As the Winnipeg Sea Cadets commenced their 1929 activities, enrollment had increased to 233 cadets under the supervision of Lt. Cdr. J.R.K. Millen and eight additional officers.
The return to Winnipeg of five band members from a successful concert appearance in Vancouver was a fitting start to the new year. Cadets Jack Sutton, piano; George Kent, soprano; George Pollock, violin; Andy Cunningham, cornet; and Bill Lamont, clarinet, received an enthusiastic response from the audiences at the Vancouver Sea Festival staged at the Hotel Vancouver in February. These soloists were among the best young musicians in Winnipeg and were a constant hit at all band appearances.
The band as a whole continued to develop its skills and as a result, the concert band entered the Manitoba Music Festival in that year. The adjudicator, J. Peebles Conn, congratulated the group on its performance and commented that it showed considerable promise. Two additional concert appearances of the band were made at the Playhouse Theatre in March while a special Christmas presentation took place at the Winnipeg R.K.O. Theatre in December.
At various times in 1929 the Corps had the honour of being inspected by two distinguished gentlemen. During April, Mr. S. Harris, president of the Navy League of Canada participated in a church service at Augustine United Church, at the conclusion of which a march past and inspection was made at the Parliament Buildings. After a thorough inspection, he complimented the boys on their showing and informed them that, although they were far from the sea, they were the largest Corps in Canada.
Further praise was received from Admiral Gordon Campbell V.C., D.S.O., R.N., hero of the anti-submarine warfare during World War I, who visited the Corps in the Spring of 1929. His feelings were best expressed in a letter to Mr. D.C. Coleman which the latter read at the Corp's annual inspection in June. Admiral Campbell complimented Mr. Coleman on the appearance, character and training of the Winnipeg Sea Cadet Corps, and in his opinion the Corps was the equal, if not the superior of any Sea Cadet Corps in the British Empire.
A great deal of excitement was generated within the Corps when the two new cutters were presented by the Manitoba Branch of the Navy League. The new boats were soon put to good use during the June Regatta and the September annual cutter races. The cadets, immensely proud of their new possessions, wasted no time in breaking all past speed records.
Perhaps the highlight of the year was the summer camp held at Stevenson's Point on Lake Winnipeg from June 5th through June 15th. The camp consisted of twenty-eight bell tents, two marquees, cookhouse, men's mess, and officer's mess. Despite a full and varied training program that was scheduled for the 160 cadets an enjoyable time was had by all participants.
Plans to continue this camp on an annual basis had to be dropped due to financial restrictions. It was not until 1939 that this extremely popular undertaking could be repeated.
The photograph shown above was made available by Mr. A. Cunningham of Vancouver, British Columbia.
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