Praising the benefits of the cadet corps program
As a lad in high school, I was a dismal student in math and French, and far too interested in young ladies my age, which distracted me from my studies immensely.
I flunked algebra and geometry in Grade 10, and that caused me to have to repeat that grade. My parents were obviously dismayed at my poor showing, and they were directed by a close friend to send me off to private school. I ended up attending Rothesay Collegiate School for Boys and as a requirement of every student had to participate in the Rothesay Collegiate Cadet Corp.
I didn’t mind that activity, one afternoon a week, which included marching practice, as well as a variety of military subjects which were eventually put to good use in a corps exercise and full inspection.
Of course, one of the most important activities included marching to the Remembrance Day activities at the Rothesay cenotaph. Never did I hear any fellow student complain about this activity. A large number of boys had family members at least two generations back who served in both world wars, and they seemed to consider it an honour to be enrolled in a military activity. My father and grandfather were not eligible for whatever reason, so all of this military stuff was really foreign to me.
I attended Rothesay for two years, and after that my exposure to military activities was absent. I flunked out again in math, on my provincial exams, and returned to Lunenburg Academy to try again to pass math. I did pass it and went on to Saint Mary’s University to study pre-dentistry. That was a really dismal effort, and university science courses left me standing in their dust. My chemistry professor gave me three on my year-end exam, and when I asked what that was for, he said “You spelled your name correctly, and you should know that this course is not for you. You should study something else!”
So, jump ahead a couple of years, and I found myself enrolled in the RCAF, and during basic induction I excelled in drill exercises, but after those weeks of basic training, I never again was required to go on parade. I trained as an air traffic control person, and tower duty kept me off parade for each Nov. 11. I found I didn’t really like the military life, so when my two-year stint was up, I was out of there like a scalded cat.
Well, history has a way of repeating itself, and now my granddaughter is attending a private school. King’s-Edgehill School combines the boys of Kings and the girls of Edgehill in one school, and I for one am very proud of her. I think creating co-educational school from the two private schools is a really great change.
Rothesay and Netherwood schools also combined, and both schools are very impressive indeed. Rothesay dropped their cadet corps activities, but King’s Edgehill has continued. They are a very impressive group when on parade, and I still think that activity is highly beneficial to the students.
Our granddaughter is really happy to be at KES and is doing very well in her studies. She is not very excited about being required to participate in cadets, but her parents and her grandmother and I all notice some subtle differences in her level of happiness and her attitude, and I think some of that is due to her involvement in cadets.
On Nov. 11 the KES Cadet Corp marched to the cenotaph in Windsor to honour those Canadians who gave their lives during two world wars. We were very proud of her participation.
Members of the Amherst Air Cadet squadron recently visited Ottawa, and I’m pretty sure they visited the national cenotaph. The cadets worked to earn money to underwrite expenses for their trip, and I am highly impressed with their commitment.
Their participation in such structured activity will serve them well throughout their lives and give them a basic understanding of the kind of effort that is required to make it possible to undertake such things as group travel. I applaud these young people and their dedicated instructors.
I am told there was an impressive turnout on Nov. 11 to the ceremonies at the Amherst cenotaph. All of you who were there are to be congratulated and thanked.