During the summer of 1938 Lt. Cdr. W.J. Rooke was forced to resign as Corps Commanding Officer due to the pressures of business. Due to his long association with the unit and his efforts as commanding officer, his absence was deeply felt within the corps.
Mr. T.W. Baird, an officer within the corps since 1938, was brought out of a two year retirement to replace Mr. Rooke. Lt. Cdr. Baird was soon to make his mark felt within the Winnipeg Sea Cadets and is remembered to this day as perhaps the best officer to serve in the Canadian Sea movement. The officers and cadets who trained under him were to carry his aims and techniques throughout not only the Sea Cadets, but the Naval Reserves and Regular Forces in Canada. Born in Scotland, Mr. Baird came to Canada in 1910. From 1921 to 1926 he servecl with the United States Marines and was in the U.S. Marine Expeditionary Force dispatched to China during the Civil War there in 1926 and 1927. Upon his release from the Marines, he returned to Winnipeg to take up employment with the Canadian Pacific Railway.
In January of 1938 the Corps was saddened by the death of a long-time friend and supporter, Admiral W.O. Story, C.B.E. Admiral Story, a Navy man from the days of the sailing ships served forty-one years in the Royal Navy until his retirement in 1912. He returned to active duty during World War I and served as Admiral Supertendent at the Naval Dock Yards in Esquimalt and Halifax.
After the War, Admiral Story was promoted to Vice-Admiral and named full Admiral when he went onto the retirement list. In recent years he had served as Honourary Supervisor of Sea Cadets in Canada and had visited the corps on many occasions in that capacity.
Two additional cadets left the corps in 1938 to take up appointments aboard Canadian Pacific steamships. Petty Officer Hugh Campbell, son of Mr. and Mrs. E.D. Campbell, long-time first aid instructor of the corps, reported aboard the Empress of Asia in May for service as a bridge messenger. He was joined in September by Cadet Harry Neil who received a similar appointment. These positions, made available to the Winnipeg Sea Cadets by the local Navy League branch, provided a great opportunity for the boys fortunate enough to be selected.
During the summer months the cadets maintained a full training program. Perhaps the most popular item on the summer program was boating aboard the two corps cutters. Wind condition not being the best for sailing on the Red River, the cadets concentrated for the most part on boat pulling. Classes were held weekday evenings and Sunday afternoons from the corps dock near the Norwood Bridge. The culmination of this training was invariably the inter-divisional races held each August from the Norwood Bridge to the Winnipeg Rowing Club on Lyndale Drive.
In 1938 the winning team, representing the band; trained by Sub. Lt. I. McIntosh and captained by Petty Officer Victor Male, was presented with the Ray Holmes Trophy. Mr. Holmes was, for many years, a cadet and officer in the corps until his recent retirement.
One of the last official functions for Lt. Cdr. Rooke was the corps' annual inspection in June. The inspection held on the evening of June 1 at Minto Armouries, was attended by the complete ships' company of 175 cadets and ten officers. Captain T.E. Snow, D.C.O. of M.D. 10 took the inspection.
Photographs were provided by Mr. T. W. Baird of Grand Marais, Manitoba, Mrs. W.A. Cramp of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Mr. W.J. Rooke and Mr. I. McIntosh of Scarborough, Ontario.
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