From left: Cadetes Thomas Gold

From left: Cadetes Thomas Gold

Elk Valley Air Cadets continue to soar

The Elk Valley Air Cadets are heading into a busy home stretch for their 2014-2015 drill year.

Submitted by S.L. Furedi

The Elk Valley Air Cadets are heading into a busy home stretch for their 2014-2015 drill year, with first aid and effective speaking competitions, volunteering, gliding, trips and fundraisers.

Roger Fairhurst, co-chair of the 279 Squadron Sponsoring Committee (SSC) said, “Our cadets have been involved in so many activities this year, it’s amazing.

More than a dozen cadets and officers attended and passed the St. John’s Basic First Aid course to prepare for upcoming cadet and mine rescue competitions. Photo submitted by Trish Dyck-Mcartney

Fairhurst continued, “We sent five cadets to a range competition in Cranbrook in January, and a dozen cadets recently finished a first aid course to prepare for both cadet and mine rescue competitions. We were sponsored by donations from the legion [Michel Natal RCL in Sparwood] and Telus for this training, and we are very grateful for that.

“Another exciting opportunity for our squadron was the Regional Effective Speaking Competition,” said Fairhurst. “We did an in-house competition last month and chose three of our cadets to go on to Cranbrook. We are very proud to announce we had cadets take first and third.”

Flight Sgt. Joel O’Sullivan of Elkford will represent the East Kootenay region in Richmond, B.C. on April 12. This is the second time he has competed and won at regionals, and Flight Sgt. James Fairhurst took third place in Cranbrook.

“It’s a great skill for our cadets to have, but we know how scary public speaking can be,” said Fairhurst. “For our cadets to perform so well, it’s a true accomplishment. Cpl. Thomas Gold has to be commended especially, as it was his first time at the event. He’s actually younger than the other competitors but really stepped up.”

The squadron has also been active in the valley, helping at a pancake breakfast for Winter in the Wild in Elkford, and selling bingo tickets with the Sparwood Lions Club.

The next events for the squadron include an annual trip to Nanton, Alta. to the Bomber Command Museum of Canada, and a gliding exercise in Cranbrook, both combined with other squadrons in the East Kootenay region.

“That’s one of the best parts of cadets,” said Fairhurst, “getting to meet up with other squadrons and participate in these exercises. We’ve also done joint survival and sports weekends, and the cadets have an excellent time.”

To complete the training year, Elk Valley Air Cadets will hold their Annual Cadet Review in June, and then start packing for summer camps. Camps develop a variety of skills, such as drill skills, music, marksmanship, aviation, aircraft manufacturing and maintenance, aerospace and survival. The camps are fully funded through the Canadian Department of National Defense.

The Elk Valley Air Cadets meet Wednesdays from 6-9 p.m. at the Eagles Hall in Sparwood, and are open to anyone from the Elk Valley, aged 12-18. For more information on the cadets, call Capt. Murray Clow at (250)425-1271, or visit the squadron’s Facebook page at