Flight Sgt. Antonio Saunier receives the Lord Strathcona Trust Fund Medal  — the highest award that can be bestowed upon a cadet — from Commanding Officer Maj. Carrie Johnston.

Flight Sgt. Antonio Saunier receives the Lord Strathcona Trust Fund Medal — the highest award that can be bestowed upon a cadet — from Commanding Officer Maj. Carrie Johnston.

Air Cadets celebrate success, gear up for 70th anniversary

Royal Canadian Air Cadets hosted their annual awards ceremony earlier this summer. Preparations underway for anniversary celebrations.

Members of Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron 257 Parallel celebrated a year of hard work, dedication and accomplishment earlier this summer during their Annual Review and Inspection at Aggie Hall.

During the 2013 Annual Review and Inspection, a number of cadets were honoured with awards and certificates.

Flight Corp. Kyle Baird was named Top Junior Cadet, while Flight Corp. Nathan Fuller was named Most Improved Cadet.

The Outstanding Senior Cadet award went to Flight Sgt. Antonio Saunier, while Sgt. Brayden Cross won the Commanding Officer’s Award, and Sgt. Brandon Peterson won the Citizenship Award.

The Sponsoring Committee Award went to Peterson and Saunier.

Flight Sgt. Nicholas Openshaw received the Royal Canadian Legion Medal of Excellence, which recognizes individual endeavors of a citizenship nature which meet or enhance the aims and objectives of the cadet organizations and was presented this year by Chemainus Branch 191.

Saunier won the Lord Strathcona Trust Fund Medal, which is the highest award that can be bestowed upon a cadet in recognition of exemplary performance in physical and military training.

During the Annual Review and Inspection, the squadron teams were also recognized.

This year, the squadron entered a Senior First Aid Team to the Vancouver Island Competition in Port Alberni. The team leader was Saunier, and participants were Cross, Peterson and Fuller. The team would like to thank Dwain King of Ladysmith Fire/Rescue for volunteering to coach the participants.

The squadron also entered a Range Team to the Vancouver Island competition in Nanaimo this year. The team leader was Openshaw, with participants Saunier, Peterson and Corp. Garret Harris.

The Reviewing Officer for the Annual Review and Inspection was Commanding Officer Maj. Carrie Johnston, and the Air Cadet League Inspector was Al Walsh.

This is a big year in Squadron 257 Parallel’s history, and the air cadets are getting ready to celebrate a milestone.

Squadron 257 Parallel received its Charter from the Air Cadet League of Canada Feb. 9, 1943. To commemorate 70 years of air cadets in Ladysmith, the squadron will be hosting a multi-squadron and band parade Sunday, Sept. 22 at 1 p.m. along First Avenue.

Following the parade, cadets will form up on the Aggie Field for a military inspection, which will be followed by short speeches and demonstrations.

There will be an open house at Aggie Hall, featuring displays depicting the history of the squadron and of Aggie Hall, which has been home to the air cadets since 1943.