Nelson’s local air cadets squadron, shown here in a pre-pandemic photo, has been unable to meet since mid-March, so they handed out their awards and promotions during a virtual ceremony. Photo submitted

Nelson Air Cadets receive promotions and awards

The squadron has been operating virtually since March

Submitted by 561 Nelson Osprey Squadron

The cadets of 561 Nelson Osprey Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Cadets ended their 2019-20 training year with a virtual awards presentation. Since mid-March, the cadet program has been shut down for in-person meetings due to COVID-19.

The squadron has continued to meet virtually for optional activities since the shutdown started. The cadets have met members of the Canadian Armed Forces who are in the pilot training program and did a virtual tour of a Calgary-based aviation maintenance facility. Cadets also have been involved in several national virtual activities, including a memorial for the Vimy Ridge battle.

The virtual awards ceremony replaced the annual ceremonial review that the squadron usually holds at the end of May.

During the awards ceremony, cadets were recognized for completing their year of training.

Cadets who completed Level 1: Svasti Nedelec, Aron Sutton, Hope Ward, and Felix Willems.

Cadets who completed Level 2: Josephine Evans, Willow Kikosewin-Holden, Ashley Sonnichsen, Brooke Sonnichsen, and Peyton Wilkinson.

Cadets who completed Level 3: Brandon Brook, Liam Egan, Nattanon McIntosh, Ryan Penner, Nicole Sonnichsen, Justice Ward, and William Wiltzen.

The cadets who completed Level 3 also received certificates that allow them to receive four high school credits.

Several awards were presented to deserving cadets:

Best Attendance – Svasti Nedelec

Best Drill – Brandon Brook

Lt. W. Sinclair Award for Most Promising Cadet (Top Rookie) – Liam Egan

Major Stan Jenkinson Award for Community Commitment – Nicole Sonnichsen

Nelson Kinsmen Most Improved Male – Nattanon McIntosh

Nelson Rotary Club Top Shot – Ashley Sonnichsen

Nelson Police Association Best Dress and Deportment – Brooke Sonnichsen

Salmo Legion Most Improved Female Cadet – Willow Kikoswen-Holden

Top Female Cadet, Columbia Basin Trust – Nicole Sonnichsen

Top Level 1 Cadet – Hope Ward

RDCK Top Male Cadet – Brandon Brook

Volunteer Commitment – Peyton Wilkinson

Cadets also received promotions:

To Corporal: Svasti Nedelec, Aron Sutton, Hope Ward

To Flight Corporal: Josephine Evans, Willow Kikosewin-Holden, Ashely Sonnichsen, Brook Sonnichsen, Justice Ward, Liam Egan, William Wiltzen

To Sergeant: Brandon Brook, Nattanon McIntosh, Ryan Penner, Nicole Sonnichsen

The squadron is planning to start back up on Friday, Sept. 4. Nelson Air Cadets meet at 6:15 p.m. every Friday in the Nelson Eagles Hall at 641 Baker Street.

The squadron always welcomes new cadets between the ages of 12 and 18.

Adults who would like to volunteer with the squadron are also welcome.

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A cadet helps launch a glider. Photo submitted

Hope Ward from 561 Nelson BC Air Cadets remembers the battle of Vimy Ridge during a ceremony in April. Photo submitted

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