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Ryan McCracken photo
Ryan McCracken photo
Captain Robert Hynes leads the Saddle Lake Community Cadet Corps through its pledge at last Wednesday’s year-end ceremony.
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Saddle Lake Cadets honour outgoing C.O.

Jun 24, 2014 09:45 am | By Ryan McCracken | St. Paul Journal

The Saddle Lake Community Cadet Corps celebrated its annual promotion and inspection night at the Saddle Lake Community Centre, honouring the achievements of the young cadets and the dedication shown by outgoing commanding officer, Captain Robert Hynes.

Hynes, a member of the St. Paul RCMP detachament, commanded the Saddle Lake Community Cadet Corps for the past four years. While he will be parting ways with the troop in the coming months in a transfer to Barrhead, he said he will always treasure the memories shared with the local cadets, and that he felt like a proud parent watching them perform their drills last Wednesday evening.

“Unfortunately, it's my time to move on. This is the last hurrah that I do have with the Saddle Lake Cadet Corps, and I'm very proud of what I saw today. You guys were phenomenal. You represented yourselves so well with what you've been taught over the years, and I appreciate you doing that for me one last time,” Hynes told his cadets last Wednesday. “The cadet corps has been probably one of the biggest highlights of my policing career so far. I have two children of my own . . . and standing here earlier tonight and watching you guys do your thing, I felt like a proud parent.”

Corporal Mika Omeasoo, who was named female cadet of the year, said Hynes has been a great role model for the young cadets, and that he will be sorely missed each Wednesday night.

“He has helped us with determination, he's helped us with teamwork, he's helped us keep our minds sharp and listen. I'm really sad that he's going to be leaving, but I'm happy that he is carrying on with what he's doing,” said Omeasoo, adding the cadet corps has been an important part of her life. “Cadets did a lot for me and for my family, and pushed some of us in a more positive direction than what could have been.”

Saddle Lake Coun. Terry Cardinal spoke to cadets and guests prior to last Wednesday’s inspection and promotion, expressing how proud he was to watch the cadets march into the gymnasium in unison.

“It was quite the feeling to see how synchronized they were. I wish our community would become more like that, and I think it’s our wish to do that,” said Cardinal. “Whatever you’re learning today cadets, take that into your lives and into the future. Always remember where you came from, and where your roots are.”

Hynes praised the determination shown by the cadet corps over the years, and commended the group for their active roles within the community.

“Everything that you learn in cadets, I truly hope that you guys bring it along with the rest of your life. Be respectful to elders, be respectful to others, be respectful to authority. You guys are truly role models within the community, and within your culture,” Hynes said to his cadets. “It's all been wonderful. Four years have gone by very, very quickly.”

The cadets performed a number of drills for those in attendance, and had their uniforms inspected by commanding officers and a special guest inspector, Specialist E5 Louis Lapatak.

Lapatak, a former cadet himself, was one of 12,000 Canadian soldiers who fought in the Vietnam War. He encouraged the young cadets to follow their dreams.

“I want to wish you young people good luck in the future. Do what you like, and what makes you happy. Whether you want to be a teacher, mechanic, a truck driver, do your best. It takes a special person to succeed,” said Lapatak, extending a thank-you to the RCMP members that help keep the cadet program alive.

“I want to thank the officers of the RCMP for their participation and their sponsorship. I also want to thank them for being here all the time to protect us and uphold the law. They're always there when we need them.”

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