MEMBERS OF the 747 Terrace Air Cadets (Unicorn) Squadron combined a celebration marking its 50 years of existence with an annual review June 9 outside the cadet hall at Northwest Regional Airport.
Family and friends watched the cadets as they were inspected, applauded as awards were presented, listened to speeches and enjoyed a barbecue afterward.
Displays inside the hall highlighted cadet activities and provided information dating back to the squadron’s foundation in 1963.
Patrick Hall, a member of the Terrace Pipes and Drums and former air cadet squadron member and member of the Canadian Armed Forces, was the reviewing officer.
In a short speech, Hall noted that the squadron in its early years suffered a setback when its meeting space, the community centre, burned down.
“I doubted we would ever be able to recover, but recover we did,” he said.
Hall, a member of the squadron from 1964 to 1967, noted that cadets teaches young people key traits such as respect, loyalty and friendship.
While Hall doubted he would be here in 50 years time, he had every confidence the squadron would be celebrating its 100th anniversary.
Guests included New Westminster resident Richard Taylor representing the Air Cadet League of Canada, the civilian sponsoring organization of air cadets.
Fourteen awards related to cadet performance were handed out by different presenters.
Several of the presenters are former cadets themselves – Ravi Gill now with the American Department of Homeland Security, Murray Hamer who is now the squadron’s assistant training officer and Bill Spearn, now a sergeant with the Vancouver police force.
Sgt. Sam Christiansen was awarded the prestigious Lord Strathcona Medal as well as given the trophy for best attendance. The Lord Strathcona Medal is the highest award that can be given to a cadet.
Sgt. Johnathan Haynes was awarded the best uniform trophy and shared the survival trophy.
Best first year cadet was Cpl. Chance Soden while Cpl. Jason Pires was judged to have the most improved shot.
Best first year shot went to Leading Air Cadet Aleah McEvoy while Warrant Officer Second Class Christopher Bishop was named marksman of the year and shared the esprit de corps trophy with Warrant Officer Second Class Dakota Taron.
The cadet of the year was Flight Cpl. Lesley Hansen while the non commissioned officer of the year trophy was shared by Flight Sgt. Nicholas Ross and Sgt. Ashlee Thompson.
Ross shared the citizenship trophy with Warrant Officer Second Class Dakota Taron and he shared the sponsoring society trophy with Warrant Officer Second Class Bishop, Flight Sgt. Nicholas Ross, Leading Air Cadet Nadeen Sandberg and Air Cadet Jared Christiansen.
Warrant Officer First Class Lesley Green was the other cadet sharing the survival trophy and he was also presented with the commanding officer’s award trophy by squadron commanding officer Capt. Florence Braam.
One cadet received a significant honour. That story on Page A19.