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Photos: Estevan's army cadets hand out awards to end season

Sunset ceremony was held in front of the Royal Canadian Legion's Estevan branch.

ESTEVAN - The No. 2901 Estevan (Elks) PPCLI Army Cadet Corps handed out a number of awards, highlighted by a couple of special presentations, during their annual sunset ceremony on Tuesday night.

The service began with the cadets and members of the Pipes and Drums Band parading in front of the Estevan branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, with family members and friends watching from along Fourth Street.

After the band played a few selections, and Commanding Officer Craig Bird addressed the cadets and the crowd, the awards were handed out.

Cadet Warrant Officer Jessica Slager was presented with a Legion Medal of Excellence. Bird noted that a limited number of medals are awarded to each cadet organization, so the level of proficiency among recipients has to be high.

“The recipients must have reached an all-around excellent and outstanding level of performance for at least two years. This cadet must be a model cadet and beyond reproach in all aspects,” said Bird.

He added that he knows it will be worn with distinction based on the way it was earned, and the legion hopes it will provide incentive for other cadets to improve their standing and strive for a similar recognition.

Also, former cadet Graeson Nelson, who has aged out of the program, was presented with a Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal by Estevan MLA Lori Carr, who said the medal would go to somebody who has served their community and province with honour, pride and dignity.

Only a select few cadets in Canada earned the honour, Bird said. The commanding officer noted that he wanted to present the medal at the annual ceremonial review earlier this year, but Nelson couldn’t attend due to schooling in Saskatoon.

Other medals handed out were:

  • Lance Corporal and Green Star: Acadia McCord-Southcott, Liam Tyler and Kale Marsdin;
  • Corporal and Red Star: Sofiya Vlezko, Kale Marsdin and Radburn Alfonso;
  • Warrant Officer: Oleh Sych, Jessica Slager and Levi Hollingshead;
  • Silver Star: Kale Marsdin and Andrei Balbuena;
  • Gold Star: Akara Reeves;
  • Master Cadet: Levi Hollingshead;
  • National Star of Excellence: Oleh Sych and Jessica Slager;
  • Army Cadet Service Medal: Jessica Slager.

Members of the Pipes and Drums band were also saluted.

Bird noted the sunset ceremony is a tradition in the army to mark the end of the day. The local cadets hold it to reflect the end of their season. Among the traditions of a sunset service incorporated into the Estevan ceremony was the lowering of the Canadian flag.