1224 (Wharfedale) Squadron cadets have just held their annual presentation evening and celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Air Training Corps at the Kings Hall, Ilkley. Warrant Officer David Wood and his wife Jan took on the challenge of organising the event for 206 guests.
The guests included Deputy Lord Lieutenant Roger Whittaker and Mrs. Elizabeth Whittaker, Air Commodore Colin Smith, Deputy Chief of Staff at Air Command based at High Wycombe, the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Peter Hill and the Lady Mayoress, Mrs. Gillian Hill and Wing Commander Steve Wiggins, Officer Commanding Central and East Yorkshire Wing and his partner Rachel. Guests from the Royal Air Force Association and the Royal British Legion joined together with cadets’ families and ex cadets to make the evening very special. Unfortunately two guests were unable to attend as that morning they had been deployed to the Middle East with the Royal Air Force.
Individual training certificates were formally presented to cadets and staff by Wing Commander Wiggins. All guests were then invited to stand and remember ex cadets who were no longer with us and Cadet Corporal Rhys Leighton played the Last Post.
Grace was then said by Cadet Flight Sergeant Fran Cunningham and everyone tucked into a lovely three course meal. Everyone enjoyed the food and the service was excellent.
Individual awards were then presented to cadets by Air Commodore Colin Smith, Deputy Chief of Staff at Air Command.
Cadet Jørgen Moore recieveing the Best New Cadet trophy
Best new cadet: Cadet Jørgen Moore
Best Intermediate: Cadet Sean Silverwood
Best Senior Cadet: Corporal Chris Cavaliere
Cadet of the Year: Corporal Jamie Partovi. Presented by Mrs. Pauline Stead, mother of Flight Lieutenant David Stead who died in 2005
The Commanding Officers Cup was awarded to Cadet Jack Croft for his determination to do well and always complete tasks
Ian Clarke Memorial trophy for Community Service: Corporal Chris Cavaliere
Attendance Trophy: Sergeant Alex Chambers
Royal Air Forces Association Salver: Corporal Chris Cavaliere
Sports Trophy: Corporal Ben Connor
Bandsman of the Year: Cadet Oren Chew
White Rose Shooting Trophy: Cadet James Cooper
Best turned out NCO and Cadet: Sergeant Alex Chambers and Cadet Alex Raabe
Corporal Jamie Partovi being awarded the Cadet of the Year
Air Commodore Smith praised the cadets and their success in the local community. “ I was asked to promote the ‘Big Society’ by my advisors, but there is no need here in Ilkley – its happening already with these excellent young people”
Promotions were also announced for Flight Sergeants Alex Chambers and Tom Smith, Sergeants Ben Connor, Jamie Partovi, Rhys Leighton and Chris Cavaliere and Corporals Alex Raabe and James Cowley
A special presentation was made to Squadron Leader John Hitchen who after 22 years dedicated service as Commanding Officer of 1224 took up the post of Sector 5 Commander of Central & East Yorkshire Wing in September 2010. He received a long and loud standing ovation from everyone.
The standing ovation for Squadron Leader Hitchen
Following speeches, the 9 snare drummers demonstrated their difficult drum routine and stick work and then the whole band played the traditional marches. As always the second half had a different mood starting with a display Sergeant Jamie Partovi playing Maple Leaf Rag on the piano, Highland Cathedral with Mr. Ken Pickles on the bagpipes (Wharfedale Pipers), In the Mood featuring a fantastic solo by Cadet Danny Stainton and ‘Diamonds’ on the guitars led by Flight Sergeant Sam White in tribute to the late Jet Harris.
The evening concluded with Evening Hymn and Sunset played on the balcony by Sergeant Rhys Leighton.
The band performing after the awards
Flight Lieutenant Sue Leighton, Officer Commanding 1224 (Wharfedale) Sqn said “We have had a fantastic evening. We have a lot of young cadets who have never experienced a formal evening and having so many guests has made it very special. I would like to thank again the staff and cadets for their continued support and dedication to this squadron which continues to drive our success and provide new and exciting opportunities".