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Remembering My Friend, Scott Dayman

By CMDR Patrick Nichol
Communications Officer, USS Chinook

I first met Col. Scott Dayman more than 10 years ago at a New Year’s Eve party hosted by our friend Rose Tanchyk.
It was a small gathering among friends and fellow members of the USS King Edward Star Trek club. Rose’s New Year’s parties were always fun affairs with games, good conversation and lots of great food. I first met the group several months earlier during the annual red and White Comic Book event at McMahon Stadium where they had a booth.

As a life-long Trekkie, I couldn’t believe my good fortune at meeting so many kindred spirits.

Among those lively folks who welcomed me aboard was Scott, who upon hearing that I was a Navy veteran and former Sea Cadet, quickly swapped stories with me.

As was always the case with Scott, he always had stories to tell from his varied life experience. The stories eventually turned to our favourite show and deep dives into the meaning of different episodes.

And we often re-visited topics when we felt something new could be added to the conversation. For example, we had an on-going chat about rogue Starfleet officers and how their indiscretions would be treated in the real world.

That was something I always admired about Scott, the fact that he could pick up from our last chat despite not having seen each other in a while.

He was born in Victoria but raised at CFB Cold Lake, places that I knew very well from my cadet and military service.
You could also say that service was a hallmark of Scott’s life. He began in 1978 after learning to play the bagpipes with Fraser’s Highlanders. That led to joining the Royal Canadian Air Cadets, 781 Squadron, in Calgary.

His love of flying indulged, Scott eventually won his pilot’s wings at age 16 while still attending High School.

Although we had been friends for many years, it was fascinating for me to learn that he was an accomplished bagpiper who had performed internationally. Thanks to the tutelage of his mentor, Maj. Harry Brown, Scott went to Kingston, ON in 1987 to audition for Scotland’s Edinburgh Tattoo.

According to his wife, Leanne, Scott joined cadets from all over Canada in a pipe band where he was the backup for the Lone Piper.

‘’Scott’s fondest memory is playing the bagpipes on Scotland Field, which he always called home,’’ Leanne wrote in his memorial post.

He joined the Calgary Highlanders in the late ‘80s and continued to serve as a bagpiper. That led to joining 604 Air Cadet Squadron as a Civilian Instructor, eventually serving with 538 and 781 squadrons in setting up their pipe bands.

His efforts eventually won him a Queen’s Commission to Captain.

In my conversations with Scott, I remember discussing the perennial issues constantly dogging our Armed Forces. We usually agreed that Ottawa chronically undercut the Military in equipment and manpower.

But the chats would also turn to fun stories about our first time flying on a Hercules, eating a traditional box lunch, or preparing for inspection by a flag officer or general.

When the King Edward changed its name to the USS Chinook, Scott supported the decision and even helped to promote the new ship via social media and appearing at events.

The pandemic side-lined many of our public gatherings, and we stayed in touch via ZOOM calls, or the phone. Scott was always ready to partake when his schedule and health allowed.

As a member of the Chinook, Scott excelled at serving the 10th Brigade, Starfleet Marine Corps., the detachment posted to our ship. He had been promoted to Major and was the Deputy Brigade Commander, a position he held with distinction.

Of course, Star Trek wasn't his only fan interest.

He indulged his love of Middle Ages culture through the Society For Creative Anachronism, where he was called Andrew Wilson of Clan Gunn.

In the real world, Scott was a devoted family man married for 25 years to his beautiful wife Leanne and father to his son Scott Magnusson.

Although we knew that Scott ‘s health was failing, we were very glad that he could participate in our return to the Calgary Expo in April and the Edmonton Expo in September.

In Edmonton, Scott was front and centre in engaging fans all weekend. He was particularly happy to help promote not only our ship, but the new USS Wild Rose and Edmonton's USS Cerberus. He pitched in everywhere, from manning the till to re-stocking our table.

Sadly, Scott's health deteriorated rapidly following the show and he was admitted to hospital.

He passed away Sept. 27 at the age of 53.

In honour of his remarkable service, the 10th Brigade promoted Scott posthumously to Colonel.

Semper Fi, Marine!

May you have Fair Weather and Following Seas.