Chief Petty Officer First Class Hession passes Columbia’s ceremonial paddle to Honorary Captain Huberman. (Christopher Foulon/Special to Black Press)

‘Canada’s best kept secret’ program in Aldergrove a secret no more

Aldergrove sea and navy cadets held their annual ceremonial review on Saturday

Cadets from Royal Canadian Sea and Navy Cadet Corps Columbia held a combined Annual Ceremonial Review (ACR) at Naval Radio Station Aldergrove on Saturday (June 1).

The combined ACR commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Sea Cadet group, which has been in the community since their commissioning in July 1959.

Commanding Officer Lieutenant Vanessa Stewart has served as commanding officer of RCSCC Columbia since 2016.

“Years ago, they used to market our program as ‘Canada’s best kept secret’ and unfortunately for us, that was not the best marketing strategy – because our program should be anything but a secret,” Stewart explained.

The commanding officer believes the program is better listed as “the best free program Canada has” for those ages 12 to 18.

RELATED: Aldergrove Sea Cadets write Christmas letters to deployed CAF members

The combined cadet groups were reviewed by Honorary Captain Anita Huberman.

It was an opportunity for both Navy and Sea cadets to show off new skills learned over the year and receive public recognition, said cadet Sungwon Kim.

This year’s review was also bittersweet as the corps made their farewell to their coxswain, the most senior cadet in their unit.

Chief Petty Officer First Class Samantha Hession – who joined the Navy League program at age nine and continued as a sea cadet until the end of the year – expressed her sentiments about the proceedings.

“I have no words to explain how I feel, this corp has been apart of my life since I was 8 years old. To be the coxswain at my last final parade felt like a dream. I am unbelievably proud of all the young cadets on the parade deck showing off their skills,” Hession expressed.

Hession was an integral figure in the corps, demonstrating herself as a mentor to young cadets, Sungwon added.

With this year’s Annual Ceremonial Review completed in high colours, cadets look forward to celebrating again next year.

For more information about joining the corps call 604-814-6014.


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