History
 

Today

The Royal United Services Institute of Regina facilitates a place where leaders of the community can connect with the military easily and quickly. A place where members of Parliament, the Provincial Legislative Assembly, Municipal government and the business community can meet with members of the Institute and representatives of the military in a casual, non-intimidating social atmosphere.

The leisure social atmosphere of the Institute and Mess has encouraged the co-mingling of thoughts and ideas which has, to name a few, facilitated the organization of an association to build the Armoury in 1929, the planning and implementation of the first provincial act giving Reservists job protection when they deploy, (Later adopted by Parliament into Canadian law.) and the planning and implementation of an outstanding and highly successful "Support Our Troops Gala" held  in Regina but attended nationally, in support of the "Military Families Fund," raising almost $200,000.00 for the fund.

The Royal United Services Institute of Regina provides support to Cadets and publically attended events such as The Military Tattoo and Remembrance Day.

The Royal United Services Institute allows the Military Community to ensure a broad and positive military "footprint" in the community. There is no other place as easily accessible that can spontaneously provide a place for meetings, brainstorming sessions, and social interaction between the military and the community as the "Mess."

 

The Beginning

In 1919 after the First World War, The Great War Veterans’ Association, (GWVA, now the Royal Canadian Legion) and United Services Institutes were formed with branches throughout Canada. In Regina, Brigadier General Alexander Ross called a meeting of officers living in Regina, and eighty attended to form a United Services Institute. The United Services Institute of Regina was modeled on the Royal United Service Institute for Defence and Security Studies located at Sixty-one Whitehall in London, United Kingdom. Brigadier-General Ross was elected Honorary President and Brigadier-General Embury was elected President.

Alexander Ross

Brigadier-General, His Honour, Alexander Ross, O.C., Q.C., C.M.G, D.S.G, LL.D., one of Lieutenant-General Sir Arthur Currie’s Brigade Commanders at Vimy in 1917 who stormed the Ridge. For his war service he was made a companion of the Distinguished Service Order with bar, a companion of the most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, and was 7 times mentioned in dispatches. On demobilization he commanded Military District No.12 until September 1, 1920. In 1921 he was appointed Judge for the Judicial District of Yorkton, a position he held until 1955. He passed away in 1973.

At the outset of the Institute in 1919, The Lieutenant-Governor of the Province, Sir Richard Lake, donated the sum of $25.00 to assist in its establishment. Membership for individuals was set at $2.00 annually. Membership was originally limited to persons who served with commissioned rank in the Canadian Forces, but at present membership is open to any person who supports the objects of the Institute.

In 1925 the Institute commissioned the design of a crest for the Institute:

Crest

The original Royal United Services Institute was formed in 1831 at the initiative of the Duke of Wellington for the study of what Clausewitz called “the art of war”. The Royal United Services Institute of Regina (RUSI) continues this tradition in promoting understanding of Canadian Defence Policy and supporting the Canadian Forces through information events. The RUSI is a member of the Conference of Defence Associations of Canada which is the major independent body that provides examination, study and commentary on defence issues in Canada.

After World War I, it became a pressing necessity to erect a suitable facility to house the eight militia units in Regina. An “Armoury Association” was formed with members of the Institute playing an important role in the Association. Lobbying with the Dominion Government was successful, and in due course an arrangement was concluded with the Department of National Defence that saw the commanding officers of the Regina militia units sign a financing agreement for construction of the armoury by the Armoury Association. The loan was discharged through annual rent paid for ten years by the Department of National Defence, and upon discharge of the loan, title to the armoury was transferred from the Armoury Association to the Crown.

The Regina Armoury, completed in 1929, included generous space for an officer’s mess. The Regina Garrison Officers’ Mess requested that the Institute take over the day-to-day operation of the mess, and a special agreement was concluded allowing this. From 1929 to 2013, the Institute has operated the Regina Officers’ Mess (as it is now named) under an agreement that was renewed in 1948, and 2006. These agreements have all provided that Institute members shall be associate members of the Mess, and all serving officers of the Mess shall be full members of the Institute.

Crest

Following World War II, the number of demobilized officers increased substantially, and the Institute and the Mess moved to quarters comprising approximately 12,000 square feet adjacent to the Armoury. Following a fire in 1964, the mess was extensively rebuilt. The Institute received the designation “Royal” in 1979. The Institute and Mess maintain a collection of numerous scrolls, memorabilia, books and publications, as well as paintings and pictures of historic interest.

In July of 2014 the RUSI moved from the building that had been home since just after the Second World War into the newly refurbished Regina Armoury Senior Ranks Mess.