LITTLE CURRENT—The 348 Manitoulin Royal Canadian Sea Cadets held their 12th annual ceremonial review this past Sunday, demonstrating the disciplined work the cadets put into their training this past year.
The ceremony started with colours and the ship’s company falling in prior to O Canada. Following the national anthem, there was a minute of silence for members of the Canadian Forces veterans, past and present.
Lieutenant (Navy) Denis Blake was the master of ceremonies for the afternoon and welcomed parents, community members and distinguished guests to the event.
The reviewing party was led by Jeff Marshall. “Mr. Marshall was born and raised in Little Current,” said Lieutenant Blake. “After he completed school, he joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1952. He served on a number of ships including the HMCS Lauzon, a frigate, HMCS Restigouche, a destroyer, and the cruiser HMCS Quebec (previously named the HMS Uganda).”
“Mr. Marshall’s long time friend, (the late) Ed Kift, served on the Uganda during World War II,” continued Lieutenant Blake, noting that Mr. Marshall returned home to Manitoulin in 1978 after working in Brampton in the manufacturing industry. “Mr. Marshall was one of two individuals responsible for the formation of 348 Manitoulin Sea Cadets.”
The audience was asked to stand as the reviewing party entered and began their review. The party was comprised of Mr. Marshall, Commanding Officer of 348 Manitoulin Lieutenant (Navy) Maggie King-Roi, Manitoulin Navy League President Bob Jewell and North Bay Cadet Detachment representative Petty Officer First Class John Green.
“Fourteen years ago, a group of Navy veterans led by the late Ed Kift and Jeff Marshall of Little Current had an idea to form a Sea Cadets Corps on Manitoulin,” explained Lieutenant Blake of the history of the Corps. “Between 2002 and 2004, the Manitoulin cadets were a division of 134 Admiral Mountbatten Sea Cadet Corps at Sudbury. These veterans drove a group of cadets weekly for training to Sudbury.”
“In 2004, 348 Manitoulin Royal Canadian Sea Cadets Corps, obtained their charter and became a standalone corps,” Lieutenant Blake added. “Under the leadership of them and Lieutenant Carmen Laidley, the corps grew and matured. In 2007, the corps was led by Lieutenant (Navy) Deb Goode, then by Lieutenant (Navy) Denis Blake in 2009. In 2012, Lieutenant (Navy) Maggie King-Roi took over as Commanding Officer and remains in that position today.”
Lieutenant Blake noted that many former Manitoulin Sea Cadets have distinguished themselves and have become leaders in their community, business, civil service and the Canadian Armed Forces. “The Corps receives many compliments on the behaviour and professionalism of their cadets on parade and in the community,” he said. “The Corps has done very well in many competitions throughout the year which have included seamanship, orienteering and marksmanship competitions.”
Lieutenant Blake acknowledged the cadet marksmanship team (team captain PO1 Nick Harper, CPO1 Brad Sayyae, PO2 Miranda Mackay, MS Abby Harper, AB Ryan Jones), which came in second this year at the zone shoot in competition with eight other cadet corps in the Sudbury.
He credited the Cadet Regional Detachment and the Navy League of Canada, specifically the Navy League Branch of Manitoulin, for supporting the Corps and the hard work of the cadets, officers and civilian instructors that come together to make the program a success.
He also noted that Officer Tara Pascoe achieved the rank of Acting Sub Lieutenant and that Tina Davidson achieved the rank of Naval Cadet this year.
Next on the agenda, the cadets conducted a drill without arms routine led by Chief Petty Officer Second Class Rebecca MacDonald.
The newly formed 348 Manitoulin cadet band performed next, demonstrating their skills led by Petty Officer First Class Alexis French.
“The band was formed in 2014 under the tutelage of civilian instructors Chantal Beaulieu and Tina Davison,” said Lieutenant Blake. “The corps was able to purchase instruments after a generous donation by the Little Current Lions Club.”
Following the band, brother and sister Chief Petty Officer Second Class Rebecca MacDonald and Petty Officer First Class Ben MacDonald demonstrated their bagpipe skills.
There were several awards presented as part of the program, including a new one.
The first award, the Outstanding First Year Cadet CDR Roger Szydziak Award, was presented by Naval Cadet Tina Davidson to leading Seaman Lauren MacKay.
The Manitoulin Navy League Manitoulin Branch Outstanding Second Year Cadet Award was presented by Acting Sub Lieutenant Tara Pascoe to Master Seaman Vonn Clayton.
The Manitoulin Navy League Manitoulin Branch Outstanding Third Year Award was presented by Naval Cadet Tina Davidson to Petty Officer Second Class Miranda MacKay.
The Outstanding Fourth Year Cadet Award was presented by Acting Sub Lieutenant Tara Pascoe to Petty Officer First Class Alexis French.
The Most Improved Cadet Award for the cadet who has demonstrated a drive to work towards increasing skills in dress and deportment, drill and mandatory classes, was presented by UCCM Police Chief Rodney Nahwegahbow to Able Seaman Ryan Jones.
Petty Officer First Class Ben Sayyae received the Brian Chapelle Outstanding Citizenship Award, for being a cadet who is a good citizen and who strives to make a worthwhile contribution that benefits the country as a whole, by Mr. Chapelle of the Manitoulin North Shore Navy Veterans Association.
The Recruiting Award, the cadet who brought in the highest number of new cadets to the corps, was awarded to two cadets, Petty Officer Second Class Miranda MacKay and Leading Seaman Lauren MacKay, by Navy League Sea Cadet chair Carmen Laidley. The award also included a generous cash reward.
The Top Marksmanship Award, that goes to the cadet who consistently achieved the top score in both practice and competition, was awarded to Petty Officer First Class Nick Harper by Marksmanship Coach Acting Sub Lieutenant Tara Pascoe.
Master Seaman Vonn Clayton was awarded the Music Award for the Most Improved Cadet presented by Naval Cadet Tina Davison and Little Current Lions Club President Bruce Burnett.
The Most Dedicated Band Member Award was presented by Naval Cadet Tina Davison and Little Current Lions Club President Bruce Burnett to Chief Petty Officer First Class Bradly Sayyae.
The Esprit de Corps Award, a special award done by secret ballot by the cadets, is awarded to a cadet that demonstrated a positive attitude that contributed to the Esprit de Corps of the Manitoulin Sea Cadets. In honour of 348 Manitoulin Sea Cadets founding member Ed Kift, the award was renamed the Ed Kift Memorial Award for Esprit de Corps. Jeff Marshall presented the award to Chief Petty Officer Second Class Rebecca MacDonald.
The George Bury Memorial Award was presented by the daughter of Mr. Bury, Sue Morin, accompanied by the Commanding Officer Lieutenant (Navy) Maggie King-Roi, to Petty Officer First Class Bailey DeChateuvert.
The Male Proficiency Award, to the cadet who has demonstrated excellent qualities of leadership by influencing cadet behaviour so as to accomplish a mission in the manner desired by a leader, was presented by Manitoulin Secondary School Vice Principal David Winchar to Petty Officer First Class Quinton Cosby.
The Female Proficiency Award was presented to Petty Officer Second Class Miranda MacKay by Algoma Manitoulin MP Carol Hughes.
The Navy League Cadet Service Medal is presented to a cadet who has served four full years in a Sea Cadet Corps. Lieutenant Blake announced that this year there were six cadets that have earned the medal.
Little Current Public School Principal Jamie Mohammad, Manitoulin Navy League President Bob Jewell, Lieutenant (Navy) Maggie King-Roi, NOA Detachment representative PO Green, OPP Staff Sergeant Kevin Webb and retired OPP Constable Al Boyd presented the medals to Petty Officer First Class Bailey Dechateauvert, Nick Harper, Alexis French, Ben Sayyae, Brodie McAllister and Ben MacDonald.
The Legion Medal of Excellence is given to a cadet in recognition for individual endeavours in citizenships, which meet or enhance the aims and objectives of the cadet movement. This year’s award was presented by Branch 177 Royal Canadian Legion Little Current representative Comrade Roy Eaton to Petty Officer First Class Nick Harper.
The Legion Medal of Excellence for the Gore Bay Legion Branch 514 was presented by Comrade Eaton to Petty Officer Second Class Miranda MacKay.
“The Aging Out Award goes to a cadet this year who has turned 19 years of age in 2016 and will be completing their cadet career,” said Lieutenant Blake. “This cadet has indicated that he plans to pursue a career in the Royal Canadian Navy at the end of his schooling.”
Commanding Officer Lieutenant (Navy) Maggie King-Roi presented the award to Petty Officer First Class Quinton Cosby.
As is tradition, the corps presented cadets who turn 19 with a pewter mug with their name, corps name and career dates engraved. Retired Petty Officer First Class Luke Kageshongai and soon to be retired Petty Officer First Class Quinton Cosby were presented with the mugs by retired 348 Manitoulin Coxswain Chief Petty Officer First Class Andrew Blake and CPO2 Cindy Hu.
Mr. Marshall presented Chief Petty Officer Second Class Rebecca MacDonald with the Top Cadet Award.
A first this year, the Kagawong Cenotaph Committee awarded a bursary to a cadet who is attending post secondary education.
Committee representative Peter Fletcher presented the new award to Petty Officer First Class Alexis French.
Petty Officer Brodie McAllister and Petty Officer First Class Tim VanVolkinburgh were recognized for their fundraising efforts towards the corps trip to Vimy Ridge by Afghanistan war veteran Jim McAllister.
Chief Petty Officer Second Class Rebecca MacDonald received the Lord Strathcona Trust Fund Medal, the highest award that can be bestowed upon a cadet in recognition of exemplary performance in physical and military training.
“Not only is she (Rebecca) the second highest ranking cadet at the corps, she plays the bagpipes at an advanced level, maintains a high level of physical fitness and in 2015, she earned the distinction as the top cadet at Cadet Summer Blackdown,” said Lieutenant Blake.
Mr. Marshall addressed the crowd and cadets, saying what a pleasure it was to be able to be the reviewing officer and to attend the ceremony.
MP Carol Hughes also addressed the group, noting that her daughter had been part of the Sea Cadets and that it was a rewarding experience that they would carry over into their future endeavours.
Mr. Jewell also thanked the group for attending and commended the cadets on their hard work, as did Lt. King-Roi and NOA Reid.
The event concluded with refreshments.