On the day before Remembrance Day, a ceremony will be held in Yarmouth to help mark a major anniversary for the region’s oldest cadet corps while remembering a local soldier who a decade ago lost his life in Afghanistan.
The focal point of the afternoon will be the presentation of a commemorative coin that, on one side, recognizes the 115th anniversary of the 110 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps and, on the other, bears a picture of Sgt. Kirk Taylor, who, in late December 2009, while serving in Afghanistan, died in a bomb blast that also killed three other Canadian soldiers and a Canadian journalist.
At the Nov. 10 event at the Yarmouth armouries, coins will be presented to each member of the 110 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps and to members of the 84th Independent Field Battery, of which Sgt. Taylor had been a member.
Capt. Gary Hudson, commanding officer of the 110 Army Cadets, said he is very pleased with the coin.
“It came out very well,” he said. “It’s well done. Kirk’s picture came out beautifully. Just very good workmanship.”
The coin was designed and produced by SGS Marketing in Alberta. Four-hundred of them were struck and most have already been sold. Each sells for $20 and a few will be available for purchase Sunday after the ceremony.
Hudson recalls chatting with John Doucette, who serves as a liaison between the 110 Army Cadets and the Wedgeport legion – the cadets’ sponsoring body – about wanting to so something special this year to mark the cadets’ 115th anniversary. It also occurred to him it was coming up on 10 years since Kirk Taylor’s death. They decided to look into having a coin done.
“We started looking into where we could get the coin made,” Hudson said, “and we got ahold of this company and (they) came back and said, ‘yes, we would like to have the opportunity to do it.’ We sent them the information, kind of what we were looking for ... They went ahead and had the coin struck so we could have a look at it and once we saw it, we said, ‘yeah, that’s exactly what we want.’”
Kirk Taylor had been a sea cadet, but he had a great relationship with the 110 Army Cadets, said Hudson, who remembers “as if it was yesterday” hearing the sad news of Taylor’s death in Afghanistan in 2009.
The side of the coin bearing Taylor’s image includes the inscription “In memory of those who served in war and peace. We will remember them.”
Meanwhile, Hudson hopes this year’s anniversary of the 110 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps – the oldest cadet corps in Atlantic Canada – will help draw attention to the cadets, how they have served the community and how they offer great opportunities for young people.
“I just don’t mean army cadets,” he said. “I think any cadet program they’re in is a benefit to them and it’s a free program.”