The third time did indeed prove to be the charm when the 3055 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps (RCACC) held its official 20th anniversary celebration in Naujaat on March 7.
The event had previously been rescheduled twice to no avail when Mother Nature simply refused to co-operate.
The corps commanding officer, Capt. Lloyd Francis, said the event went quite well, with 32 current cadets being joined by more than 50 people from the community to mark the event.
“Everybody talked about how much of an impact the cadets have made in Naujaat,” said Francis. “Twenty years later and the program is still going strong.”
Francis said the corps had to begin the proceedings with some administrative duties, and it was nice for the young cadets to have such a good gathering of people on hand to see them being recognized for their efforts.
“Some of our brand-new cadets, who joined this past August or September, received their first promotion to the rank of lance corporal,” he said.
“Then we gave out the biathlon pins, with those cadets who competed in the biathlon territorial receiving their silver pin and those who completed the biathlon training receiving their bronze pin. We also officially announced that (Warrant Officer Jack Kopak) would be doing an exhibition at Rocky Mountain, Alberta, this week.”
Francis had gotten in touch with a number of people who were involved with cadets while living in Naujaat, and asked if they could send photos or videos commemorating the occasion.
He said the next highlight of the evening was a slide show he put together from his own photos and those sent to him, which he set to music for the show.
“Jennifer Perry, a former officer, sent me about 30 or 35 pictures, and I pulled-out about 20 to 25 from the hundreds I have, so we watched some highlights of the past five years I’ve been here.”
The cadets performed a march and were reviewed by Mayor Solomon Malliki, corps elder Uluta Ivalutanar and Romeo Kopak.
“Jenni Chicarella, a teacher who was here for seven years, sent in a video congratulating the cadets on 20 years, (Perry) sent us a video, and the Rankin Inlet cadets sent a video of them singing happy birthday to us,” said Francis. “That was really cute. Our kids really liked that.”
Francis said a number of people spoke during the gathering to share a little on what the corps meant to them.
He said when it was his turn to share, he talked a bit about the camaraderie the 3055 RCACC shares with the other cadet corps in Nunavut.
“We’re competitive, but we’re really more like a family, especially now that there’s only five cadet corps in Nunavut.
Aside from Naujaat, Rankin Inlet, Arctic Bay, Cambridge Bay and Iqaluit also have cadet corps.