Cadets Prepare For Diamond Jubilee Adventure

May 28, 2012

The Bermuda Sea Cadets selected to participate in the historic Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant in London have been working very hard to complete their preparations for the event.

Scheduled to depart on Wednesday evening, the work has not slackened for them one bit, and they will be very busy right up to the date of the event itself.

The five Cadets selected to participate have managed to raise the funds necessary to make the trip a reality, thanks to the enthusiastic support of their fellow cadets and the community generally.

They have also been training very hard over the past few months to hone their boat handling and seamanship skills, to ensure that they are able safely to navigate the Thames – in formation – during the Pageant.

Petty Officer Ian Frith, who will be the crew supervisor accompanying the cadets in the boat on the day of the Pageant itself, and who has been responsible for organising the local training efforts, notes that, “With 54 other Sea Cadet dinghies in our formation, and with over 1,000 other boats participating in the Pageant overall, there is no margin for error, and the Cadets must be ready to do everything required of them safely and efficiently.

“Thanks to a lot of hard work, I am pleased to say that they are ready for the challenge!”

The Department of Marine & Ports Services has also provided the Cadets with some critical support, in the form of a formal assessment of their skills.

First Class Branch Pilot Anthoni Lightbourne met with the Cadets last weekend to put them through their paces in a range of scenarios, including general boat handling, man overboard drills, docking, anchoring and towing.

At the conclusion of his assessment, Mr. Lightbourne was pleased to confirm the competence of the crew, providing them with the formal confirmation necessary to meet the requirements of the Port of London Authority.

The Cadets are now working hard to complete their school exams and coursework, and get their bags packed for the big event.

The Cadets will be housed with and preparing alongside the 300-plus other Sea Cadets participating in the Pageant, from all over the UK, which itself promises to be a fantastic experience.

Thanks to relationships built with the UK Sea Cadet Corps through the annual Bermuda International Exchange, the Bermuda Cadets are able to take advantage of Sea Cadet facilities near St. Albans to get in some last minute boat handling practice upon their arrival in London on 31 May.

PO Ted Hill, of the St Albans Sea Cadet Unit, will be helping to familiarise the Cadets with the boat they will be using for the Pageant.

The Bermuda Cadets will be joined in St Albans by a group of Hong Kong Cadets, who are also travelling to the UK for the Thames Pageant. Together, the two groups will be enjoying some sightseeing events [including a formal visit to #10 Downing Street] once the hard work of the Pageant is behind them.

The Bermuda Cadets, along with the Hong Kong group, will join the full contingent of UK Cadets on 1 June, and will be working along with them to prepare the dinghies for the Pageant.

“Whenever our Cadets have an opportunity to interact with their UK counterparts, they gain invaluable insight into the scope of the organisation they are a part of,” states Lt. Michael Frith, who will also be accompanying the Cadets to the UK.

“The fact that they will be participating with them in this once-in-a-lifetime event really brings home just how extraordinarily far-reaching an organisation the Sea Cadet Corps is, and they are very proud to be making history along with them!

“There will be a lot of work to do, but the Cadets are very excited about the challenge, as well as the opportunity to meet some new friends. I am very proud that our Cadets will be a part of this.”

The Cadets said they have received a great deal of support from the Government, through Major Marc Telemaque [in his capacity as Chairman of the local Diamond Jubilee Organising Committee] and Christopher Joell-DeShields of the Bermuda London Office, and from the Bermuda Society in London. As a result of their efforts, the Cadets received at very generous donation from Aon Benfield in London, in support of the Cadets’ fundraising for the trip.

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  1. PO Ted Hill says:

    We look forward in St Albans (UK) in welcoming the team from Bermuda. I was privilaged to come to Bermuda last year with UK Sea Cadets on the international exchange programme, I only hope we can offer the same level of hospitality.

    PO (SCC) Ted Hill MBE
    First Lieutenant
    TS St Albans