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50 years of army cadets in city

The members of 2677 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps of the Lanark and Renfrew Scottish Regiment of Pembroke gathered Tuesday evening at the Royal Canadian Legion to mark their golden anniversary.

Fifty years ago to the day, the corps was formed to help shape the hearts and minds of young people, and perhaps introduce them to a future military career.

The unit is one of several hundred cadet corps located across Canada.

During the celebratory dinner, several VIPs attended including former cadet corps commanders, all of whom had good things to say about the unit.

Jim Purcell, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 72's liaison officer with the cadets, said it gives him a great deal of pleasure to be seeing them assembled, stating he is sure everyone is proud of them for their accomplishments as members of the cadet program.

"The discipline you show here will serve you well in life," he said.

Wanda Lavergne, who was a cadet herself and had the distinction of serving as the unit's first female commanding officer in 1974-1977, said she is proud of her association with the cadets.

"It was a pleasure then, and is is a pleasure now," she said.

Al Tobio, who also commanded the cadets from 1988 to 1994, serves as a representative of the Army Cadet League of Canada (Ontario). He said the secret to the success of the cadets all these years is the same now as it was when it started 50 years ago; the support of the parents.

"That is a big factor for a cadet corps," he said, the ongoing support of the parents of the cadets, who help out in countless ways to keep the unit running smoothly.

Mr. Tobio wished the cadets assembled there ccess.

Bob Denault, president of Branch 72, congratulated the unit for reaching 50 years of service to the country and the community. He pledged the Legion's long time support for the corps.

"We're here for you as long as you are here," he said.

The 2677 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps of the Lanark and Renfrew Scottish Regiment of Pembroke was formed on March 1, 1961, and was sponsored by its affiliated unit, the Lanark and Renfrew Scottish Regiment.

Branch 72 of The Royal Canadian Legion assumed sponsorship of the cadets on Sept. 1, 1978, a role it has maintained to this day.

On March 18, 1993, reflecting changes in their affiliated unit, the Corps paraded with the Regiment to change cap badges from the Lanark and Renfrew Scottish Regiment to 1 Air Defence Regiment (Lanark and Renfrew Scottish) Royal Canadian Artillery.

During the late 1990's, the cadets paraded at the former Laurentian Public School gymnasium, now Equinox School, while their home the Pembroke Armoury was being renovated.

In the fall of 2006, the Regiment's name changed again, and the cadets followed. It went from 1 Air Defence to 42 Field Regiment (Lanark and Renfrew Scottish) Royal Canadian Artillery, the name it is known by today.

Army Cadets is a national organization for Canadian youth aged 12 to 18.

There are more than 25,000 cadets which are split up into over 450 corps across Canada.

If anyone is interested in joining the Army Cadets, please visit www.2677cadets.co. cc or call 613-732-4470, ext. 206.

Stephen Uhler is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist



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