Warrant Officer Ava Berlinguette receives the Legion Medal of Excellence from Ian Williams President of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 228. (submitted photo)

Warrant Officer Ava Berlinguette receives the Legion Medal of Excellence from Ian Williams President of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 228. (submitted photo)

Hope Army Cadet Corps celebrates end of year

Annual Ceremonial Review only saw four cadets but squadron still going strong

A small group from the Hope Army Cadets Corps gathered June 14 for a special event.

The Ceremonial Review is held annually to signify the end of the training year (September through June).

The graduation parade allows cadets to show off all that they’ve learned and accomplished over the previous 10 months, and this event was held at Hope’s Royal Canadian Legion Branch 228 hall (244 Fort Street).

After the parade, spectators are invited to enjoy refreshments, meet the cadets and view the displays they’ve set up.

Four cadets participated, far fewer than during pre-COVID times, when anywhere from 23 to 26 youths were involved.

“Many families moved out of Hope and many senior cadets got jobs or lost interest due to being unable to meet for so long,” said Capt. Marguerite Parsons, the Hope cadets’ commanding officer. “Under normal conditions numerous guests are invited (to the Ceremonial Review), including any dignitaries, politicians, etc and all family members possible. But under COVID conditions we had to keep it small.”

As the group looks forward to September, Parsons is hoping to see a major bounceback in membership.

“This an amazing and totally free program that focuses on citizenship, physical fitness, community service and leadership and stimulates an interest in the armed forces,” Parsons said. “They are under no obligation to join the armed forces, but the armed forces can offer them great careers down the road if they choose.”

“Anyone between the ages of 12 and 18 can join. As they progress through training they have opportunities to attend summer camps, take part in expeditions and earn school credits.”

Parsons noted that Master Cpl. Ethan Saamanen is going to Borden, ON, in July to attend the Expedition Team Member camp, at no cost to his family.

“The more cadets we have the more we can do,” Parsons added, saying she would like to see the return of a marksmanship team. “When we start up in September I would like to have as many new youth as possible join.”

For more info, email marguerite_parsons@hotmail.com or phone 250-612-7268.

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