the Base Commander and the Chief Admin Officer and of course, the base photo tech.......he was paraded in and awarded his Canadian Forces Decoration......then the group went off to the officers mess, where, with air force tradition, he, the newby CD winner, was required to use his Mess TAB to buy all there a round of drinks for a liquid luncheon.....
 
He had no sooner returned after lunch with his spanking new CD.....than he rounded me up once again.....this time to run off AGAIN to the tailor shop with his tunic to have his new CD ribbon sewn on......as he had been told that.......with your new CD, there is another obligation to attend the base headquarters special meeting at 2pm.
 
It was just after 1:30 that I sped off to the tailor shop ONCE AGAIN to get the tailor to sew on his new CD to his tunic (and again iron out the wrinkles that had been put on the tunic "during lunch"......again, I sweet talked the Lebanese tailor to sew on the new CD ribbon onto Jacks tunic and to touch it up with his iron......
 
I zipped back to the Gym, where, once AGAIN, Jack was outside the gym having another nervous smoke......he thanked me and slipped on his tunic and zipped off in his VW "bug" to get to HQ "just in time" to attend the "special meeting".....
 
I was just about to "lock and walk" from the Gym at 3PM......when JACK CAME BACK.....this time even more ruddy faced than before......with his tunic over his arm and begged me to......run BACK to the tailor shop ONE MORE TIME......
 
The "special meeting" had been another presentation to JACK......he had been promoted from Captain to MAJOR and the ATC Commander, the Base Commander and the Chief Admin Officer had been in on the whole days events to give JACK an old fashioned Air Force RUNAROUND......this time, with his new MAJOR stripes....(a full set of two....) he had been directed to ONCE AGAIN report to the bar in the OFFICERS MESS......"properly dressed as a MAJOR", as this time, his mess obligations as a newly promoted MAJOR was to buy all attending mess members a round, once again charged to his mess BAR TAB.....
 
So off I went BACK to the tailor shop and once again sweet-talked the tailor into stitching Jacks new MAJOR rank stripes onto his tunic AND to touch up the tunic with his iron......this time as like the tailor shop trip just before.....where I had to pay him to stitch on Jacks new CD ribbon....I also had to pay the tailor his $20 fee to stitch on Jacks new MAJOR rank stripes....BUT the iron-job was, fortunately part and parcel of that job....lucky for me as being a pay-poor Master Corporal.....I only had $30 left from THIS WEEKS PAY......
 
Back I went to the gym where Jack awaited outside having yet another nervous smoke.....as he put on his tunic, with my help holding it......he told me that the ATC Commander said that they had been jerking him around as the Commander refused to have someone promoted to MAJOR when his total CF service had not yet meritted the award of the Canadian Forces Decoration......and that ribbon was not already on the mans tunic....Jack said that his CD Eligibility date was actually only one week before the date of his promotion to MAJOR.....so the powers to be thought they had a perfect chance to jerk JACK around....
 
He said, that TOMORROW, he would re-imburse me the tailor fees for the CD ribbon and Major stripes sewing.....but it would be many YEARS before he finally did so....
 
PART TWO-JACK MURDOCH
 
I was posted from CFS Inuvik to the UTP (M) cadre at CFB Ottawa's support unit to attend the University of Ottawa and was in my first year as a "civvie", so during that year, I did not get bi-weekly haircuts and could wear "civvies" as a University student......I had a PMQ at Uplands and my wife, Sandra was a base hairdresser there.....my  "day care" for my new son.....was none other than the Base Commander's wife....who had PMQ rug-rats of her own to deal with....so my son was dropped off at the Base Commanders residence in the morning and picked up from the hairdressing salon after classes later in the afternoon....where the Base Commander's wife was getting her hair done by ......my wife......as the Base Commanders wife is part and parcel of the Base Protocol of the Base Commanders job, meeting and greeting the worlds dignitaries who visit Canada, arriving at CFB Ottawa VIP Terminal......a good swap.....hair-do for day-care.....!
 
I went to the hairdressing salon one afternoon, to be greeted by Mrs. Lionel Bourgeouis......(he, the Base Commander).....and was told by her that I had better get a haircut QUICK as her husband was about to "have me called on the carpet....in uniform no less....." and most likely tomorrow......so off I zipped to get a haircut (had not had one in months) and get my tunic etc dry-cleaned.......for tomorrow.....
 
Sure enough, when I got back from the base barber shop (a military haircut then was only $5....) I had a message on my telephone answering machine from the University Liaison Officer to "get my sorry ass into my uniform and REPORT to the Base Chief Warrant Officer at.....0730 hours that next morning.....and be "prepared to face the music"......
 
I reported to Base Headquarters at zero dark thirty and parked in the Visitors spot.....and noticed a rather familiar VW "bug" parked there also.....I went into the HQ building and reported to the Base Chief office......where a stern faced Base Chief gave me the once over......and marched "my sorry ass" left-right, left-right hat under arm into the Base Commanders ante room, where MAJOR JACK MURDOCH stood with a big GRIN on his face and a envelope in his hand......as I was marched into the Base Commanders Office, Jack said to me that it was "PAYBACK TIME".....
 
Colonel Lionel Bourgeois then read off my career resume and awarded me MY Canadian Forces Decoration.....was I ever impressed to see that the medal's engraved edge was enscribed "OFFICER CADET FULLER, SA" and that the Base Commander told me that the Directorate of History and Heritage had informed him that only four members of the Canadian Forces had ever been awarded a CD while filling the appointment of Officer Cadet.....
 
I left the Colonels office to be faced by MAJOR JACK MURDOCH, who handed me that envelop, full of currency......apparently over the amount he owed me some years earlier...and told me that now that debt was repaid, I was to get my sorry ass over to the Bar of the officers mess and use that cash to buy a round of drinks....., AFTER I had stopped at the tailor shop to get the tailor to stitch on my new CD ribbon.....that is......
 
At the bar, our former PERI association was hashed and rehashed and, YES the envelope cash did somewhat offset the total bar bill....
 
I like many others, miss JACK......we will meet again at the gates to Gods Gym, where Ja
ck will be waiting, having another nervous smoke I am sure....