32 Beothic cadets show resilience
Harbour Grace sea cadets bounce back from loss of equipment, low enrolment
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.