Canadians will gather in the cold Sunday to share a moment of grateful silence in honour of war veterans; brave soldiers who offered up their lives in the service of our country.
On the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour, we will remember them at ceremonies across the country and around the world.
Remembrance Day seems an opportune time to spare a few moments to think about the plight of Kamloops Sea, Army and Navy cadets, who face the prospect of losing the use of their Briar Avenue meeting hall simply because a furnace is on the fritz.
The problem has been brewing for a while, with Kamloops Cadet Society director Linda Ingalls sending a letter to City council in September pleading for emergency funds to cover half the $8,000 cost of replacing the furnace. The rest of the money would come from matching federal grants.
“If we cannot heat the building, then we will not be able to let the cadets use the building,” she wrote. “If they cannot use the building, then they will not have a place to use for the next training year.”
Well, this week Kamloops council rejected her request, pretty much leaving the cadets out in the cold as the winter frost approaches.
Wayne Corbin, who has been with the cadets in one way or another for nearly 30 years, was surprised to hear the news, but remains grateful for ongoing help from the City — the group gets an annual grant in lieu of property taxes.
Still, he couldn’t hide his disappointment, saying as many as 150 kids at a time take part in the program, which offers a wide variety of outdoors training as well as a dose of healthy camaraderie for youths between the ages of 12 and 18.
Additional fundraising for the cadet society, which is still struggling to pay for a new roof on their building, seems out of the question.
“It’s tough out there these days,” he said. “Trying to raise money is really tough.”
We don’t think the issue should end there, so The Daily News has offered to collect donations on behalf of the cadets — starting with $200 of our own.
And we’re hoping readers jump on the bandwagon.
But time is of the essence. The Kamloops Cadet Society has until Nov. 15 to get its application for matching funding into the federal government.
If you’d like to pitch in, pop by the offices of The Daily News at 393 Seymour St. and drop off your donation. We’ll make sure the cadets get the money and take the first step toward a warm winter season.
If you’ve got any questions about the cadets and the valuable services they provide Kamloops young people, give Corbin a call at 250-571-1404. He’ll be glad to share cadet stories spanning nearly three decades.
To our veterans, both former and current, we owe a deep debt of gratitude. But we also owe them our respect. One way of showing that is to dig deep and support the cadets, some of whom — God forbid — may find themselves on the battlefields of the future.
We Say editorials represent the viewpoint of The Daily News and are written by editor Robert Koopmans, city editor Tracy Gilchrist, news editor Mike Cornell or associate news editors Dan Spark and Mark Rogers.