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North Vancouver navy cadets hold change of command parade

The youth group was also treated to special tours of active navy vessels during Fleet Weekend.

One of the longest-running leaders of local corps of navy cadets passed the torch this week.

Tuesday evening (May 3), former commanding officer Lt. (NL) Ryan Moore stepped down, as Sub-Lt. (NL) Colin Parkinson took command of the Navy League Cadet Corps 46 H.C. Wallace in North Vancouver.

Navy League Cadets is a volunteer-run organization for children aged nine to 12 that provides activities under a military-like structure.

Parkinson’s first task as new CO was to present graduating cadet Alister MacDonald, 13, with the highest leadership award for the group.

In a card, MacDonald thanked Moore for his mentorship. “It changed my life,” he wrote.

“When he came to us, he was incredibly shy and quiet,” Moore said. “And he has grown into an incredibly strong leader, and a very outgoing young man who is quite avid in the skateboarding community.”

Through the program’s emphasis on leadership and responsibility, Moore explained that they were able to break MacDonald out of his shell.

Now, “He's a leader everywhere he goes – and that, to us is a massive success.”

Moore – a member of the Haida First Nation who’s now a police officer with the Surrey RCMP – used to be a cadet with the same corps. As a youth, he was raised in North Vancouver, attending Ridgeway Elementary and Carson Graham Secondary.

He’s volunteered at the Corps 46 cadets for 22 years.

With several navy ships in The Shipyards last weekend, Moore said his cadets were treated to a special tour of HMCS Vancouver by one of the ship's commanding officers.

“When you're nine years old, that is like the most exciting thing in the world,” Moore added.

They also got a boat ride on a tactical response craft, which was a “massive highlight.”