Cadets unit official

SHARE

North Canterbury’s Air Cadets unit is set to become official.
Number 88 (Rangiora) Squadron Air Cadets is set to be formally recognised at a parade at Victoria Park, Rangiora, at 2pm this Saturday, September 10. The parade will be jointly reviewed by Mayor David Ayers and the Chief of the Air Force, Air Vice-Marshal Tony Davies.
The cadets will then march via Alfred and Victoria Streets to the Rangiora RSA for further formalities. Members of the public are encouraged to come to Victoria Park and watch the parade, unit support committee chairperson Buzz Harvey says.
He says the unit’s formal recognition is a major milestone.
‘‘There are 48 ATC (Air Training Corps) Squadrons throughout New Zealand, but until now there were no cadet units in North Canterbury. Previously, any young people in North Canterbury had to travel into Christchurch to be able to take part in a cadet unit.’’
Mr Harvey says the unit is open to all North Canterbury youth, encompassing Kaiapoi, Rangiora, Woodend, Pegasus, Amberley, Oxford and all thesurrounding localities.
The starting age is between 13 and 15 years of age and the unit has around 35 cadets and four officers as staff. The unit is keen to recruit another 20 or so cadets before the end of this year.
The unit parades weekly on a Thursday evening at Rangiora Airfield and cadets undertake a formal training programme with key areas of learning and activity including leadership, aviation, bushcraft, military subjects and citizenship.
Community support for cadet units is sought and managed by the Air Training Corps Association of New Zealand (ATCANZ), which is a registered charity. A local Rangiora branch of ATCANZ has been established to support the squadron and is seeking assistance from the community to help with funding.
‘‘We have already had some great support from local businesses, the Rangiora and Kaiapoi RSAs, Canterbury Aero Club and the Canterbury Recreational Aircraft Club,’’ Mr Harvey says.
‘‘However, being a new start-up youth group, we have very limited funding and still require additional support. We would therefore welcome any assistance from local businesses or members of our community.’’
Number 88 (Rangiora) Squadron will he holding open evenings on September 22 and October 13 and 20 at the Canterbury Aero Club rooms at Rangiora Airfield.
To find out about joining Number 88 (Rangiora) Squadron call Squadron Leader Tania Mackinnon on 021-429641 or turn up to one of the open nights. For further information about supporting the squadron call Buzz Harvey on 027-4997265.