‘One of the best’
Veteran naval officer gushes with praise for Baccalieu sea cadets
“ 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.
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.