International sea cadets converge on Bermuda
Sea cadets from all over the world made it to Bermuda's shores yesterday for the first International Sea Cadet Conference held in Bermuda in 18 years.
The conference hosted by the Bermuda Sea Cadet Association welcomed 15 people from nine countries including Australia, the Netherlands and the US at the Grotto Bay Hotel in Hamilton Parish.
“It is a great honour to host this conference,” said Keith Battersbee, Bermuda Sea Cadet Association chairman. “The first conference held in Bermuda was in 1996. At that time Captain Gilbert Hallam was the chairman of the association. Some of the children who paraded for delegates at the conference are now leaders, such as Dwayne Trott one of the commanders of the sea cadet corps, and past commander Anthony Lightbourne, Sr.”
The International Sea Cadet Association is a voluntary association of sea cadet units from many different countries. The annual conference is held in a different country every year, and provides a way for cadet leaders to exchange ideas and information and also to make possible connections for cadet exchanges.
“They provide mutual support to promote the benefits of sea cadet training world wide,” said Mr Battersbee. “The importance of youth training can not be stressed enough.”
In addition to discussions, the International Sea Cadet Association visitors will watch members of the Bermuda Sea Cadet Corps parade on Friday evening outside of the St George TS Somers facility.
Mr Battersbee said one of the highlights will be the raising of the Bermuda flag at sea cadet headquarters known as “raising the colours”.
“They will do an exercise from 6.30pm to 8.30pm,” said Mr Battersbee. “It is for the delegates of the conference, but the general public won't be turned away.”
Mr Battersbee said he wanted the public to understand that the Bermuda Sea Cadet Association and the Bermuda Sea Cadet Corps was totally voluntary.
“No one gets paid,” he said. “If we really need to get something done and funds aren't available we often go into our own pockets to fund it.”
For more information see the website www.seacadets.bm .