By Robert Frank
Laval’s first English-speaking Royal Canadian Air Cadet squadron honoured Laval Liberty High School (LLHS) staff member Daniel Johnson, Dec. 12, for his role in helping get the youth organization on its feet this year.
Hundreds of parents and friends packed the squadron’s parade square at LLHS, where 100 Laval Squadron commanding officer Capt. Sonia Côté bestowed the award.
The youth also put on a display of their newfound skills at military drill and deportment for guest of honour Lt.-Col. Jean Laprade and two dozen military and civilian dignitaries, including City of Laval and school representatives.
According to sponsoring committee member Lyndsey O’Keeffe, “it took two years of tireless effort by many different people to get 100 Laval Squadron up and running officially, April 22.”
The air cadet squadron is rapidly filling an important void for English-speaking Laval youth aged 12-18, who currently have few constructive activities to choose from. It has already recruited 40 Laval teens “with more signing up every day,” O’Keeffe enthused.
100 Squadron members have already participated in glider flights, outdoor survival training and city Remembrance Day celebrations.
They also attended the Airline Transport Association confab in Montreal last month, where they hobnobbed with Canadian aviation industry chief executives.
The squadron also plans to send some cadets to summer camp next year and on field trips in and outside of Quebec, and is also organizing a marching band.
Youth who perform well can earn a flying scholarship worth thousands of dollars that leads them to earn a private pilot’s license, when they turn 16. Cadets can also learn to pilot engineless glider aircraft.
“We can still accommodate more members,” said Capt. Côté.
Lloyd McIntyre, the chairman of the 100 Squadron sponsoring committee can be reached at  676-1770 and the unit’s Facebook page is listed under ‘100Laval’.