Tuesday, September 22, 2015

859 Crowsnest Squadron Air Cadets remember fallen police officer

Senior Cadets from 859 Crowsnest Squadron, from left - FCpl Gustavson, FCpl Pool (holding Grumpy), Cpl Hann (holding a photo of Const. Lawson), FCpl Ludwig.
Danny VandenBroek photo

press release

The Air Cadets of 859 Crowsnest Squadron have a keen appreciation for history. On Monday, September 21st the cadets wore blue and black ribbons on their uniforms commemorating the start of Police and Peace Officers Memorial Week. 859 Crowsnest Squadron is affiliated with the RCAF Military Police and likes to recognize that relationship with attention to both military police history and policing in general. This night happened to be the anniversary of Constable Stephen Lawson’s death 93 years ago at the Alberta Provincial Police (APP) Barracks in Coleman. Lawson had been Chief of Police in both Fort Macleod and Fernie previous to his arrival in Coleman to enforce prohibition with the APP. He also served as a Sergeant with the Canadian Army in World War I, earning the Military Medal (for bravery). This led to a discussion about prohibition during the era, and the subsequent prosecution of his killers.

The cadets also discussed the significance of Battle of Britain Sunday, remembered a day earlier and marking its 75th anniversary this year. Battle of Britain ceremonies have become the RCAF’s day to celebrate its service as well as its accomplishments in peace and war. Cadets learned about the evacuation of allied forces from Dunkirk and the various stages of the air battle, including “The Blitz” on London.

East London during the Blitz (New Times Paris Bureau Collection/Wikimedia commons)
The previous week, cadets also received special pins for wear on their uniform commemorating the upcoming 75th anniversary of the Air Cadet League of Canada. This marks the start of Royal Canadian Air Cadets in 1941. Originally intended to train young men for air and ground crews during World War II, the program is now open to both young men and women aged 12-18. Its three aims are to develop citizenship & leadership, promote physical fitness, and stimulate an interest in aviation and the RCAF.

Last but not least, the cadets welcomed back their unofficial mascot, Grumpy the (teddy) bear. He returned from a deployment recently with an RCAF member to Southeast Asia. Grumpy has travelled to a number of Canadian Armed Forces deployments over the years, and the cadets are excited to have him back once again.

859 Crowsnest Squadron cadets typically train at least 1 weekend-day per month in addition to their weekly training on Mondays (6:30 PM to 9:15 PM, Elks Hall, Blairmore). New recruits are always welcome. There is no cost to join and uniforms are provided free of charge. Pincher Creek youth have the option of van transportation from the Pincher Creek Legion to the Elks Hall in Blairmore each week. Questions can be directed to

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