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Mounties mount Gros Morne Mountain

Deer Lake RCMP officers (from left) Const. Guy Boudreau, Cpl. Elizabeth Lodge and Const. Jensen Stanley recently climbed Gros Morne Mountain and then donned their Red Serge uniforms to have some photos taken. 
Photo Courtesy of Bradley Lodge
Deer Lake RCMP officers (from left) Const. Guy Boudreau, Cpl. Elizabeth Lodge and Const. Jensen Stanley recently climbed Gros Morne Mountain and then donned their Red Serge uniforms to have some photos taken. Photo Courtesy of Bradley Lodge - Contributed

DEER LAKE — Gros Morne Mountain and the RCMP’s Red Serge uniform are each iconic Canadian images — together, they make for an even more powerful sight.

Getting photographed in her Red Serge on top of Gros Morne is something Cpl. Elizabeth Lodge has talked about for some time.

Lodge has been with the force for 14 years. She is stationed at the Deer Lake detachment and has spent the last 10 years on the west coast.

The idea for the photograph came after the New Brunswick native hiked up Gros Morne Mountain with her mother a few years ago.

With her hat tipped over her face, Cpl. Elizabeth Lodge of the Deer Lake RCMP poses for a photo on top of Gros Morne Mountain.
Photo Courtesy of Bradley Lodge  - Contributed
With her hat tipped over her face, Cpl. Elizabeth Lodge of the Deer Lake RCMP poses for a photo on top of Gros Morne Mountain. Photo Courtesy of Bradley Lodge - Contributed

“After being up there it was just something that was stuck in my head, like how nice it would be with that background to have our Serge on.”

Feeling it needed to happen, she started talking about it with other members of the detachment last summer, but things didn’t work out and the hike was postponed.

This summer she was more determined to make it happen.

“We kept an eye on the weather and I started talking to the guys about it.”

With Const. Guy Boudreau and Const. Jensen Stanley game to go along, the three planned to make the trek on July 3, a day all three were off.

“And we did it.”

On a normal hike, Lodge said, she would pack a couple of bottles of water and a light lunch. With their Red Serge carefully stored inside and their hats strapped to the back of the backpacks, they each carried an extra 20 pounds.

“The hill is challenging itself, but to have the extra weight, it was tricky, but it was definitely worth it,” she said.

Once on top the three changed into their Red Serge and posed for pictures that were taken by Lodge’s husband, Bradley Lodge.

Lodge described it as a surreal moment.

“It was just one of those moments. You just take in the beauty of it all,” she said.

“It was just a beautiful day. The weather was perfect. It was just a special day.

“We’re so close with the people we work with. They’re like family. You’re spending just as much time with your coworkers as you are with your family.”

And she wishes everybody in the district could have done it together.

On the hike back down, they felt accomplished as they chatted and laughed, she said.

“There was no stress that day. Whatever stress we deal with at work wasn’t with us on that day.”

While the intention of the hike had nothing to do with the recent negative focus that police officers have found themselves under, Lodge knows the picture, which has gone viral, has made a difference.

“I love my job. I love dealing with the community and the people we deal with. The good and bad of the job, I still love my job and I work with really good people. We love the communities we police and we’re happy to be here.”

Boudreau was all up for making the hike from the time Lodge first mentioned it.

Const. Guy Boudreau of the Deer Lake RCMP poses in his Reg Serge uniform on top of Gros Morne Mountain.
Photo Courtesy of Bradley Lodge 
 - Contributed
Const. Guy Boudreau of the Deer Lake RCMP poses in his Reg Serge uniform on top of Gros Morne Mountain. Photo Courtesy of Bradley Lodge - Contributed

“Nothing really fazes me to do something whenever somebody says something that they want to do. Let’s do it. I’m just part of the team and let’s go. Follow me and we’re going to do it.”

So, after not being able to do it last year, Boudreau, a three-year member of the force who has spent all that time in Deer Lake, said the time had come to put their words into action.

“We went up and we did it. It was an amazing day.”

It was the Nova Scotia native’s first hike up Gros Morne Mountain, and he wasn’t disappointed.

“It’s a gorgeous view.”

Boudreau finds it hard to put into words the pride he felt that day.

“The Royal Canadian Mounted Police means everything to me. It’s just pride to wear the uniform and basically to protect and serve your country.”

He said taking the picture on top of the mountain felt like a good thing to do to bring a spark of positivity to the force.

“It’s not just negativity with the police world. We’re trying our best and we’re human beings, too.”

Gros Morne Mountain was the perfect site for Deer Lake RCMP officers (from left) Const. Guy Boudreau, Cpl. Elizabeth Lodge and Const. Jensen Stanley to be photographed in their Red Serge uniforms.
Photo Courtesy of Bradley Lodge  - Contributed
Gros Morne Mountain was the perfect site for Deer Lake RCMP officers (from left) Const. Guy Boudreau, Cpl. Elizabeth Lodge and Const. Jensen Stanley to be photographed in their Red Serge uniforms. Photo Courtesy of Bradley Lodge - Contributed

 

Stanley will soon mark his first year with the force and with the Deer Lake detachment.

Originally from Ontario, Stanley climbed the mountain during hurricane Dorian in 2019 and never saw much of the view, so he wanted to do it again.

“And I wouldn’t turn down the opportunity to wear the Serge up on Gros Morne.”

For him, it was also a proud moment.

“There’s no other way to describe it. To have my Serge on is one feeling, but having it on on top of Gros Morne was just unbelievable.”

He also said it definitely feels good to bring positivity to the force and policing.

“There’s a lot going on in the media. Law enforcement has gone through a lot right now through the media and people’s opinions. And I think this really just kind of gave people a little more sense of pride in our federal police force.”

Taking the Red Serge to the top of Gros Morne is pretty unique and, while he’s thought about it, Stanley isn’t sure how they can top that.

“Maybe on top of an iceberg,” he said with a laugh.

Twitter: WS_DianeCrocker

diane.crocker@thewesternstar.com

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