‘One of the best’

Vet­eran naval of­fi­cer gushes with praise for Bac­calieu sea cadets

The Compass - - TRINITY SOUTH - BY BILL BOW­MAN

“ The lead­er­ship skills you de­velop as a cadet will stand you in great stead for the rest of your life,” Com­man­der Robert Clark told­mem­bers of the 295 Bac­calieuRoyal Cana­dian Sea Cadet Corps in Old Per­li­can May 28.

Clark, the for­mer com­mand­ing of­fi­cer at Cana­dian Forces Sta­tion St. John’s, was re­view­ing of­fi­cer for the corps’ 26th an­nual cer­e­mo­nial re­view.

With some 74 sea cadets hail­ing from 15 com­mu­ni­ties on the Bay de Verde Penin­sula from West­ern Bay to Win­ter­ton, 295 Bac­calieu is the largest of 32 sea cadet corps in the prov­ince, and one of the largest in At­lantic Canada.

En­rol­ment has dipped slightly this year due to a de­clin­ing pop­u­la­tion, but an im­pres­sive 36 per cent of the stu­dent body at Bac­calieu Col­le­giate are in the pro­gram.

Clark said the skills cadets are learn­ing and per­fect­ing are help­ing pre­pare them for suc­cess­ful ca­reers in what­ever field they may pur­sue.

Stay with the pro­gram

Clark said cadets de­velop skills such as team­work, com­mu­ni­ca­tions, read­ing, writ­ing, giv­ing and tak­ing or­ders, mak­ing pre­sen­ta­tions, self­dis­ci­pline and self-con­fi­dence.

“ You may not ap­pre­ci­ate them now, but trust me, they’ll be very valu­able skills for you down the road,” he said.

Clark had high praise for the staff of­fi­cers and se­nior cadets for ac­cept­ing the “sa­cred trust” placed upon them, and also ap­plauded the spon­sors for mak­ing the pro­gram a re­al­ity.

Bac­calieu is spon­sored by the Bay de Verde branch of the Navy

League of Canada, which raised over $20,000 last year to sup­port cadet ac­tiv­i­ties. The Depart­ment of Na­tional De­fence also helps cover the costs of uni­forms and equip­ment.

Great dis­play

Clark de­scribed the re­view as “a great dis­play of your pro­fes­sional skills — cer­tainly one of the best an­nual in­spec­tions I’ve seen in many years. That is a credit to your hard work and ded­i­ca­tion.”

With the In­ter­net, sports and all the other dis­trac­tions youth are faced with to­day, he sug­gested it takes in­cred­i­ble com­mit­ment to pull off such a high cal­i­bre per­for­mance.

Lt.-Cmdr. Clif­ford Mor­gan, Bac­calieu’s com­mand­ing of­fi­cer, at­trib­uted the corps’ longevity and suc­cess to the cadets, par­ents, of­fi­cers, civil­ian in­struc­tors and spon­sors.

“ These peo­ple re­al­ize we have a sea cadet corps that is rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the best youth or­ga­ni­za­tion not only in Canada, but the world,” said Mor­gan, who has been with the corps since it was es­tab­lished in 1985.

“ What other or­ga­ni­za­tion of­fers so much for so lit­tle and presents so many pos­i­tive, and favourable char­ac­ter­is­tics?” he asked.

Tom Hal­lett, past divi­sional and past na­tional pres­i­dent of the Navy League of Canada, said he was im­pressed with the large crowd of close to 200 par­ents and other rel­a­tives that at­tended the cer­e­mo­nial re­view. Hal­lett said he once at­tended an­other re­view in which “there where 30 cadets, four of­fi­cers, me and two par­ents.”

He de­scribed Bac­calieu as “one of the largest and re­puted to be one of the most suc­cess­ful and pres­ti­gious corps in the divi­sion.”

Michaela Gar­land gets a hug from her mom, Juanita But­ton, af­ter But­ton pinned a Na­tional Navy League Medal of Ex­cel­lence on her daugh­ter.

Pre­sent­ing and re­ceiv­ing awards at the 26th an­nual 295 Bac­calieu sea cadet in­spec­tion were, from left, Clyde Pryor of the Royal Cana­dian Le­gion in Car­bon­ear; Tom Hal­lett of the Navy League of Canada; cadets Me­lanie Oliver, Matthew Noo­nan, Kyle Power, Aaron Kelly, Tay­lor Au­Coin, Michaela Gar­land, and Tanya Val­lis; in­spect­ing of­fi­cer Cmdr. Robert Clark, and Valda Au­Coin, chair of the Bay de Verde branch of the Navy League.

In­sect­ing of­fi­cer Cmdr. Robert Clark (right) chats with cadet Jessica Pike, while the corps’ com­mand­ing of­fi­cer, Lt.-Cmdr. Cliff Mor­gan (left) and Trin­ity Bay de Verde MHA Char­lene John­son look on.

The flag demon­stra­tion was ded­i­cated to the late Reg But­ton for his 23 years of ded­i­ca­tion to the cadet move­ment. A long­time sup­porter of the cadet corps, But­ton was heav­ily in­volved at the branch, pro­vin­cial and na­tional level of the Navy League of Canada.

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