N e w f o u n d l a n d     a n d     L a b r a d o r     D i v i s i o n

Our History

A Long and Proud History of Service

Captain Edward Walter, a retired officer of the Crimean War, founded The Corps of Commissionaires in England in 1859 to help veterans make the difficult transition back to civilian life and employment.

In an effort to find jobs for these veterans, he convinced friends and acquaintances that the exemplary discipline, loyalty and dedication to service that veterans possessed could be put to excellent use in business. He succeeded in finding jobs for seven veterans and thereby launched the Corps of Commissionaires.

While Canada’s Governor General proposed a Corps be formed in Canada after World War I, it wasn’t until 1925, that Commissionaires was established with the opening of offices in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

To the best of anyone’s knowledge, the Newfoundland & Labrador Division was the brainchild of Colonel G. LeB. Ross, Secretary Treasurer of the Corps. In 1949, accompanied by P.J. Philpott, Special Advisor, representing the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, he visited St. John’s to look into the startup of a Newfoundland Division of the Corps. Consequently, the first meeting of prospective governors for the Newfoundland Division was held at Government House through the kindness of the Lieutenant Governor, Colonel, the Honourable Sir Leonard Outerbridge, CBE, DSO, on that day December 16th 1949 Sir Leonard agreed to be Vice Patron and continued to be a positive factor in the Division’s growth until his demise.

While there is no record of who attended the initial meeting, key individuals who helped shape the Division were; the Division’s first Chairman of the Board of Governors Major F.W. Marshall, MBE, the first Commandant Captain B. Dicks, Lieutenant Colonel G. Campbell Eaton, MC,CD a founding Governor of the Division.

The quality of these aforementioned gentlemen and subsequent members of the Board of Governors have been a mainstay, in the Division fulfilling the original mandate. As well, the qualities of its past and present members have enabled the Division to develop and deliver quality security services within the Province

And, by 1982, Commissionaires exceeded 10,000 employees, virtually doubling the strength of its British parent.

Today, Commissionaires employs over 19,000 employees with offices operating in all ten provinces and three territories.

In the early days of our organization, we primarily offered security services. However, with the advent of modern technology and more specialized, highly skilled staff, we are now offering a much broader range of services to more clients across Canada.

Commissionaires is not an agency of the federal or provincial governments. We are a private, self-supporting, not-for-profit organization, continuing a proud tradition that started more than a century and a half ago. By operating in this manner, we are able to fulfill our original mandate of providing fair and meaningful work to ex-military personnel while providing our clients with quality service at competitive rates.

Commissionaires NL remembers and salutes veterans and those in active service.