A fine re­view for Avalon North cadets

Re­view­ing of­fi­cer praises pro­gram, com­mu­nity for their sup­port

The Compass - - OPINION - BY NICHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

It is 7 p.m. on May 22 and there is a pal­pa­ble en­ergy in the gym­na­sium of Amal­ga­mated Acad­emy in Bay Roberts.

The 2372 Avalon North army cadet corps has just be­gun its first march pass of its 6th an­nual cer­e­mo­nial re­view and things are build­ing to a crescendo.

Und e r the di­rec­tion of Chief War­rant Of­fi­cer Tay­lor Hutch­ings, each cadet drives their feet into the floor with laser-like pre­ci­sion.

The band is in time with each other, and ev­ery­thing is flow­ing to­gether.

As the group fin­ishes its pa­rade, they come to rest on the mark­ers that they’ve come to know well over the past six to eight months.

Some cadets blow a sigh of re­lief hav­ing suc­cess­fully com­pleted the first of many tests on this night, while oth­ers sto­ically wait for what’s next.

Eyes front, th­ese cadets watch as Const. John Clarke of the Trin­ity Con­cep­tion RCMP rises from his front row chair.

Clarke takes his time when he is in­spect­ing the corps. As he passes each cadet, Clarke takes the time to speak a cou­ple of words with each one, of­ten shar­ing a laugh or com­mend­ing them on their ap­pear­ance.

“Guys, won­der­ful job tonight. You did good,” said Clarke. “I’ve seen lots of im­prove­ment over last year.”

The cadets had an event­ful evening planned in what is un­der­stood to be a cel­e­bra­tion of all the work done in the past year.

There were phys­i­cal train­ing ex­er­cises, a slideshow high­light­ing the var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties un­der­taken this year by the young men and women, as well as a first-aid demon­stra­tion and a stir­ring per­for­mance by the band.

“Your demon­stra­tions were won­der­ful,” said Clarke.

The back­bone of any cadet com­mu­nity is the sup­port sys­tem pro­vided to them by par­ents, grand­par­ents and the com­mu­nity at large.

“Thank you for sup­port­ing your chil­dren and an or­ga­ni­za­tion,” said Clarke. “This makes a real dif­fer­ence in their lives, and this makes a dif­fer­ence in the qual­ity of their life.”

Clarke knows what it means to be a cadet and go through the cadet pro­gram, hav­ing done so him­self. He knows the ben­e­fits chil­dren of­ten get when they’ve im­mersed them­selves in a ben­e­fi­cial pro­gram like cadets.

“The peo­ple they be­come, it makes a big dif­fer­ence in their life,” said Clarke.

“I think we did re­ally well. Over the year, we did a lot of exhibitions and we’ve come pretty far to­gether as a corps.” — War­rant Of­fi­cer

Rebecca Power

Lord Strath­cona

Ev­ery year, a cadet is awarded the Lord Strath­cona Trust Medal. This medal is the high­est award given to an in­di­vid­ual cadet in Canada, and is in recog­ni­tion of ex­em­plary per­for­mance in phys­i­cal and mil­i­tary train­ing.

This year’s re­cip­i­ent was Sgt. Rebecca Power. Power is a Level I stu­dent at As­cen­sion Col­le­giate in Bay Roberts. She said she was im­pressed by the work she and her fel­low cadets did dur­ing the ACR.

“I think we did re­ally well,” said Power. “Over the year, we did a lot of exhibitions and we’ve come pretty far to­gether as a corps.”

For some, pre­par­ing for the yearend event may cause un­due amounts of stress, but not for 2372.

“I wouldn’t say it is as much stress­ful as it is fun,” said Power. “You’re with all of your friends.”

Be­ing awarded the Lord Strath­cona medal was un­ex­pected for the band mem­ber.

“I was re­ally sur­prised, but I was happy as well,” said Power. “It’s a big deal be­cause, nor­mally, I’m not the one who gets the awards and the cer­tifi­cates, but this year, I’ve done pretty good for my­self.”

In the first-aid de­mon­tra­tion, Chief War­rant Of­fi­cer Tay­lor Hutch­ings (right) ban­dages up the arm of Cpl. Devon O’Brien. Also help­ing are Lance-Cpl. Julie Ka­vanagh (left) and Sgt. Joseph Hutch­ings.

Pho­tos by Nicholas Mercer/the Com­pass

Capt. Dawn Bald­win gives the Lord Strath­cona Trust Medal to Cpt. Rebecca Power.

Mem­bers of the 2372 Avalon North band per­form dur­ing the ACR.

Trin­ity Con­cep­tion RCMP Const. John Clarke (cen­tre) shares a cou­ple of words with a 2372 Avalon North army cadet at the corps an­nual cer­e­mo­nial re­view at Amal­ga­mated Acad­emy in Bay Roberts on May 21. Also in the photo are (from left) War­rant Of­fi­cer Chantelle Power, Chief War­rant Of­fi­cer Tay­lor Hutch­ings and Capt. Me­lanie Snow.

Lance-Cpl. Nicholas Mug­ford does the hoola dur­ing the phys­i­cal train­ing demon­stra­tion.

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