Sunday, 30 June 2013

St Dunstan's College CCF Contingent Dinner Saturday 29 June

It has always been a pleasure to attend the College's annual Contingent Dinner, in the school's Great Hall.  This formal event is for those students who are members of the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) along with the members of staff who volunteer to lead and manage the Cadets.  The Marketors were represented by the Master, Consort and Senior Warden  as well as Past Master Sir Paul Judge, Chairman of the School's governing body. Great credit is due to the Contingent Commander, Major Richard Davies, and also to Gemma Davies, who heads the Naval Cadets. All girls and boys have the opportunity to join the CCF, which has Royal Navy and Army sections. The ethos of the CCF is to give cadets the chance to learn more about themselves and the world around them through activities which are challenging, worthwhile and fun.  Even more importantly the activities undertaken are designed to develop qualities of leadership, endurance, resourcefulness, self-reliance, responsibility, and a sense of public service. Most of the challenging training is done at weekends and in the school holidays at camps. These take place at sea, on HM ships, or service establishments all over the country. In addition cadets can attend Service courses ranging from submarining to gliding. Typically, cadets join the CCF in Year 9 and by Year 11, having successfully completed all training ,will have achieved a promotion and become responsible for training younger cadets. The CCF is extremely popular with St. Dunstan’s students. There are currently over 200 cadets on the roll, most choosing to stay with the CCF until they leave College for university.

I was pleased to note the enthusiasm and pride of the cadets as they received their awards from the Guest of Honour, Brigadier Mike Wharmby, OBE.  On this occasion Court Assistant David Williams presented the Naval Sword to the best Cadet.  This was David's own sword that he had previously presented to the school. In his speech the Brigadier praised the commitment and determination of the officers coupled with the very strong support of the Headmistress. The Contingent, who provided a Guard of Honour at my Installation Dinner in January at which the First Sea Lord inspected them all, will also be providing a Carpet Guard for our Mansion House luncheon in July. In addition, the marching band will be playing at the Lord Mayor's Show in November, a special year for Alderman Sir Paul Judge.

The Contingent continues to provide outstanding opportunities for cadets to develop their powers of leadership, responsibility and self-reliance which enables them to enter the adult world with an enviable additional skills set.  I am positive that includes Marketing!

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