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Year-end review honours achievements of Prince Edward cadet squadron

Reviewing Officer Captain Penny Irish congratulated Corporal Payton Blakely-Haennel for leading an impressive drill demonstration. Earlier, Irish presented Blakely-Haennel with the Reviewing Officer’s Award for Best Dressed Cadet at the Annual Review.

The year’s accomplishments by cadets with 851 Prince Edward Squadron were celebrated Sunday during the 42nd annual ceremonial review.

“You have taken the first of many steps that will lead you to a very rewarding future,” said Captain Penny Irish, Reviewing Officer, who grew up in Prince Edward County. “During your time at cadets, take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way… Reach out and reap the benefits… of the finest youth organization in the world.”

Irish noted she was particularly pleased to review the cadets, and to see awards and medals presented honouring achievements.

Of special note, cadet Aaron Wiik received the highest award that can be bestowed on a cadet and in doing so, was the second recipient in the squadron’s history to receive the Lord Strathcona Medal for exemplary performance in physical and military training.

Aaron Wiik received the cadets’ highest honour, the Lord Strathcona Medal, from Captain Adam Kidd and Captain Sean Murphy, (centre) Zone Training Officer for South Eastern Ontario Area and Regional Cadet Support Unit Central Representative.

“This was the result of a file review covering his entire six-year cadet career,” said Adam Kidd, the squadron’s commanding officer. “We nominated WO1 Wiik on the grounds of his non-stop academic excellence, community service, school leadership and general physical fitness training scores. He is also the first cadet in the squadron to achieve the rank of Warrant Officer First Class, since 2013.”

Rachael Cooper, now an RN and an officer cadet at 851, was the first recipient of the medal in 2011.

Wiik also received a Picton Elks Lodge bursary, shared with Warrant Officer 2nd Class Carey Evans. Both also received retiring cadets gifts from Kidd, along with Warrant Officer 2nd Class Sydney Creasy. The three were also presented their Air Cadet Service Medals and Bars from Janelle Bucci, Air Cadet League of Canada Ontario Provincial Committee Representative, and Director for 851 Squadron.

Corporal Payton Blakely-Haennel, who received the Training Officer’s Award and the Founders Award for Team Leadership, led a demonstration of drill work for the dignitaries, award presenters, families and friends in attendance.

Blakely-Haennel also shared a recent speech she wrote about self-esteem.

“Self-esteem is more than how we feel about ourselves,” she said. “It affects our jobs, our relationships and day-to-day lives… and can be affected by the obvious contributing factors such as popularity, criticism and bullying, but also by smaller things including acne, clutter and social media.

She offered suggestions to boost self-esteem, and to make a day better – including forgiving a friend, sibling or yourself; learning to accept compliments, and finding a supportive group of friends and “surround yourself with people who make you feel good.”

Commanding Officer Kidd said he felt good about the cadets, their achievements over the past year and Sunday’s review.

“The cadets did a great job today and should be so proud of themselves,” said Kidd who also thanked parents, staff, and supporters of the squadron.

Click here for more about the 851 Prince Edward Royal Candian Air Cadet Squadron.

Janelle Bucci, Air Cadet League of Canada, Provincial Committee Representative, and Director for 851 Squadron, presented service medals and bars to retiring cadets Aaron Wiik, Sydney Creasy and Carey Evans.

Sydney Creasy received the Legion Medal Of Excellence from MCPl (Ret’d) Mike Slatter of the Picton Legion and Diane Kennedy, President of Branch 78, Picton. Creasy also received the Branch 78 Royal Canadian Legion Instructor Award for an exception level of proficiency in the classroom, on parade and in practical lessons. She was also presented the Kinsmen Club of Picton’s Most Improved Cadet Award.

Thomas Sheil received the Most Improved Marksman award from Rachael Cooper, Assistant Training Officer.

Sidney Creasy received the Group Captain Bill Hockney Memorial Bursary toward post-secondary pursuits at a college or university from Doug Yates, past president of 415 Wing and Bill Mayer, president, 415 Wing Royal Canadian Air Force Association.

Kalika Young and Jackson Molyneux received the Jim Lounsberry Memorial Award for dedicating time and effort toward fundraising, training and citizenship activities from Anna Gulliver, daughter of Jim.

David Burn, Rotary Club of Picton Past President, presented Jackson Molyneux, Kalika Young and Liam Young with the club’s Citizenship Award.

Lt.-Col. (Ret’d) John Inrig presented Greg Talbot with the Kiwanis Jack Ward Memorial Award for Esprit de Corps. Talbot also received the Wellington Legion Golden Boot Award for uniform inspection sheets and the 415 Wing RCAF Association Air Rifle Marksmanship Junior Award.

Britton Creasy received the 415 Wing RCAF Association Air Rifle Marksmanship Senior Award from Bill Mayer, 415 RCAFA Wing President and Robert Bird, 415 RCAFA Wing representative.

Amber Saunders receives the Commanding Officer’s Award for Top First Year Cadet, from Captain Adam Kidd.

A young visitor watches the colour party during the Prince Edward Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron’s 42nd annual ceremonial review.




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