Information from Wayne Wayne Isbester, President of London Division RCMPVA
RCMP VETERANS RED AND BLUE BLAZERS
I have been asked by a few Veterans from London Division as to how to go about obtaining either the RCMP Veterans Red or Blue Blazer. Either the Red or the Blue Blazer is totally acceptable for RCMP Vets functions. Having a Red Blazer made of Red Serge material requires the jacket to be custom made by a tailor and can certainly run you into some money and I understand many members avoiding this expense if they want to. Just remember, you don't have to own either a Blue or Red Blazer to be a member of the London Vets, it's just important to belong as an Active, Life, or Associate member. Having said that, here is some research I have done for your general information:
The RCMP Stores on Coventry Road in Ottawa will still supply the Red Serge Material including the 17 mm and 19 mm RCMP buttons required to make the required blazers however they request that Divisions submit bulk orders as opposed to individual orders from members claiming that they do not have time or manpower to fill individual requests.
The Edmonton RCMP Veterans Canteen has taken over the supplying of all Vets equipment such as Wedge Caps, Cap Badges, Breast pocket Vet's Crests for the Blazers, Ties, etc. (including the RCMP buttons for the Jackets. I have included their website. Once there, just click on Vets Kit and you can see what's for sale there. They have been in the practice of purchasing a bolt at a time (about 25 -30 meters) of Red Serge material from RCMP Stores however; advise that they are not in a position to cut this material. They have left the bolt of material with DERKS (an Edmonton clothier) who will cut the desired amount of material on behalf of the Canteen (usually between 2 to 3 meters) and the canteen will charge you the same as the RCMP Stores @ $25.00 per meter. The only problem with that appears to be that you may be obligated to have your jacket then made by Derks in Edmonton. (This however has not been verified by me for certain.)
The Edmonton RCMP Vets Canteen website is:
If you wish a red blazer to be made for you, you must first order (depending on your size) 2-3 Meters (as suggested by your tailor) of Red Serge Fabric through the Edmonton Canteen or through a bulk order to the RCMP Stores on Coventry Road in Ottawa.
(PLEASE NOTE: If there is sufficient interest from London Division, I am prepared to place a bulk order for the fabric and the required buttons. As for the Breast Pocket Vets Crest you must order this separately from the Edmonton Canteen.
I have obtained two tailors who are prepared to make the Red Blazers, they are:
Derks Fine Group of Companies
8111 – 102 Street NW
Edmonton, AB T6E 4A4
Phone: 780-431-4282 Fax: 780-439-7506
They will make your Blazer for you using the Red Serge material you have obtained from the Edmonton Canteen and sew on the buttons, and Vets Crest on the breast pocket. You will have to go to a local tailor and complete their measurement sheet. Their price is $347.00 plus 5% Alberta Sales Tax ($17.35) . Shipping your finished blazer to Ontario is $22.50. Unless you actually have a final fitting and alteration done at their store in Edmonton, you will not be charged their Custom alteration charge of $22.00. Any final alterations of the blazer probably should be done by a tailor locally (perhaps the same one who provided you your measurements.
Grand Total would therefore be with Taxes and Shipping to you: $386.50 for the Red Blazer from Derks. I have provided a .pdf copy of their Order form for your additional information.
Please check out the link below for Derks:
1020 St. Laurent Blvd.
P: 613.842.9874 F:613.842.9875
Many of the Ottawa RCMP Vets have used this tailor as have I and I can personally vouch for their good work and attention to detail.
They also will require your measurements in order to make your Blazer and you must supply them with the red serge material, required buttons (four 17mm and three 19 mm RCMP buttons & RCMP Veteran's Breast pocket crest.
They will make a Blazer for $359.00 plus HST @ 13% totalling: $406.67 Shipping charges would be extra. The final fitting would be included when the customer comes in the store. Shipping or any other alteration would be to the customer.
- Off the rack for navy blazers are either 195$ – 229.00$. They would sew @ no cost the crest and buttons.
- Off the rack navy or grey hopsack pants are 79.95$. They do offer more expensive trousers.
- They can make to measure the original grey trousers or skirts for 195$ which the RCMP is presently using since they have a contract with the Force presently.
- Concerning the quantity of material; they don’t feel comfortable with 2 meters. You can get away with this quantity if the person is small and/or short. Say 38s up to 40reg. With 2.5meter they can make a Blazer for most people up to 50 chest. 3 meters are for bigger and taller people.
Your cost of material from RCMP Stores if ordered in bulk by Divisions would be: Approximate cost of Red Serge material @ 3 meters @ $25.00 per meter, four 17 mm buttons @ $0.70 per button, three 19 mm buttons @$0.74 per button = Total $80.02 + HST @ 13%
Through the Edmonton Canteen Red Serge material @ 3meters @ $25.00 per meter, four 17 mm buttons & three 19mm buttons @ $1.50 per button = $85.50 plus GST @ 5% (Alberta)
NOTE: The RCMP Vets Pocket Crest is only available through the Edmonton Canteen and is $38.00 plus GST @ 5% (Alberta)
My recommendation would be to go through the Edmonton Canteen as you can submit your order individually to the Canteen and Derks will pick up your material, buttons, and Crest and make your blazer for you. Sales tax is only 5% as well. As noted it is the lowest cost for a made to order Red Blazer.
Ken Cornforth advises that in Toronto there is,
7715 Yonge St.,
(905) 889-1772. This is located on the East side of Yonge, in the first block north of John/Yonge intersection in Thornhill. Parking in the rear. Frank created my red jacket and I know that the late Past President, Ralph Culligan also used him.
Jim Brown also notes a tailor who made a blazer for him:John Tomazic
Esquire Custom Tailors
2406 Kingston Rd.,
Scarborough, ON M1N 1V2
416-261-0296 Res 416-266-2601
FOR YOUR ADDED INFORMATION:
Saskatoon Vets are also offering a red blazer made from polyester (not wool) material for a lesser cost however they tend to have a pinkish look to the jacket which is quite noticeable when standing beside members wearing the Blazer made from Red Serge material. In my personal opinion having seen the difference, they frankly do not compare. If you wish to pursue the purchase of one of these blazers, I have attached the below noted link for your information:
You may also know of a tailor in your area who is willing and able to make a blazer for you. If you happen to know of any please let me know and I will pass that information along.
Finally: From time to time either a Red or Blue Blazer becomes available following the death of a member and if the family of the deceased wishes to donate the Blazer to us we would be only too happy to put the Jacket back into circulation to a member who is the same size. Jack O'Reilly from Toronto Division advises me that he has had a number of jackets donated back to the Association for further use by our members. Recently one of our own members in London picked up a Red and Blue Blazer from a retired member.
I hope you find this little bit of research helpful.