"Arte et Marte"
"By Skill and by Fighting"

Lt Jon Jennekens, CM

Lieutenant-Colonel LeSueur Brodie and Lieutenant Jon Jennekens are the only two former members of the RCEME Corps to have been awarded the Order of Canada. Sadly, Jon Jennekens passed away on 4 Sep 2023.

In an interview with Engineers Without Borders Canada in Dec 2020, he described his early years as a young RCEME Lieutenant.

“My interest in engineering started as a teenager. I became interested in motorcycles, cars, and trucks. The various body designs were of interest but what was important to me were the technical details of the engines, transmissions, suspensions, steering and braking systems.”

“In 1950, the cost of enrolling at a university to earn a degree in engineering was beyond the financial capabilities of my parents and me. However, by volunteering to serve in the Canadian Armed Forces I could enroll, if accepted, as a recruit at the Royal Military College.”

“Upon graduation from RMC, as a Lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, I was posted to the Canadian Brigade, 1st Commonwealth Division, UN Forces, Korea. My training as a mechanical engineer was invaluable to me in fulfilling my duties as Section Head, Wheeled and Tracked Vehicles, 42 Infantry Field Workshop. Our task was to recover and repair damaged vehicles.”

“Additionally, I was able during quiet periods, under canvas and with a chalkboard, to help some of the men in our workshop to add to their knowledge of science fundamentals. The attendees at our chalkboard discussions were soldiers who wished to succeed in their promotion exams following their return to Canada.”

Lt Jennekens went on to pursue a remarkable career as one of Canada’s foremost experts in Nuclear safety for which he received the Order of Canada. Our condolences go to Mrs. Jennekens and her family. Arte et Marte.

The quotes from Jon Jennekens are courtesy of Engineers Without Borders Canada, Dec 2020