Area cadets impeccable during inspections
119 Vickers Vimy Navy League corps holds 36th annual inspection in North River
Young cadets throughout the Trinity Conception region continue to impress at various annual ceremonial reviews. In this week’s edition, we shine a spotlight at inspections that took place recently in North River, Whitbourne and Harbour Grace.
A dynamic young cadet from Marysvale has earned a prestigious award from the Navy League of Canada, and distinguished herself as a promising young leader during a yearend cadet inspection in North River last month.
Twelve-year-old Tamika French from Marysvale, a chief petty officer and coxswain with 119 Vickers Vimy cadets, was named the top Navy League cadet in this province during the corps’ 36th annual inspection on Sunday, May 26. She also received the League’s medal of excellence, one of only two issued in the province this year.
At the corps level, she also claimed several of the top awards up for grabs, including best all-around cadet and the cadet choice award, capping off what has been a stellar four-year stint with the Brigus-based corps for French.
“It feels excellent,” French said of her success following the event, which took place at All Hallows Elementary in North River, with dozens of parents, family members and friends on hand to witness the impressive show of discipline, deportment, marching, music and physical training.
The recipient of the top cadet award is selected by the Navy League of Canada in Ottawa. Some of the criteria for the award includes exemplary dress, deportment, leadership skills and knowledge.
The medal was pinned to her uniform by her mother, Pam, while her father, Brad, captured the presentation on his camera.
When asked why she became involved in cadets, French replied: “I like getting involved.”
She said her cadet experience has helped her develop the courage to “do stuff,” and take on leadership roles.
She especially enjoys being a member of the drill team, and had plenty of praise for the officers who guide the corps.
French is a Grade 6 student at Amalgamated Academy in Bay Roberts. She plans to continue her involvement with cadets by joining the 249 Effie M. Morrissey sea cadets in Brigus next fall.
Words of praise
The reviewing officer for the inspection was Neil Mugford, a volunteer with Avalon North Wolverines search and rescue, who heaped praise on the young cadets for their commitment and effort.
The Brigus group is the largest of five Navy League cadet corps in the province. The others include three in St. John’s and one in Gander.
Navy League cadets are between the ages of 9 and 12 years-of-age, and unlike the traditional sea, air and army cadet program (ages 12 to 18), is not affiliated with the Department of National Defence.
The corps in considered a “feeder” organization for the more traditional units, though the performance by Vickers Vimy cadets on May 26 was impressive and demonstrated maturity and leadership well beyond the ages of the young cadets.
“It was another great performance. You will make great leaders,” said Bernadette Trickett of Brigus, speaking on behalf of the Navy League.
Vickers Vimy, which is named in honour of a wooden schooner from Brigus that operated in the 1930s, features young people from Avondale to Bay Roberts.
The corps was established in 1976, and is supported by Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 65 in Brigus.
Some 50 young people paraded with the corps this year, slightly lower than previous years.
The commanding officer, Lt. (NL) Demita Hynes, stated the following: “It is an honorable achievement to attain 50 cadets in today’s society with so many organizations out there looking for our youth. The staff are very proud of our cadets and the performance that they put off today.”
Navy League cadet Tamika French (left) is pictured with her proud mother, Pam French, on Sunday, May 26. Tamika was named this province’s top Navy League cadet during the annual inspection of the 119 Vickers Vimy corps, which is based in Brigus.
The inspecting officer was Neil Mugford (right) of the Avalon North Wolverines search and rescue group. He is shown here chatting with Petty Officer I Nick Mugford of Makinsons, while in the background are Lt. (NL) Demita Hynes, Chief Petty Officer Tamika French (coxswain) and Petty Officer I Edward Ryan.
Pictured here playing the glockenspiel are, from left, Petty Officer II Mackenzie Fewer, Petty Officer II Rebecca Snow, and Petty Officer I Juliann Keeping.
Lt. (NL) Dana Bartlett, the guard officer for 119 Vickers Vimy cadets, uses a lint roller to ensure the uniform of AC Patrick Gear of Colliers is perfect prior to inspection.
Petty Officer I Colby Pryor, quartermaster for the 119 Vickers Vimy corps, stands at attention next to the ship’s bell.
AC Shane Pollett is seen participating in the physical training display.