Before the tour starts, there is a parade. This is a drill the recruits go through every morning. They are in full dress according to their rank. When the recruits enter the academy, they are given basic drab uniforms. As they pass each part of the academy, they earn different parts of their uniforms and when they graduate, they finally get their red surge. Because of this, you can easily tell what stage any given recruit is in. The drill goes on for quite a while and it was neat to watch as they are highly disciplined and everything seems to go perfect. There was a lot of marching, yelling of orders and even a marching band. After the drill, the recruits go on to the next part of their day, but they must continue to march when in uniform. It is funny to see people walking to and from buildings using marching as their form of transportation. It looks quite uncomfortable! Once we heard an officer yell to two slobby marchers "there's two of you- that means you have a fifty percent chance of getting it right!!!" We still aren't sure how much of that was serious and how much of it was for show, as the officer chose to yell it right in front of the group of about 25 tour guests. :)
We started out in an old church that has an amazing history, as it was originally built in Ontario and through means of flat-car, steamer and ox team it was moved to it's current home in Regina. It was originally build in 1883, but in the form of the soldiers mess hall and drinking facilities. In 1885 it was turned into a guardhouse and in 1895 it was turned into a church. The wife of the police commissioner wanted a place for worship, so the North-West Mounted Police carpenters went to work building pews and an altar themselves.
The church is full of beautiful stained glass windows. This one was my favorite. it had amazing detail in color and flowers, and read "He is not here, but is risen."
North-West Mounted Police was the name of the force before they joined the Dominion Police and were called the Royal Northwest Mounted Police, before they were called the RCMP in 1920- got it? No? Well neither do I, it's all written out and explained somewhere in the RCMP link in the first paragraph. :) Another thing to mention is that even though the are still called the Mounted Police, they stopped riding horses in 1906. Some cities still use horses for special occasions, they are still used in parades and the Musical Ride is still something I want to see. You can watch videos of it here.