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Lots of awards handed out to Olds air cadets

The annual parade and inspection was held May 30 in the auxiliary ice surface of the Sportsplex and was followed by a banquet and second awards ceremony

OLDS — The Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron 185 held its annual inspection and awards ceremony May 30 at the Sportsplex auxiliary surface and the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #105.

Warrant Officer First Class D. Schafer went home with a bundle of major awards and warrant Officer Second Class J. Owen-Pole received the highest civilian award that can be granted to a cadet.

The first two awards were handed out during the parade and inspection.

This year, the reviewing officer for that was Maj. K.E. Doner, commanding officer, southern Alberta.

Schafer received the Royal Canadian Legion Cadet Medal of Excellence.

It goes to a cadet who among other qualities, demonstrates strong community service and those attributes which contribute toward good citizenship.

It is presented on behalf of the Alberta and Northwest Territories command of the Royal Canadian Legion.

During the banquet in the legion, Schafer received the Grant Cunningham Award which is named in honour of a former cadet who loved the flying program but was killed in an aircraft accident. 

The award, in the form of a $1,000 cheque, goes to a cadet who exemplifies the ideals of the program and its purpose is to help that cadet continue flying.

Schafer was also presented with the Warrant Officer plaque which goes to a Warrant Officer First Class in recognition of all the hard work and leadership demonstrated during the year.

During the parade and inspection ceremony, Owen-Pole, described as “a very deserving cadet,” was presented with the Lord Strathcona Medal and a certificate of merit.

“This medal is the highest civilian award that can be granted to a cadet in recognition of high performance in physical and military training,” the crowd was told. Its purpose is also to foster patriotism and citizenship.

Following are other awards handed out during the banquet

Outstanding Cadet of the Year, President’s Trophy: WO2 E. Pieper.

Best Dress and Deportment: Cpl. L. Jansen.

Best First Year Shot and Best Squadron Shot: LAC N. Quantz.

Most Improved Band Cadet: Cpl. W. Whittle.

Top Band Cadet: F/Cpl. E. Bird.

Best First Year: LAC R. Pieper.

Dedication and Enthusiasm: Cpl. L. Ricklefs.

Top Instructor: F/Sgt. J. Schafer.

Best Junior NCO: Sgt. M. Gillings.

Best Senior NCO, Brian Leatherdale Award: F/Sgt. C. Ibbotson.

Maj. Doner told the crowd during the parade that the Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron 185 is a leader among cadet squadrons outside major southern Alberta centres.

“You’re leading the way with the formation of a community,” she said.

“We’re creating a community with common values in the air cadet program. And this community is what is going to lead our future.

“They’re the leaders of our country and our community now and in the future.”

During the banquet, Town of Olds Mayor Judy Dahl echoed Doner’s theme.

“I’m very proud of you,” she said. “You are ambassadors today and mentors for tomorrow’s cadets. Your leadership will live well in the future and your journey is just beginning.”

Dahl said the cadets’ parents, extended family and friends admire the dedication they showed toward the program and the community.

Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron 185 Parents’ Association chair Teena Thompson praised the officers, sponsors, volunteers and parents of the cadets for a very successful year of training and fundraising.

Warrant Officer First Class D. Schafer addressed his fellow cadets and parents.

He thanked cadets of all levels for all they’ve done during the year.

“I see enthusiasm I haven’t seen in many years,” he told the level 1 cadets. “Seeing you come in full of joy, hope, it’s incredible. I would encourage you to come back next year, the year after. Keep coming.”

Schafer also thanked the parents for all the effort they’ve done to enable the cadets to participate in the program.

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