April 6, 2018 will go down in infamy as the day when a semi-tractor trailer truck and coach bus collided near Armley, Saskatchewan. The tragedy is further amplified by the fact that the bus was carrying the Humboldt Broncos, a junior ice hockey team outfitted with players 20 years old and younger. The team competes in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL). Ten players, two coaches, an athletic therapist, two employees from a local radio station, and the bus driver did not survive the collision. Those that did were left severely injured. The driver of the semi-tractor trailer is now facing multiple criminal charges.
News of the tragedy spread very quickly throughout the country and later the world. Many organizations, politicians, foreign dignitaries, and celebrities have offered their condolences to the victims, the team, and their family members. I found out from reading Internet articles. (I don’t own a tv up here). The bus crash made me think of my younger cousin. He’s not a member of the Broncos but he does play in the SJHL. He most likely travels with his teammates to out-of-town games on coach buses.
People were encouraged to wear sports jerseys on April 12 to remember the victims of the crash. A number of teachers & students at Inuujaq School followed this request and assembled in the playground during afternoon recess for a group photograph. Unfortunately, I don’t own a sports jersey, so I demoted myself to photographer.
Other tributes that have been done are: leaving hockey sticks outside peoples’ houses, turning the crash site into a memorial, and a GoFundMe fundraising effort for the victims and their families. I, and I’m pretty sure everyone else, hope that an accident such as this will never happen again.
|Royal Regiment of Canada flag.|
3045 Army Cadet Corps held a second Annual Ceremonial Review (ACR) Parade on the evening of Wednesday, April 25. Brigadier General K.L. Woiden, Commander of the National Cadet & Junior Rangers Support Group, was the Guest Reviewing Officer (GRO). In short, BG Woiden is the officer in charge of Canada’s cadet program. Hosting the top boss would be, and was, a huge honour for 3045.
Two northern corps were notified of the General’s plans to visit them in April. The two corps were Arctic Bay & Iqaluit. Flights were booked, accommodations were found, and schedules were finalized. The General wouldn’t be travelling alone. Two administrative officers would be accompanying him. Promotions and several awards were withheld from the first ACR so that there would be something to present with the General in attendance. Since the first ACR Parade was a success, I felt confident that the second one would be even better.
The second ACR Parade followed the same format as the first one. I marched into the gym, escorting General Woiden to front. He inspected the cadets on parade and observed the March Past.
|Brigadier General Woiden|
General Woiden gave a short speech to the people in attendance. He talked about what it’s like being in charge of the cadet program, frequently travelling across the country to visit various corps, and seeing Canadian youth being molded into future leaders. He confessed that this was his first time visiting 3045 & Arctic Bay, but was glad to be able to do in his position. He further explained that he was retiring in June.
|Me receiving the Brigadier General's coin.|
|Frank May receives the Brigadier|
The General continued his presentation by awarding me his coin as a way of recognizing and acknowledging the hard work that I have done and will continue to do as commanding officer (CO) of the corps. He also bestowed his coin to Lt. (ret). Frank May, also for the hard work he has done as the previous CO and for helping me as a civilian volunteer. The top cadet of the corps was the third person to receive the General’s coin for exemplifying good leadership, behaviour, and deportment.
|Cadet MCpl Pauloosie receives the Brigadier General's coin.|
The manager of the Northern Store presented a cheque to the corps for $855.31. The money was from the company’s Greener Living program, given to local organizations who do activities that benefit the environment. In the corps’ case, the money will be used for the next community garbage clean up in early September.
I called up the cadets who earned the four special awards at the first ACR to have their pictures taken with General Woiden. They were all smiles while holding the trophies & plaques.
|Two junior cadets being promoted.|
The next part of the parade were the cadet promotions. Five junior cadets were promoted to the ranks of Lance Corporal and Corporal. Two senior cadets were promoted to the ranks of Master Corporal (MCpl) and Sergeant (Sgt).
|MCpl Pauloosie receives her promotion to Sgt.|
I briefly took over the parade to make a special announcement. Through the power of Internet & email, I was informed that the marksmanship team had done really well at the Stage III Marksmanship competition in Gimli, MB. In fact, they were the top team in the Eastern Arctic Division. The team would be advancing to the National Competition in Victoria, BC, in early May. This is the first time in the corps’ history that an entire team would be “going to Nationals.” Everyone applauded the team members in attendance.
|BG Woiden & his staff receive picture books from the Hamlet Office.|
The last presentation of the night was done by the Hamlet Office. They presented General Woiden and his staff with picture books of Arctic Bay as a way of thanking them for visiting the community. The books were put together by Clare Kines.
The cadets & I posed for group photographs with General Woiden and his staff. Everyone was then dismissed to enjoy the snacks at the reception.
|Several of my cadets convinced me to take a selfie with them after the parade.|