It was a touching moment in time for a North Island family Wednesday night at the Port Hardy Secondary School gymnasium.
The Junior Canadian Rangers (JCR) were all assembled under the direction of Canadian Ranger Kevin McGhee, and Port Hardy Mayor Dennis Dugas and Councillor Fred Robertson were also on hand to make a very special presentation.
“What we’re doing here tonight is presenting for the first time in our own community, second time overall, an award to a deserving JCR,” said Shawn Gough, Adult Committee Chair. “This is an award that is presented for exemplary service, physical prowess, ranger skills, life skills, and it is my great honour, with the mayor, to present Miguel Catarata with the Lord Strathcona Medal.”
“This is an honour for me to do this,” said Dugas as he handed a certificate to Catarata. “Congrats to Miguel for all the hard work that he has done as a JCR, on behalf of the District of Port Hardy.”
“We’ll also be presenting the medal, which Miguel will be able to wear on his uniform during Remembrance Day and any other ceremony,” added Gough.
“What’s really cool about this award, is that it’s going to Miguel who’s third generation… his grandfather was a ranger, his father is a ranger, and he’s a junior ranger,” noted McGhee.
Robertson then presented Catarata with a letter of recognition from North Island MLA Claire Trevena. “Being awarded the Lord Strathcona Medal is an inspiring reflection on your bravery and commitment to excellence, and upon the entire Junior Ranger program,” said Robertson, reading from the letter. “Congratulations on your remarkable and inspirational accomplishment.”
ABOUT THE LORD STRATHCONA MEDAL
The Lord Strathcona Medal, is the highest award which can be bestowed upon a Canadian cadet or Junior Canadian Ranger in recognition of exemplary performance in physical, ranger and life skill training.
Lord Strathcona’s objectives in establishing his endowment were to:
* encourage the improvement of the physical and intellectual capabilities of cadets and JCRs; and
* foster patriotism in cadets and JCRs through the acquisition of a good knowledge of military matters.
Criteria to receive the medal
The criteria are the following:
* have a high level of physical fitness;
* have qualified to a training level of at least:
* Phase III in the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets;
* Silver Star in the Royal Canadian Army Cadets;
* Level 3 in the Royal Canadian Air Cadets;
* Advanced Basic Training in the Junior Canadian Ranger Program
* have met all requirements of their corps’ mandatory training program;
* have met all requirements of their corps’ extracurricular support training program;
* have completed three years as a cadet or JCR; and
* be regarded by peers and supervisors as exemplifying the model cadet or JCR.