One of our most long awaited events, the annual squadron dining in night, was a huge turnout on the 19th March. A whopping 104 cadets and parents, grandparents and siblings gathered together at Kettering Masonic Hall to celebrate yet another year of achievement and successes. The evening began with general discussion between parents, staff and cadets as we were all waiting until the dinner was ready to begin and at 19:30 was the official start of a great evening to reminisce on the previous year for both older and newer cadets. As the evening began we were served a starter, main and dessert with a 30 minute break after we had all eaten.
After the break it was the part everyone was looking forward to this was the presentations and promotions. The sheer amount of trophies and awards received was astonishing, and really reflects how much effort and dedication the cadets put into the squadron, even if lots of parents didn’t quite understand what a ‘leading cadet’ is! After the dinner we had the presentations, to begin with we had some certificates for leading cadets which was presented by Squadron Leader. A. Utting, afterwards we had the trophies which was handed out by our special guest Major Miles, there were overall 8 trophies handed out. These went out to varies of people for different outstanding accomplishment, these were:
• Best Cadet- Flight Sergeant Yates
• Best NCO- Flight Sergeant Cathorne
• Sportsperson of the Year- Cadet Clark
• Sports achievement of the year- Cadet Page
• Leadership- Cadet Campbell
• Group achievement- Flight Sergeant Cathorne/ Flight Sergeant Yates / Cadet Brown
• Community Service – Sgt Harrison
• Best New recruit – Cdt Brown
• Shooting – Flight Sergeant Yates.
The evening also consisted of 5 promotions Cadet Coupar, Duncan, McNeil and Pakarnaite to Corporal which is their first steps of their NCO career. Afterwards we had Corporal Beattie promoted to Sergeant Beattie, ecstatic wouldn’t be able to begin how she felt, as soon as she stood up all she said was ‘oh my god’.
Cpl Coupar: “I was ecstatic because it was one of my aspiration to become an NCO and for ma’am and anyone else to be happy to promote me defiantly made my night”
After all of that the guests were also able to participate in a raffle in which many fantastic prizes were won, to the happiness of many guests and cadets. One of the highlights of the night was definitely when Derek Bryant, who was once a cadet at 1101 Squadron himself, he joined us and spoke about his own memories and experiences in the corps, before joining the civilian committee 49 years ago, of which he is still thoroughly involved. 70 years on and the squadron is still going strong! To perfectly end the night, a disco was organised where cadets could celebrate their achievements and let off some steam! It’s clear that we are all looking forward to next year’s annual dining in night.