Editor's Note: for complete coverage of the annual review ceremonial review, including a photo feature and a list of award winners, see the May 8 print edition of The Compass.
There were heaps of praise and standing ovations for the young men and women of 295 Baccalieu sea cadets during the 27th annual ceremonial review April 29 at Baccalieu Collegiate in Old Perlican.
After each drill team finished its parade, officials and visitors stood in appreciation of what was occurring in front of them.
Reviewing officer Don Peckham praised the corps for the work done in the gymnasium.
"It's a privilege for me to be here and see you put on such a good show," he said.
During his address to the packed house, Peckham made note of a big red banner attached to the back wall of the gym. It read "Where the Proud Parade."
He said 295 Baccalieu has "justification" for flying the banner.
"You should be proud today for showing the leadership qualities that you did, for showing the discipline that I've seen today and to the professionalism you showed carrying out your artilleries," said Peckham. "Each and every one of you should be proud of what you accomplished today and this will help you as you go forward in other walks of life."
After he praised the cadets, Peckham focused on the people who work in the background - the family and friends of those in the corps.
"They will be great future leaders in your communities, in your province and in your country," he said.
Peckham ended his comments again praising the cadets for an "excellent" showing.
Lt.-Cmdr. Clifford Morgan, commanding officer for 295 Baccalieu, said this year was "a very busy training year," adding that it was a "very successful" year for the corps as well.
Morgan commended the cadets and their parents for the dedication they've shown over the past year.
"We know how difficult it must be on times to attend regular parades, whether mandatory or complimentary, and to attend the other functions we participate in," he said.
Morgan said the work of everyone involved, including sponsors, play a vital role in "what makes this corps work and be successful."
"What youth organization offers so much for so little and presents so many positive and favourable characteristics?" he asked rhetorically.
Morgan said he often approaches sponsors with the question - Do you realize what we have here?
"Think of the life skills and values offered. Think of the benefits of just being involved," he said. "Let's keep this corps a very viable operation long into the future."
295 Baccalieu parades with 80 cadets, which is "a little up from last year."
"We are still one of the largest corps in Atlantic Canada," said Morgan.
The corps takes in young people from 15 communities from Kingston to Winterton.
One of the longest serving members of the corps is Chief Petty Officer I Aaron Kelly.
Kelly received the Lord Stratacona medal during the review. It is the highest honour that can be awarded to a Canadian cadet and is in recognition of exemplary physical and military training.
"I feel very proud to have been awarded the medal," he said.
Aaron felt like his peers and officers recognized the hard work he puts in during the year.
"I put 110 per cent into everything that I do and to receive an award that shows people recognize what you do feels really good," he said.
Bay de Verde branch of the Navy League of Canada representative Joan Kelly said all cadets are appreciated for the work they do.
"We are so very fortunate to have such a dedicated group," she said.
Joan thought it was "special" seeing her son, Aaron, receive the Lord Stratacona medal during the review.
"I'm very proud of him and that's his passion," she said.
What made it more special for mother and son is the fact this is Aaron's last year with 295 Baccalieu.
"It's a moment that I got to share today, that I didn't really expect," said Joan
The annual ceremonial review capped off what was another successful year for the corps. Not only were they recognized as the top sea cadet corp in Atlantic Canada, but the competitive drill team captured the provincial crown for the third consecutive year.
"Everyone did a very good job and we worked very hard for it," said Aaron.