The civilian committee of 42F (King’s Lynn) Squadron Air Cadets was on hand to greet parents and VIP guests as they arrived for the Squadron’s annual presentation evening at the Town Hall on Monday 19thNovember.
The buildings historic Stone Hall and imposing Georgian Assembly Room were the venue for this most important event in the Squadron’s calendar. As they arrived in the Stone Hall parents, staff and invited guests were able, with a welcoming drink in hand, to mingle and talk before moving into the Assembly Room for the presentation of awards to cadets.
The Squadron’s Commanding Officer (CO), Flight Lieutenant Pauline Petch, RAF VR(T), commenced the proceedings with a welcome speech that touched on the activities and achievements of the Squadron and its cadets over the previous twelve months and what was in the pipe line for 2018. She then handed over to her second in command, Flying Officer Chris Barrett, who explained, as each award was presented, the tough decisions that had been made in deciding the recipient of that particular award.
The individual awards were as follows.
Best Cadet. Cadet Shona Paterson. Presented by Mr. Mac Tucker, Chairman King’s Lynn & District Branch RAFA.
Best Cadet Non Commissioned Officer (NCO). Cadet Sergeant Adam Bocking. Presented by the Mayor of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, Councillor Carol Bower.
Best New Recruit. Cadet Isaac Mayes. Presented by Wing Commander Phil Marr, Officer Commanding Operations Wing, RAF Marham.
Harry King Formal Training Award. Cadet Grace Richardson. Presented by Sir Michael Oswald KCVO, Hon President of 42F Squadron.
Geoff Bullen Award for Flying. Cadet Corporal Harry Pink. Presented by Mrs Margaret Bullen MBE.
George Cole Community Award. Cadet Corporal Darcey Hillard. Presented by Mr. Michael Lister Chairman 42F Civilian Committee.
Sports Award. Cadet Shone Paterson. Presented by Flying Officer Chris Barrett, RAF VR(T), 42F Squadron Staff.
Sergeant Harden Award for Endeavour. Cadet Robert Messem. Presented by Fligh Lieutenant Pauline Petch RAF VR(T), Officer Commanding 42F Squadron.
Richard Spooner Award. For Diligence & Consistent Effort. Cadet Dylan Cooper. Presented by Mr. Richard Spooner.
David Whitby Award for Excellence in Leadership Skills. Cadet Corporal Erin McConigle. Presented by Councillor David Whitby.
Having presented the George Cole Award, the Squadron’s Civilian Committee Chairman, Mike Lister, ‘hijacked’ the proceedings and gave a short history lesson concerning the 42F’s early history and its first commanding officer, Claude ‘Pop’ Freestone. ‘Pop’ was not only one of the Squadron’s founding fathers and its CO from 1939 until 1950 but also a town councillor and Mayor of King’s Lynn 1952 / 1953 over the period of the Queen’s Coronation and also the disastrous East Coast floods which claimed many lives in the area.
Mike went on to say that his own involvement with the squadron began in 2004 and that he realised “that although in our archives we have a number of items relating to ‘Pop’ we do not have what I would describe as a fitting portrait of him. Therefore with the assistance of the civics officers at the town hall, I have managed to obtain and frame a copy of Mayor Freestone, which I, in appreciation of being able to be a part of this fantastic Squadron for almost 20 years, would like to present to it. The Squadron, and its cadets is an organisation that I feel privileged to be involved with.”
Accepting the portrait on behalf of the Squadron, Flt Lt Petch later said, “This was a total surprise, I wondered what Mike was up to for a moment but this was a wonderful gesture and ‘Pop’ will again be keeping an eye on his Squadron from now on.”
At the conclusions of the presentations of awards Cadet Sergeant Adam Bocking stepped forward and publicly thanked the CO and her staff for their commitment and effort on behalf of the cadets.
Presentations over, the 100 persons present, all then retired back into the buildings 15th century Stone Hall for a buffet and fund raising raffle which was well supported by all and raised almost £300 for Squadron funds.
Photo 2. Cdt Sgt Bocking talks to assembled parents & guests.
Photo 3. Mike Lister, Pauline Petch (CO) hold ‘Pop’ Freestone.