Meet and greet, coin, to honour 100 years of army cadets in New Glasgow

Published on March 12, 2014

NEW GLASGOW – Captain Randy Royal looks back with humility on the instructors and cadets of the army cadet corps he currently leads.

Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps 219 New Glasgow Legion has been 100 years in the making as of this Friday.

“It’s quite a thing to look back on all the cadets, officers and volunteers that have been a part of this corps,” said Royal. “Many who got their start here have gone on to do great things.”

Among them is Nova Scotia’s lieutenant governor, retired Brig.-Gen. J.J. Grant, who was appointed to the vice-regal position after over 40 years of military service. His son, retired Lt.-Col. Bob Grant, was also as a member of the unit’s strength.

Current cadets include national biathlon participants Danielle Farrell and Cheyenne Heath and a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, Jennifer Wilcox.

The corps official historical records note the founding date as March 18, 1914.

This will be marked with a meet and greet at the New Glasgow Armouries this Friday, March 14, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The general public, along with friends, family, volunteers, officers and cadets past and present, are invited to attend.

There will be memorabilia from the corps past, including photo albums, long retired trophies and plaques, and the unit’s former flag that dates to the 1950s. There will also be a large cake to help celebrate.

“The British Union Jack is in the corner because the Canadian Maple Leaf Flag didn’t exist yet,” said Royal.

The corps Training Officer Lt. Dave Avery has seized upon a time-honoured military tradition. A special commemorative coin is being struck in honour of the 100th anniversary of the corps.

“I’m one of the directors at the military museum in Westville, which has the largest selection of military coins in the world,” said Avery. “After chatting with a few people I thought we should get one made for the corps.”

One hundred coins have been ordered and after viewing the samples, he’s very pleased with the result.

“The observe is the Royal Canadian Army Cadet badge while the reverse is a combination of the badges of our sponsor, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #34 and our affiliated unit the 1st Battalion Nova Scotia Highlanders.”

The coin also features the dates ‘1914-2014.’

For $25, orders can be placed for the commemorative coin, which should arrive by the corps annual ceremonial review on May 10.

On Twitter: @NGNewsJohn