On December 12, 1813 Lord Strathcona Army Corp and 552 Key City Air Cadet Squadron came together for their first combined Christmas Mess Dinner, along with invited guests. Military Mess Dinners have been around for many years incorporating customs, traditions and rituals, which have been fashioned into works of art. It is an experience of fine food, beautiful décor and is intended to be a happy affair. The Mess Dinner allows all members, no matter their rank or element, to meet on a friendly but formal occasion.
One of the traditions is to have the youngest member be the commander for the evening. Having the two units, we decided on two Captains: Cadet Brittain from 1813 Army Corp and Cadet Belisle from 552 Air Squadron.
Following the formal portion of dinner, a few cadets delivered Impromptu Speeches, which is a part of the Effective Speaking Program hosted by the Air Cadet League of Canada. Air cadets will be competing in the Squadron Competition in February and Kootenay Regional Competition in March. Bravo Zulu to the two army cadets who volunteered to give the impromptu speech a try.
The Army and Air Cadet Leagues have created a Long Service Medal, recognizing cadets who stay with the cadet program for four continuous years. Lorenza Saule, British Columbia Air Cadet League, Kootenay Wing presented Warrant Officer 1st Class Cameron Hewison with his long service medal.
Our parents provided all of the food to make this a wonderful meal and our sponsoring committee’s donated extra food to the Street Angels.
The evening was topped off by Betty Nakahara, Royal Canadian Legion Ladies Auxiliary who presented Captain Dorothy Burt, 1813 RCACC and Captain Lori-Lee Bott, 552 RCACS with a donation of $500 for each unit, and Clive Brown, Royal Canadian Legion followed this by presenting both captains with a donation of $4000, from the Poppy Fund. Both units really appreciate all of the support received from Royal Canadian Legion and Ladies Auxiliary, Branch #24.
The Army and Air Cadets are working together, building stronger cadet programs in our community. We encourage youth (12 to 18 years) to join the unit that interests them the most. Both units meet on Tuesday evenings, 6:00pm to 9:00pm, September to June. The aim of the National Cadet program is to develop in youth the attributes of good citizenship and leadership, promote physical fitness and stimulate an interest in sea, land and air activities of the Canadian Armed Forces. Though the program is military based, there is no obligation for a cadet to join the forces.