Cadet meetings are still on hiatus, due to the pandemic – a decision of the sponsoring military – but work on the 37 Bradford Squadron Air Cadet trailer has been moving ahead.
The trailer, parked at the Bradford Legion, will house equipment, provide meeting space/planning space for Squadron leaders, and a location to hand out materials. It's being called 'The Osprey's Nest' - a reference to the Osprey featured on the local squadron's crest.
“This will be the main office,” explained Mike Giovanetti, Air Cadet Sponsoring Committee (ACSC) chair.
On display are banners of Orville Hand, after whom the squadron is named, and flying ace Billy Bishop, as well as a number of model airplanes donated by a former BWG resident.
Squadron CO Major Stephen Case will have an office inside the trailer. There will also be a library for the cadets, and storage for their flags, uniforms, equipment and training gear.
The trailer was purchased through the ACSC – no easy task during a construction boom, when anything that could be used as a construction trailer was quickly snapped up.
After a couple of disappointments and false starts, the committee was able to locate a suitable trailer that “fell within the budget,” said Giovanetti. “The company that sold us the trailer threw in a couple of chairs and desks.”
Donations have been vital, in getting the trailer ready for its new role.
Sherwin Williams donated paint, Bradford Home Hardware provided heaters and a thermostat, and volunteers from the Legion, including George Neilson, Matt Walker and Shawn Gulston provided the elbow grease, cleaning, painting and refinishing.
They were just waiting for Alectra to hook up the hydro – and after the trailer was relocated onto a grassy area behind the Legion parking lot, the power was finally connected.
Under normal circumstances, 37 Bradford Squadron Orville Hand Air Cadets would meet weekly at Fieldcrest Elementary School. Due to the pandemic, the Squadron was notified by the Simcoe County District School Board that Fieldcrest will not be open for community use until at least the end of the year - even if the cadets were to get the green light, for in-person training.
The sponsoring committee has been searching for an alternative meeting space, to be ready if and when the military allows meetings to resume – but for the time being, Cadet training will remain virtual.
For more information on Bradford’s 37 Squadron Orville Hand Air Cadets, click here.