Area cadets im­pec­ca­ble dur­ing in­spec­tions

119 Vick­ers Vimy Navy League corps holds 36th an­nual in­spec­tion in North River

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY TERRY ROBERTS ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

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.”

Pho­tos by Terry Roberts/the Com­pass

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.

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