A fine review for Avalon North cadets
Reviewing officer praises program, community for their support
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
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.
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.