Surrey cadet corps funded by Sikh community to raise its flag on Thursday

Published: March 13, 2013
Harbinder Singh Sewak and Major Jim Blomme

Harbinder Singh Sewak, chair of The Friends of the Sikh Cadet Corps Society, is congratulated by commanding officer Major Jim Blomme in Surrey on March 13, 2013. Submitted photo

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Only two months into Surrey’s newest cadet corps, Dr. Pargat Singh Bhurji can see his 12-year-old son growing into a fine young man.

“He listens more to us than before,” said Bhurji, chair of the corps’ parent sponsoring committee.

“Two months — if he goes another six years, this guy will be so sensible, mature and respectful.”

His son is one of 60 new members of the 3300 B.C. Regiment Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps (RCACC) — the first-ever corps funded by a Sikh community group, The Friends of the Sikh Cadet Corps Society.

Their cadet program officially started in January, but the inaugural flag ceremony is Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Surrey’s Bombay Banquet Hall on 135 Street.

But it wasn’t an easy start for the 3300 RCACC.

“(Today) is a culmination of at least two-and-half years of behind-the-scenes work,” said Harbinder Singh Sewak, chair of The Friends of the Sikh Cadet Corps Society.

Sewak met his biggest setback in October over the cadet corps’ proposed name, “Surrey Sikhs.” The Department of National Defence wouldn’t approve it because they said it was not inclusive of all youths aged 12-18 and might deter non-Sikhs from joining.

So they put the issue aside and settled on the temporary name 3300 RCACC, so the program could get rolling.

They needed to look at “the real picture for our youth,” said Bhurji.

With gang violence and recent murders in Surrey, the community needed a positive program like this, he said.

“Kids coming out of the cadet program, they are good citizens, they have value-based training,” said Bhurji. “These kids then, they can change the world around them.

“In two months I have seen kids’ self-esteem going up, their courage, their discipline has improved.”

The corps’ commanding officer, Major Jim Blomme CD, agrees.

“They’ve actually come a long way in two months,” Blomme said. “We’re slowly getting them working together as a team.”

The corps also marks a “giant leap for the Sikh community,” said Sewak.

“It’s such a historic moment that a community-based cadet corps has been formed,” he said. “We never had something community-based like this before.”

“We had a lot of temple-based or school-based activities, and I think this is important because it is part of the National Defence — and a lot of Sikhs resonate with the military tradition.”

Sewak has been fielding inquiries from people in other cities like Abbotsford, Calgary and Toronto who would like to establish similar programs.

“Everything that we are doing is creating a new blueprint,” said Sewak.

“This is a very historic moment — this will be written in golden words in Sikh and Canadian history,” added Bhurji.

As for the corps name, community groups will be meeting in the coming months to come up with ideas to submit to DND.

According to Sewak, the name will reflect the Sikh community, but will also be universal to Canada. They’re considering the names of Sikh warriors, personalities and events.

lcahute@theprovince.com
twitter.com/larissacahute


Tags: ,





Featured

India-Khatav-Akola,Maharashtra

Baby born with two faces in India fighting for life (Warning: Graphic content)

VANCOUVER DESI A baby born with two faces and four eyes is fighting for her life at a hospital in western India, according to Ruptly….
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Bollywood singer Shreya Ghoshal set to light up Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Bollywood singing sensation performance will include classics and contemporary ALMAS MEHERALLY VANCOUVER DESI You’ve heard her songs and seen her on reality shows. Now Bollywood…
Continue Reading »

Hockey-Movie posters

Surrey hockey players go viral with ‘B-grade’ movie poster imitations

Surrey Eagle player and his pal get laughs with weekly photos that recreate famous movie posters KYLE BENNING SURREY NOW SOUTH SURREY — Every Monday…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Bollywood

Bollywood singer Shreya Ghoshal set to light up Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Bollywood singing sensation performance will include classics and contemporary ALMAS MEHERALLY VANCOUVER DESI You’ve heard her songs and seen her on reality shows. Now Bollywood…
Continue Reading »

Hockey-Movie posters

Surrey hockey players go viral with ‘B-grade’ movie poster imitations

Surrey Eagle player and his pal get laughs with weekly photos that recreate famous movie posters KYLE BENNING SURREY NOW SOUTH SURREY — Every Monday…
Continue Reading »

holocaust-Jews-abuse

Zara withdraws children’s t-shirts that look like concentration camp uniforms

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MADRID – Spanish fashion retailer Inditex said Wednesday it has withdrawn a children’s shirt that triggered an outcry from people who said…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

cen main.jpg

Woman in India survives hour-long battle with leopard, armed only with small agricultural tool

CEN NEWS A 54-year-old woman has astonished wildlife experts in India after she survived a terrifying hour-long battle with a hungry leopard. Widow Kamla Devi…
Continue Reading »

india

Indian minister refers to Dec. 16 fatal gang rape as “small incident” that hurt tourism

IANS New Delhi  – An Indian minister is embroiled in controversy after he referred to Delhi’s fatal Dec. 16 gang rape as a “small incident”…
Continue Reading »

common krait

Man bites, kills poisonous snake slithering towards him in bed

VANCOUVER DESI In a shocking incident, an Indian man bit and killed a venomous snake in his bed, according to the Daily Telegraph. Rai Singh, from…
Continue Reading »

teen music video

Vancouver teen’s music video gets over 300k views in less than a week

VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver teen and aspiring musician Sid Bhullar has released his third music video online  – and within one week he’s already surpassed 300,000…
Continue Reading »

Unruly passenger tied to his seat

Drunk Air India passenger tied to his seat on flight after attacking people onboard, tearing clothes of two pursers

VANCOUVER DESI An Air India passenger, who went wild after a few drinks and allegedly tore the clothes of two pursers and bit some fellow…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Bollywood

Bollywood singer Shreya Ghoshal set to light up Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Bollywood singing sensation performance will include classics and contemporary ALMAS MEHERALLY VANCOUVER DESI You’ve heard her songs and seen her on reality shows. Now Bollywood…
Continue Reading »

Actress Alia Bhatt attends the Highway premiere during 64th Berlinale International Film Festival at Zoo Palast on February 13, 2014 in Berlin, Germany.Clemens Bilan/Getty Images

After becoming the butt of all jokes, Alia Bhatt joins in with viral video ‘Genius of the Year’

IANS Mumbai  – After she became the butt of all Internet jokes for incorrectly naming India’s president on Karan Johar’s chat show, Alia Bhatt has…
Continue Reading »

Indian Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra poses for a photograph during the final night of the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) Winter/Festival 2014 in Mumbai on late August 24, 2014. STRSTRDEL/AFP/Getty Images

Priyanka Chopra not interested in ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

IANS Mumbai — Bollywood sweetheart Priyanka Chopra has been nominated by many to take up the ALS ice bucket challenge – but she has openly…
Continue Reading »