La Scie na­tive part of Mil­i­tary Wives Choir singing at In­vic­tus Games

Nor'wester (Springdale) - - FRONT PAGE - BY CORY HURLEY

Rita Yade al­ways con­sid­ered her­self a bit of a black sheep as part of a mu­si­cal fam­ily from La Scie.

So be­ing cen­tre stage for the world to hear her sing was never on the radar.

A mem­ber of the Clance fam­ily, Yade was sur­rounded by rel­a­tives with in­nate mu­si­cal tal­ents. She had ac­cepted her fate as one who didn’t share that par­tic­u­lar skill.

Yade left the Baie Verte Penin­sula in her 20s and joined the mil­i­tary for a short pe­riod of time. The stint was long enough to meet her now-hus­band and long-time mil­i­tary man Richard Yade. They have been sta­tioned to­gether through­out the coun­try, even spend­ing time in Gan­der in 1994 and 1995, where they had their first of two sons.

Ma­neu­ver­ing the coun­try is a well-known strug­gle for mil­i­tary fam­i­lies. Separat­ing from friends and mov­ing to un­fa­mil­iar places with strange faces is some­thing Yade ad­mits has been a strug­gle for her.

When they moved to Green­wood about three years ago, it was the same thing over again. How­ever, at the 14 Wing air force base she dis­cov­ered the Cana­dian Mil­i­tary Wives Choir.

For the first time since ele­men­tary school in Brent’s Cove, she joined a choir.

“I thought I would go try and if I didn’t like it in a cou­ple of months, I would quit,” Yade said.

The choir was a life-chang­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for her. She is now in­volved Mem­bers of the 14 Wing Green­wood Mil­i­tary Wives Choir are a small part of the about 200 wives who will per­form at the open­ing cer­e­monies of the In­vic­tus Games.

in just about every as­pect of the choir, in­clud­ing trea­surer.

“I love it be­cause it is not only about singing,” she said. “We all know what th­ese ladies go through. Some nights you just talk to some­one go­ing through a hard time, their spouse has been posted in Kuwait or over on tour. We are there as a sup­port.”

The life-chang­ing ex­pe­ri­ences con­tinue for Yade. About 200 mem­bers of the Cana­dian Mil­i­tary Wives Choir from across the coun­try have been in­vited to sing at the open­ing cer­e­monies of the In­vic­tus Games in Toronto this week.

The Games — which be­gan in 2014 and are be­ing hosted in Canada for the first time this year — are meant to in­spire re­cov­ery and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of wounded, in­jured and sick mil­i­tary men and women around the world through sport, while in­creas­ing pub­lic aware­ness of their strug­gles.

Yade her­self be­gan run­ning a while ago, and plans to run a half­marathon in the fall.

Some­times she strug­gles with her train­ing, but her hus­band re­minds her of th­ese wounded sol­diers to pro­vide in­spi­ra­tion. She ex­pects this ex­pe­ri­ence will fuel that mo­ti­va­tion.

“It is go­ing to be so pow­er­ful when you see those sol­diers come out,” she said.

Prince Harry is pa­tron of the In­vic­tus Games Foun­da­tion. The women are hop­ing for a chance to see or even meet the prince dur­ing the games tak­ing place from Sept. 23-30, Yade said with a sheep­ish laugh.

How­ever, with such a strong mil­i­tary back­ground — her grand­fa­ther Wil­liam Tobin of Fleur-de-Lys served at Beau­mont Hamel —she un­der­stands the rea­son they are there.

“Yes, we are all ex­cited be­cause we get to be fa­mous a lit­tle bit for a day, but that is not what it is about,” she said. “It’s about see­ing those sol­diers, giv­ing back, and see­ing their fam­i­lies and to thank them for their sup­port.

“Just to see them all to­gether, and see what they have over­come, will be amaz­ing.”

She said the wives in the choir feel this is a great way to give back to the sol­diers, but she also hopes it spreads a lit­tle aware­ness of what fam­i­lies of sol­diers go through.

“It is amaz­ing be­cause peo­ple are start­ing to rec­og­nize us now that we are in this choir and the name is get­ting known,” Yade said. “No, we are not in the uni­form, but we are just as im­por­tant.”



Rita Yade, orig­i­nally from La Scie, is part of the Cana­dian Mil­i­tary Wives Choir that will sing at the open­ing cer­e­monies of the In­vic­tus Games in Toronto.

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