WE’KOQMA’Q: The Annual Ceremonial Review for RCSCC 355 Cape Breton was held on May 7.
In attendance were community members, parents/guardians, dignitaries, representatives from the Royal Canadian Legion – Nancy Turbill and Dougall MacLean, Reviewing Officer George Sark, United States Navy (Retired), President of the Cape Breton Region Navy League Ben Haighway, Local President of the Whycocomagh Navy League John William Cremo, and cadets.
For generations it has been a tradition of the Mi’kmaq to serve their Nation in the Canadian Armed Forces, as well as the United States Armed Forces. It was with this respect for tradition, that the Cadet Corps was established in We’koqma’q in 2010.
In this training year, cadets did well at the biathlon competition in Mira; a combination of metal target shooting and endurance running, including an individual bronze medal for Jade Sark. The biathlon was open to all Air, Army and Sea Cadet Squadrons and Corps in Cape Breton. The Biathlon Team included Jade Sark, Isaiah Martin, Tobey, Taylor, Rodney, and Kimberly Googoo.
It was also the third year for RCSCC 355 Cape Breton to take part in the Cape Breton West Zone Marksmanship competition, this time in Glace Bay involving Sea, Army and Air Cadets combined. Lexiney Googoo had the highest score for the corps, and other team members included Tobey, Taylor, Rodney, and Kimberly Googoo, with overall improvement from previous years.
The ORCA Deployment of 2018 in British Columbia was granted to Jade Sark this year. Cadets fly out to British Columbia, learning more about navigation, maneuvering a real ship, and other aspects of the many roles of a member of the Royal Canadian Navy.
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets and Battle of the Atlantic, a group of 355 Cadets were part of the commemoration parade in New Waterford.
Other activities included the third official Christmas Mess Dinner where this time parents/guardians and elders were also invited. There were also Nautical Weekends at the Canadian Coast Guard College in Sydney – now including a whaler, sail boats, canoes, and swimming.
Cadets attended three Remembrance Day ceremonies in Whycocomagh village, as well as We’koqma’q school and community; the Cape Breton Region Regionally Directed Activity skills competition at the CCGC in Sydney – placing third in the seamanship competition; as well as an Interdivisional Seamanship Competition Weekend where cadets learned concepts in navigation, used the portable ship’s simulator, participated in rope and tackle work, and rigged the gyn. There is another Nautical Weekend scheduled at the Coast Guard College from May 25-27.
Many cadets have been selected already this year for the Acadia and Argonaut CSTC Summer Training Camps.
CPO1 Kimberly Googoo will be a staff cadet at Gagetown (Argonaut) for the second time. Cadets will also be going to the RCAF Snowbirds Air Show on May 30, Orienteering with the Cheticamp Army Corps in June and there will be activities at Victoria Park.
The cadets of this year have met the challenge so far, and there is much potential to exceed the accomplishments of this year.
The commanding officer, Lieutenant (Navy) Andrew Smith and A/SLt Darlene Gillis agreed it was a busy, but good training year.
Awards, promotions and medals included marksmanship pins for Taylor and Tobey Googoo; Best in Phase 1 AB Isaiah Martin; Phase 3 MS Taylor Googoo; Phase 4 PO2 Jerome Gould; Esprit de Corps MS Taylor Googoo; Leadership PO2 Lexiney Googoo; and Commanding Officer’s Award to PO2 Tobey Googoo. Promotions were made to Able Seaman Maylene Googoo, Able Seaman Isaiah Martin, Master Seaman Oliver Bernard, and Petty Officer First Class Jalen Gould. Four year medals went to Chief Petty Officer Kimberly Googoo with fifth year clasp, PO1 Jalen Gould and PO2 Jade Sark. The Corps Chief also earned the Legion Medal of Excellence and that was CPO1 Kimberly Googoo.