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Kemp Stewart new honorary colonel for 429 Transport Squadron

Hon Col Allen Kemp Stewart presents a Remington bronze sculpture of a bison to 429 Squadron Commanding Officer LCol Jason Stark. Ross Lees photo

By Ross Lees
While it may take him a little time to get used to wearing the Air Force blue uniform rather than the Army uniform he wore for 33 years, Kemp Stewart, newly appointed Honorary Colonel of 429 Squadron, considers it an honour and a privilege.

He especially liked the idea that he would be getting involved in all the good times, while 429 Squadron Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Jason Stark would take care of the headaches.

“That sounds pretty good to me,”  Stewart noted at the investiture ceremony at the National Air Force Museum of Canada. “But I’m really looking forward to getting involved with the squadron.”

It did not take long for Stewart to make his first contribution to the squadron. He presented LCol Stark with a Remington bronze sculpture of a bison – what he called “cowboy art” – as a gift to his newly adopted squadron.

Stewart takes over from H. C. (Skip) Armstrong, who held the position during exciting and busy times in 429 Squadron. A retired Major General in the Royal Canadian Air Force for almost 35 years, he indicated he would have liked to have been even more involved.

“A few of us wish we were 30 years younger so we could be a part of what is happening today – okay, 35 years younger,” he said in his final remarks as Hon Col to the Squadron.

“I have spoken with hundreds of Canadians and they want you to know they have the greatest admiration and respect for what you do for Canada and they thank you for the sacrifices you and your families make every day,” he said. “Canadians are very proud of their military and they’re not shy to say so.”

Armstrong said he hoped to see the men and women of 8 Wing maintain the relationship equity they have built up over the past few years and he felt Hon Col Stewart was the person to help them do that.

That message was one LCol Jason Stark followed up on in his brief address to the squadron, noting he hoped they could continue to improve the strength of the alliances with the community established by Armstrong and that he felt Stewart could bring even more alliances to the table.

Kemp Stewart retired from the Canadian Forces after 33 years of full and part time military service, at the rank of Major. He is the owner of Hillier Creek Estates winery, which he started as a retirement project in 2000.  He is also the current President of the Chamber of Tourism and Commerce for Prince Edward County and the immediate Past President of the Prince Edward County Winegrowers Association.

He was an Army Logistics Officer and, in the last 20 years of service, was the Deputy Commanding Officer of 15 Service Battalion (Edmonton); Deputy Area Comptroller of Land Force Western Area (Edmonton); G4/G1 Sector South Croatia (UNPROFOR); Officer Commanding 1st Canadian Division HQ (Kingston); A1 and OC Air Reserve, 1 Wing (Kingston); Combat Service Support Doctrine Writer, Land Force Doctrine and Training Systems (LFDTS) (Kingston) and Logistics and Project Officer, Army Simulation Centre, (LFDTS Kingston).

Stewart has spent much of his life around aircraft.  As the son of an Artillery Officer, the majority of his father’s career included flying helicopters and light aircraft as well as developing the tactics, techniques and procedures for air observation posts (AIROP). At 19 years of age, Kemp received his private pilot’s license, and later completed military courses including: Unit Emplaning Officer, Basic Parachuting, Search and Rescue Observer, and Airfield Recovery and Management.

Prior to being full time with the military, he was a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, General Manager for the Keg Restaurants in Alberta and Coordinator of Continuing Education in the County of Parkland, Alberta.  He has also completed the Militia Command and Staff College (Kingston) and the Joint Reserve Command and Staff College (Toronto).

Stewart is knowledgeable about how to work effectively with both the provincial and federal governments in matters pertaining to protocol. As an Honorary Aide de Camp for six years and Senior Aide de Camp for three years to the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, he was directly involved with the planning and the implementation of high level delegations to the province, including a number of Royal visits.

Kemp is married to Dr. Amber Hayward Stewart, the Head of Emergency for Trenton Memorial Hospital, a coroner and a family medicine practitioner in Picton. He is the father of four adult children all of whom continue to reside in Alberta. He has maintained an active lifestyle including being a member of the Military Pentathlon team, and participated in the Jasper to Banff relay.

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  1. Lawrence Cornett says:

    Mt. Kilimanjaro was recently summitted by Kemp Stewart; one of the many accomplishments Ross Lees’ article missed due to lack of space! Lets’s raise a glass of Hillier Creek Estates wine to Kemp. A proud Canadian, and local wine maker.

  2. Capt Chris Holder says:

    Congratulations Colonel, This is a well deserved appointment, your family is no dought proud as are the usual suspects at the friday gathering. Cheers Capt Chris

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