The Hall of Heroes at the Royal Canadian Legion in Bradford West Gwillimbury was off-limits one night recently.
Not because the hall was booked for a private function, but for safety reasons.
Air cadets with Bradford’s 37 Flight were being introduced to riflery practice, and an air gun shooting range had been set up in in the hall.
The Flight has acquired a number of the rifles, and practice will be a regular part of the cadets’ training.
“These rifle ranges are run exactly as a military range,” said Commanding Officer, Maj. Steve Case. “Ultimately, we want to get a biathlon team going,” an Olympic sport that combines cross-country skiing and marksmanship.
The air cadets were introduced to the pump-action air rifles by a team of experts, including Case, Supply Officer Capt. Rosanne Case, and special guest, Capt. Phil Lusk.
For some, it was the first time holding a rifle.
“Some of them have shot before in (CFB) Borden on a field exercise with the 91st Squadron,” noted Rosanne Case.
The air cadets took turns, in relays of six, shooting at the targets. And although Steve Case promised the legion "we’ll be going through with putty and paint afterward” to repair any bullet holes in the wainscoting," there was no need. Every shot but one found the portable targets.
Bradford 37 Flight Air Cadets is being sponsored by the Bradford branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, and Legion President Mike Giovanetti was on-hand for the session to announce the organizers of the recent Frank Lotto Memorial Darts Tournament had a special gift for the cadets.
The tourney turned over its profits, totalling $600, to help support the air cadet program. Tournament organizers Tammy Paglia, Julien Dressler, and Sports Chair Shelly Christadler presented the cheque to Steve Case, as the cadets looked on.
37 Flight has a number of upcoming events – including a dress parade and promotions night at Fieldcrest Elementary School on March 7, and opportunity to go gliding at CFB Borden on Mother’s Day.
The Flight will be taking wing as a fully-fledged squadron later this spring.