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Antigonish air cadet squadron sees significant growth in 2018-19

Central Nova MP Sean Fraser presenting Melanie Collins, Sarah Penney and Ben Polson of the 875 Antigonish Lions Air Cadet Squadron medals for 100 per cent perfect attendance during the year-end parade and ceremonial review on June 7.
Central Nova MP Sean Fraser presenting Melanie Collins, Sarah Penney and Ben Polson of the 875 Antigonish Lions Air Cadet Squadron medals for 100 per cent perfect attendance during the year-end parade and ceremonial review on June 7. - Sam Macdonald

Year-end parade and ceremonial review entails awards and promotions for members of the 875 Antigonish Lions

ANTIGONISH, N.S. —

It was a busy Saturday afternoon, June 7, at St. Andrew Junior School. Commands and protocol echoed from the gymnasium, and the crisp cadences of rubber boots hitting the wooden floor in unison could be heard from the parking lot, as the end of year parade and ceremonial review took place.

Air cadets in the 875 Antigonish Lions squadron stood ramrod straight, their uniforms immaculate, freshly shined boots gleaning like obsidian, showing the prim, military-caliber discipline they’d cultivated over the past year

Derrick MacKee, captain and commanding officer of Squadron the 875 Antigonish Lions Cadet Squadron, said this year was exceptional in that the squadron underwent an unprecedented interval of growth.

“In the eight years I’ve been with the squadron, I’ve never seen so many new cadets join,” McKee said. “It’s phenomenal. Some units from smaller communities are about 15-20 cadets strong, but for the size of our community, a 40-cadet squadron is a fantastic number to be at.”


PROMOTIONS:

· Air Cadet to Leading Air Cadet: Parker Coulter, and Mark Floyd

· Leading Air Cadet to Corporal: Cohen Chisholm, Melanie Collins, Antonio Cozzi, Paige Durant, Seth Falsnes, Haley Hensbee, Cole MacLean, Ben Polson, Casey Spencer, Christian Stuit, Nathaniel Stuit, Matthew Tremblay, Kheiran Welsh and Khelsea-Lee Welsh

· Corporal to Flight Corporal: Gabriel Cozzi, Kaitlyn Penney and Jacob MacDonald

· Flight Corporal to Sergeant: John Beaton, Sarah Penney, Elizabeth Sorensen and Lindsay Tremblay

· Sergeant to Flight Sergeant: Sydney Bower, Colby Cunningham, Carter Dun, Sam Knox and Grace Sorensen

· Warrant Officer Second Class to Warrant Officer First Class: Alex DeYoung

While the squadron grew in raw numbers, McKee noted that was not the only metric by which the squadron grew this past year,


This year, the officers took a number of cadets without experience in leadership positions in the unit and moved them into those positions.
That, McKee noted, gave those cadets an opportunity to grow – an opportunity that paid off.

“They excelled, took a number of unfamiliar roles and helped mentor the younger cadets. It turned them into fantastic young leaders, and this year, we saw a tremendous amount of growth in the squadron,” McKee said.

The year-end parade and ceremonial review are a culmination of the year’s efforts of the cadet squadron, McKee said, where family and friends get an insight into all the work the cadets have been doing throughout the year up to that point.

“We present awards and the dignitaries there inspect cadets,” McKee said. “We award promotions and it’s generally a celebration of all the hard work they’ve done over the year.”



AWARDS

The following awards were given to cadets at the year-end parade and ceremonial review.

· Perfect 100% attendance award: Leading Air Cadet Melanie Collins, Flight Corporal Sarah Penney and Leading Air Cadet Ben Polson

· Excellent attendance award: Leading Air Cadet Seth Falsnes, Sergeant Sam Knox, Flight Corporal Jacob MacDonald, Flight Corporal Elizabeth Sorensen, Sergeant Grace Sorensen and Flight Corporal Lindsay Tremblay

· Outstanding attendance award: Sergeant Sydney Bower, Leading Air Cadet Cohen Chisholm, Sergeant Colby Cunningham, Leading Air Cadet Paige Durant, Leading Air Cadet Haley Hensbee, Warrant Officer Second Class Jamaal Jordan, Flight Corporal Michael Sorensen, Leading Air Cadet Matthew Tremblay and Leading Air Cadet Khelsea-Lee Welsh

· Top Cadet award: (Level 1): Leading Air Cadet Seth Falsnes (Level 2): Leading Air Cadet Christian Stuit (Level 3): Flight Corporal Elizabeth Sorensen (Level 4): Sergeant Carter Dunn (Level 5): Warrant Officer Second Class Alex DeYoung

· Most Improved (Biathlon): Flight Corporal Elizabeth Sorensen

· Most Improved (Musician): Leading Air Cadet Khelsea-Lee Welsh

·Top Musician Award: Sergeant Grace Sorensen

· Most Improved (Cadet): Leading Air Cadet Haley Hensbee

· Commanding Officer’s Plaque: Sergeant Grace Sorensen

· Roy Baskin Memorial Award: Sergeant Sam Knox

· Ray Baker Memorial Award: Leading Air Cadet Christian Stuit

· Wade Fisher Memorial Award: Sergeant Grace Sorensen

· Francis ‘Rocky’ MacDougall Memorial Award: Sergeant Carter Dunn

· Air Cadet Long Service Medals (four years of service) were awarded to Sergeant Sydney Bower, Sergeant Carter Dunn, Sergeant Sam Knox and Flight Corporal Lindsay Tremblay.

· Air Cadet Long Service Medals (First bar, for five years of service) were awarded to Flight Sergeant Matthew Chisholm, Warrant Officer Second Class Alex DeYoung and Warrant Officer Second Class Jamaal Jordan.

· Royal Canadian Legion Medial of Excellence: Flight Corporal Sarah Penney

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