The CME Family has a long history of honouring the achievements of units and individuals. The CMEA, on behalf of the CME Branch, supports competition as a practical means of preparing our members and units to meet assigned tasks.
The competitive spirit is a quality that has never been found lacking in the Canadian engineer. National level competitions date back to 1885 when Colonel (later Sir) Casimir Stanislaus Gzowski presented two silver cups for annual competition among the Companies of Militia Engineers. The application of these trophies has changed with the times with the Gzowski #1 Cup currently assigned to Land Forces Atlantic Area, and the Gzowski #2 Cup to Land Forces Central Area for their Area Engineer's evaluations. The second in age among the Reserve engineer trophies is the MEAC Challenge Trophy, donated by the MEAC in 1936 to foster marksmanship among Militia Engineer units and continues in this role today.
The annual meeting of the MEAC at Chilliwack in 1950 saw the birth of two additional trophies. Brigadier J.L. Melville, CBE, MC, ED, donated the Honourary Colonel Commandant's Trophy for award to the field engineer regiment displaying the greatest general efficiency during the competition year. This trophy is currently assigned to Land Forces Quebec Area for the Area Engineer's Evaluation. The MEAC donated the other trophy,the Hertzberg Memorial Trophy, in memory of Major-General C.S.L. Hertzberg, CB, MC, VD, who was Chief Engineer, First Canadian Army during 1942-43. This trophy continues to be awarded to the Reserve Engineer unit that successfully completes the most outstanding engineering project.
The Lindsay Memorial Trophy was introduced by the MEAC in 1952 to commemorate Major-General W.B. Lindsay, CB, CMG, DSO, who was the first Chief Engineer of the Canadian Corps during World War 1. The competition was a map exercise for the officers of competing squadrons. Since 1998 this trophy has been retired.
In 1953 Major-General J.P. MacKenzie, CB, DSO, ED, who was Quartermaster-General during 1942-43 donated a trophy called the Major-General John Peter Mackenzie Trophy. This was originally awarded to the RCE militia squadron that had obtained the highest grading for administration and maintenance of its stores and equipment. It is currently assigned to Land Forces Western Area for the Area Engineer's Evaluation.
In memory of the contributions made by Canadian tunnellers during the two World Wars, in 1989 the Tunnellers' Association (Veterans) presented a silver trophy for MEAC competition. First presented in 1990, the Tunnellers' Cup is awarded to the Construction Engineering section or unit with the best project in construction engineering.
In 1999, 1 Canadian Air Division initiated a competition among Regular and Reserve Force airfield engineering flights for the successful completion of an airfield engineering project of significant magnitude. The CME Museum provided the trophy that was originally a gift from Vickers-Armstrong Limited to the 1st Battalion Canadian Engineers in September 1940. This unit was performing airfield engineering duties in England at the time. The trophy has been named the Patton-Cunnington Airfield Engineering Trophy in memory of two members of that unit: Lieutenant J.M.S. Patton, GC, RCE and Captain D.W. Cunnington, GM, RCE , who, at great personal risk, removed an unexploded bomb from a Hawker Hurricane plant.
Canadian Military Engineers Museum
The trophies are held in safe-keeping by the Canadian Military Engineers Museum at the Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering. A “keeper plaque” will be forwarded to winning units, or updated as required, and presented by a senior CMEA representative at a suitable unit activity.
Comments on the CME competitions programme are welcome.