CPO1 Abigail Harper named Top Cadet by #348 Sea Cadet Corps at annual awards

CPO1, and coxswain, Abigail Harper was named #348’s Outstanding Top Cadet.

MINDEMOYA – While it wasn’t full of the pomp and circumstance a typical awards ceremony would bring for #348 Royal Canadian Sea Cadets Corps (RCSCC) Manitoulin, the promotions and awards ceremony allowed for the cadets to celebrate one another live and in person.

Following a long pandemic-induced hiatus, the Sea Cadets have begun to meet again each Monday night, in person, at the Mindemoya Community Centre while following strict COVID-19 protocols. The cadets had been continuing to meet virtually, but #348 Commander Officer Sylvain Boucher admitted in a previous article that this came with challenges as not all Island communities are blessed with equal broadband access.

On Monday, November 9, the cadets of RCSCC #348 lined up in rows in the community centre, appropriately distanced of course, and awaited instruction from their CO. An excited chatter filled the air. The event was livestreamed on Facebook as family and friends were not permitted to the community centre due to in-person gathering rules.

CO Boucher bade everyone a good evening to which the cadets, briskly and in unison replied, “Good evening, sir!” and it was time to award the promotions—when cadets move up in rank.

The promotions for #348 RCSCC are as follows: Ordinary Cadet (OC): OC Julian Eadie and OC Samuel Pennings; Leading Cadet (LC): LC Landon Aelick, LC Carson Beauchamp, LC Hannah MacDonald, LC Braedan Bond, LC Lilly Rich, LC Shea Williamson and LC Katelyn Shank; Master Cadet (MC): MC Rhys Allison, MC Savannah Crack, MC Lydia Pennings and MC Benjamin Pangowish; Petty Officer First Class (PO1): PO1 Declan Allison and PO1 Ryan Goddard; and the highest ranking cadets in the corps, Chief Petty Officer Second Class (CPO2): CPO2 Dayna Beauchamp and CPO2 Lauren MacKay.

Next it was on to the moment everyone was waiting for: the awards. CO Boucher explained that awards were typically given out during the annual review, held each year in June. This year the review was cancelled for obvious reasons and the cadets had been waiting anxiously for five months to hear the news.

The awards are as follows: 

The Lieutenant Commander Roger Szydziak Outstanding First Year Cadet Award is for the demonstration of proficiency in dress, deportment and self-discipline: Congratulations LC Landon Aelick; Manitoulin Navy League Branch Outstanding Second Year Cadet Award is awarded for demonstration of proficiency in dress, deportment and self-discipline: Congratulations MC Cadet Rhys Allison; Outstanding Fourth Year Cadet Award is given for the demonstration of proficiency in dress, deportment and self-discipline: Congratulations PO1 Ryan Goddard; The Commanding Officer Outstanding Fifth Year Cadet Award is for top demonstration of proficiency in dress, deportment and self-discipline: Congratulations CPO2 Dayna Beauchamp; Most Improved Cadet Award is presented to the cadet who shows the most overall improvement in drill, dress and discipline: Congratulations MC Lydia Pennings.

The Ed Kift Esprit de Corps Award goes to the cadet that “significantly contributes to the feeling of pride, fellowship and loyalty shared by the cadets at RCSCC Manitoulin.” This year’s recipient is CPO2 Lauren MacKay.

Little Current resident and supporter of the cadets, retired colonel the late George Bury, was a veteran of World War II. Colonel Bury was a true gentleman and a positive influence not only with the corps, but in the Manitoulin community as well. The George Bury Memorial Award is presented to a cadet who exemplifies the Latin phrase ‘fidus amicus’ which means ‘a true friend.’ This year’s George Bury Memorial Award was presented to CPO2 Lauren MacKay.

The Bryan Chapelle Outstanding Citizenship Award goes to the cadet who is a good citizen and who strives to make a worthwhile contribution that benefits the country as a whole and not just themselves. Congratulations to MC Savannah Crack.

The Ed Kift Esprit de Corps Award is a special award named for one of the founding members of the Manitoulin Navy League that goes to the cadet that significantly contributes to the feeling of pride, fellowship and loyalty shared by the cadets at RCSCC Manitoulin. This year’s recipient is CPO2 Lauren MacKay.

The Top Marksmanship Award goes to the cadet who consistently achieved the top score in both practice and competition and was awarded to CPO2 Dayna Beauchamp.

The Cadet Service Medal is presented to a cadet who has dedicated four or more years of service to the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets. Congratulations CPO2 Dayna Beauchamp.

The Legion Medal of Excellence recognizes individual endeavours of a citizenship nature, which meet or enhance the purposes and objectives of the cadet organizations. This award is sponsored by Branch #177 Royal Canadian Legion in Little Current and this year’s recipient is CPO2 Lauren Mackay.

The Bryan Chapelle Outstanding Citizenship Award goes to the cadet who is a good citizen and who strives to make a worthwhile contribution that benefits the country as a whole and not just themselves. Congratulations to MC Savannah Crack.

Lastly, the Manitoulin Northshore Navy Veterans Outstanding Top Cadet Award is presented to the cadet who best exemplifies the cadet movement. The cadet chosen each year exemplifies excellence in drill, dress, deportment and leadership skills and is the most outstanding Sea Cadet in the Manitoulin Corps. Congratulations to CPO1 Abigail Harper, also the corps’ coxswain, on this most prestigious honour.

The Bryan Chapelle Outstanding Citizenship Award goes to the cadet who is a good citizen and who strives to make a worthwhile contribution that benefits the country as a whole and not just themselves. Congratulations to MC Savannah Crack.

CO Boucher concluded the evening by encouraging all those who did not receive an award that night to keep working hard and saying with a little dedication and persistence, it will happen.

To learn more about #348 RCSCC visit 348Manitoulin.com or search ‘348 Manitoulin RCSCC’ on Facebook. Families interested in the Manitoulin Sea Cadet program can also contact CO Boucher at sylvain@manitoulin.net.