The rain held off just long enough for the flag to touch the sky, and the many folks attending the raising ceremony to find dryer locations.
On Friday, Oct. 4, the Town of Antigonish raised the cadet flag on its pole just outside of town hall; just under the Canadian flag which will always stand tallest when sharing the pole.
Mayor Laurie Boucher read a proclamation declaring Oct. 5 as provincial Cadet Day, a day recognized in the province since 2010.
Commanding Officer 875 Antigonish Lions RCACS, Captain Derrick McKee, noted this was the second year the town has agreed to fly the flag in recognition of Cadet Day.
“It’s absolutely fantastic; this is the second year we’ve done it here in Antigonish,” he said. “It’s meant to really recognize the successes and accomplishments of cadets and leaders of the program throughout our province.
“Hopefully it will extend to similar days throughout Canada. It may not, but I think Nova Scotia has taken a great step in recognizing the efforts of some of the best young leaders we have in our communities.”
A flag was also raised at Province House in Halifax and Premier Stephen McNeil, provincial minister for military relations and minister responsible for youth, had this to say in a release.
“The cadet program offers young people an opportunity to come together and participate in a variety of challenging and fun activities that build skills they’ll use the rest of their lives,” McNeil said.
“We are proud to see cadets being active in their communities and making positive contributions right across our province.”
It’s noted in the release there are 85 cadet units in Nova Scotia and more than 3,000 youth, between the ages of 12 to18, are enrolled.
Among those are Melanie Gammon, chief warrant officer with the local army cadets, and Samuel Knox, flight sergeant with the air cadets. Both were on hand for the flag raising ceremony outside of town hall.
“I think it’s incredible,” Samuel said, in regards to seeing the cadet flag being raised.
“It gives us an opportunity to show the community that we’re here and growing. It’s an opportunity for young adults in the town to learn more and gain leadership skills.”
Melanie said being part of the cadets has helped her come out of her “shell,” while “gaining a lot of leadership abilities I didn’t have before I joined.”
She talked about joining after hearing about the positive experiences her friends were having in cadets.
“They were talking about it and I became interested,” Melanie said, noting it’s definitely playing into her future goals.
“After I finish cadets, I’m hoping to go to the Royal Military College [of Canada] in Kingston, Ontario; hopefully become a medical technician,” she said.
Asked what he has gained from being in cadets, Samuel said it’s “too many to list.”
“A broad spectrum of knowledge - basically everything involving aircraft, leadership skills,” he said, acknowledging a couple of key benefits.
Like Melanie, he sees cadets as a possible career springboard.
“I want to become an aircraft engineer, so, possibly, take a course at the NSCC in engineering or something along those lines,” he said.
For additional information on sea, army and air cadets, visit cadets.ca; and for more on navy cadets, go to navyleague.ca.