With a large turn-out from community members, parents, alumni and dignitaries in attendance, Warrant Officer 2nd Class, Benn Fisher led the 155 Borden Gray (GC) Air Cadet Squadron into Parade Formation for the Annual Review.
The Annual Review, which took place on Saturday May 6th, 2017 at The Sault Ste. Marie Armouries marked 75 years of the Sault Air Cadet Squadron in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
Col. Nishika Jardine, CD Deputy Commandant, Canadian Forces College, and former 155 Air Cadet, was this year’s Reviewing Officer. With 35 years of distinguished service in the Canadian Armed Forces, Col Nishika Jardine began her military career in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario in 1982.
MP Terry Sheehan made a presentation to the 155 Squadron – a Canadian peace flag that flew in the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill. Sheehan told Superior Media that the average wait time is 63 years for a Peace Tower flag request to be honoured. The Peace Flag presented to the 155 Air Cadet Squadron on the occasion of the 75th Anniversary flew in the Peace Tower March 3rd, 2017.
Sheehan stated “The peace flag will be dedicated to two former cadets, Capt. Cliff Healey and Maj. Bruce Arnott, from Sault Ste. Marie, who died while serving in the Canadian military. It is a very special flag and I was honoured to be able to present this to the 155 Air Cadet Squadron today.”
During her address to the Air Cadets, Col Jardine stated, “It is reassuring to know that as the world changes, this programme endures. Thank you for all you do to continue the legacy and traditions of this outstanding squadron.”
Col Jardine acknowledged the parents, families, community members and alumni gathered in the celebration. “Thank you for supporting these kids. Without you – they couldn’t do this. On behalf of the Canadian Forces, I want to say thank you so much. It has been my privilege and honour to come back to The Sault and be part of this.”
To the cadets on the Parade Floor, Col Jardine said, “Being part of cadets gives you a good start in life – It will hold you in good stead. You could have chosen many other programmes – This programme asks of you to give of your time – It asks of you to polish your boots, and discipline your mind – To give your time to the community. You represent your community – you are in service to your city.”
In 1941 the Air Cadet League of Canada was formed to train young men while providing an interest and training in aviation and good citizenship. The 155 Sault Ste Marie Squadron was formed in 1942 – made up of boys aged 14 to 18.
In the 1990’s the 155 was named after Flight Officer Roderick Borden Gray G.C., a Sault native and one of only 10 Canadians in WWII to receive the honour of the George Cross, the second highest recognition for bravery in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth.
Over a thousand boys and girls have gone through the various levels of training where they learned good citizenship, theory of flight and had a flight in a glider or power aircraft with many going on to earn their glider or power pilots wings.
Women were officially admitted into the Air Cadet League of Canada in 1975. The 155 Air Cadets admitted female members to the squadron in 1973.