32 Beothic cadets show re­silience

Har­bour Grace sea cadets bounce back from loss of equip­ment, low en­rol­ment

The Compass - - OPINION - BYMELISSA JENK­INS SPE­CIAL TO THE COM­PASS

The Royal Cana­dian Sea Cadets 32 Beothic Corps of Har­bour Grace had a very dif­fi­cult year, but over­came its many chal­lenges with a pos­i­tive and suc­cess­ful an­nual cer­e­mo­nial re­view at St. Fran­cis School on May 25.

Com­mand­ing of­fi­cer Lt. Brian Quinn, a 25year-old Har­bour Grace na­tive, praised the squadron mem­bers for their ded­i­ca­tion and in­volve­ment dur­ing the year, and their pa­tience in over­com­ing a very dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion in Fe­bru­ary — the loss of a sig­nif­i­cant amount of their equip­ment in a fire.

“This year has been tough, but ev­ery­thing worked out in the end,” he told a group of some 70 peo­ple at the group’s awards ban­quet.

A rough year

Equip­ment for the corps was stored at Sin­yard’s Phar­macy on Harvey Street in Har­bour Grace when a fire broke out on Valen­tine’s Day. The corps’ band in­stru­ments, ad­min­is­tra­tive sup­plies and records were de­stroyed in the blaze.

The Town of Har­bour Grace of­fered to store ev­ery­thing that made it out of the fire at its town of­fice.

Cadet band leader Chief Petty Of­fi­cer 2nd Class, An­drew Ros­siter, led a group of only three cadets in sev­eral mu­si­cal per­for­mances.

Ros­siter played the snare drum, Petty Of­fi­cer 1st Class Shanda Verge per­formed with the glock­en­spiel and Mas­ter Sea­man Devon Pike played the bass drum.

In­stru­ments were do­nated to the group by 295 Bac­calieu Sea Cadet Corps in Old Per­li­can for the event.

Dur­ing the fire, the corps lost a naval mast — a wooden dis­play shaped like the mast of a boat.

The Cana­dian Forces Sta­tion in St. John’s sur­prised the group with a re­place­ment dur­ing the re­view, which in­cluded wooden frame­work, ropes and pul­leys and a buoy with “RCSCC 32 Beothic” dis­played on it.

An­other is­sue the corps faced was de­clin­ing en­rol­ment.

Lt. Quinn told The Com­pass when he started at 32 Beothic when he was 12-years-old there were some 30 mem­bers en­rolled, and this year the num­ber was sig­nif­i­cantly less.

“We started with 18 in Septem­ber but only fin­ished with 13,” he ex­plained. “We would like to see the num­bers go up.”

There were only 10 cadets last year.

Cadet demon­stra­tions

The mem­bers per­formed sev­eral demon­stra­tions through­out the af­ter­noon, in­clud­ing the tra­di­tional drill team per­for­mance, but added a few orig­i­nal ones as well.

Petty Of­fi­cer 1st Class Ja­cob Elyk, a Grade 11 stu­dent at Car­bon­ear Col­le­giate, led a group of four cadets in a phys­i­cal fit­ness demon­stra­tion.

“It is im­por­tant to be phys­i­cally fit as a sea cadet,” Elyk told the gym­na­sium filled with fam­ily, lo­cal of­fi­cers and spe­cial guests.

His quirky sense of hu­mour was ap­par­ent as he led each cadet in a show of skills re­quired for weekly phys­i­cal fit­ness classes, mak­ing the en­tire gym laugh at each sta­tion.

Each cadet demon­strated a dif­fer­ent ac­tiv­ity — a beep test, crunches, pushups and flex­i­bil­ity.

Mas­ter Sea­man Mon­ica Grif­fin, a Grade 9 stu­dent at St. Fran­cis in Har­bour Grace, pre­sented a game of Jeop­ardy to eight cadets with cat­e­gories in sail­ing, marks­man­ship and lead­er­ship, among oth­ers.

It was a close bat­tle by the two teams, led by Ros­siter and Elyk, ul­ti­mately re­sult­ing in a win by Elyk’s team.

Ros­siter, who is a Grade 12 at Car­bon­ear Col­le­giate, also led a demon­stra­tion that he planned based on an im­por­tant part of his life — fire­fight­ing.

Ju­nior fire­fighter

Ros­siter is a ju­nior fire­fighter with the Har­bour Grace Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment.

“The cadets did a night at the fire hall, and the depart­ment asked who wanted to join the bri­gade as ju­niors, and I said ‘yes,’” he said about how his in­ter­est be­gan.

Ac­cord­ing to Ros­siter, a ju­nior vol­un­teer fire­fighter is some­one un­der the age of 19 who trains with the depart­ment in var­i­ous drills and learns how to be­come a full-fledged bri­gade mem­ber when they come of age.

First year cadet Or­di­nary Sea­man Ben­jamin Burke dressed in the fire­fighter’s uni­form, in­di­vid­u­ally show­ing each step while Verge nar­rated his ac­tions.

With the help of Or­di­nary Sea­man Bai­ley Pike and Mas­ter Sea­man Brian McCarthy, the crowd watched the cor­rect way to roll up a fire hose, me­tal end first.

Demon­strat­ing knowl­edge

Cadets gath­ered in groups of two and three be­hind ta­bles next to the west wall of the school gym­na­sium af­ter the in­spec­tion and demon­stra­tions. Be­hind them were posters pre­sent­ing dif­fer­ent sea cadet re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties and knowl­edge.

All cadets picked a topic, worked as teams and com­pleted the posters for Re­view­ing Of­fi­cer Cmdr. Lawrence Trim of the Royal Cana­dian Navy, in­vited guests and fam­ily in at­ten­dance.

Ev­ery­one had the op­por­tu­nity to quiz the cadets and ask them ques­tions to see how much they knew about their cho­sen topic.

Some of the top­ics in­cluded marks­man­ship, in­volve­ment in the com­mu­nity, the his­tory of the corps and parts of a ri­fle.

Awards of recog­ni­tion

Chief Petty Of­fi­cer 1st Class Nathan Small was the coxswain dur­ing the event. He per­formed his du­ties with ease and ef­fi­ciency.

He was rec­og­nized with the Com­mand­ing Of­fi­cer’s Award of Ex­cel­lence, the top award pre­sented this year.

“Get­ting the of­fi­cer’s choice award shows that hard work and ded­i­ca­tion can pay off,” Small said. “It was a big sur­prise.”

In Jan­uary, he took on the role of Coxswain, but man­aged to jug­gle it with all the du­ties he cur­rently has, in­clud­ing his job.

Small is cur­rently em­ployed at The Source in Car­bon­ear and hopes to con­tinue his ed­u­ca­tion in the field of com­puter science.

Ros­siter also took home the pres­ti­gious Christopher Moores Nut­beem Me­mo­rial Schol­ar­ship for a de­serv­ing sea cadet who plans on at­tend­ing post-sec­ondary with at least a rank­ing of Chief Petty Of­fi­cer 2nd Class.

He wants to use his schol­ar­ship and ex­pe­ri­ence from the corps to even­tu­ally be­gin a ca­reer with the Cana­dian Coast Guard.

melissa.jenk­ins@tc.tc

Cmdr. Lawrence Trim (left) of the Royal Cana­dian Navy was this year’s re­view­ing of­fi­cer for the an­nual cer­e­mo­nial re­view. He quizzes CPO2 An­drew Ros­siter (sec­ond from left), MS Devon Pike (sec­ond from right) and MS Brian McCarthy on their dis­plays.

The Beothic band cur­rently con­sists of only three mem­bers, CPO2 An­drew Ros­siter (left) on snare drum, MS Devon Pike (cen­tre) on bass drum and PO1 Shanda Verge play­ing glock. They bor­rowed in­stru­ments from 295 Bac­calieu Sea Cadets to demon­strate their skill af­ter los­ing their own in­stru­ments to a fire ear­lier this year.

Pho­tos by Melissa Jenk­ins/spe­cial to The Com­pass

OS Ben­jamin Burke (left) and PO2 Kyle Hamil­ton hold a ri­fle in front of their projects, Marks­man­ship and Parts of a Ri­fle, dur­ing the 61st ACR.

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