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

GANGS-BC-SURREY-AUSTRALIA

Australian co-accused of slain gangster Sukh Dhak sentenced to 3 years in prison

KEITH FRASER VANCOUVER DESI A co-accused of slain gangster Sukh Dhak was on Friday sentenced to three years in prison for his part in a…
Continue Reading »

Dr Cabbie

Indo Canadian comedy Dr. Cabbie making its way to the small screen

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI This year’s Indo Canadian box-office hit comedy Dr. Cabbie is making its way to the small screen. Toronto-based Entertainment One, alongside…
Continue Reading »

desi fun food collectibles

Surrey Night Market will be ‘bigger and better’ in 2015, say organizers

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI The Surrey Night Market is set to return for its second season next spring “bigger and better” than its inaugural year,…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Social justice found online voice in 2014: Experts say

By Michelle McQuigge THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO — Celebrity watchers and armchair coaches may have produced the most social media chatter over the past 12…
Continue Reading »

GANGS-BC-SURREY-AUSTRALIA

Australian co-accused of slain gangster Sukh Dhak sentenced to 3 years in prison

KEITH FRASER VANCOUVER DESI A co-accused of slain gangster Sukh Dhak was on Friday sentenced to three years in prison for his part in a…
Continue Reading »

Dr Cabbie

Indo Canadian comedy Dr. Cabbie making its way to the small screen

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI This year’s Indo Canadian box-office hit comedy Dr. Cabbie is making its way to the small screen. Toronto-based Entertainment One, alongside…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Avoiding relapse, inviting happiness over the Holiday Season

NIRMALA RANIGA VANCOUVER DESI The holiday season can be an especially challenging time for individuals in recovery from addictive behaviours. Holiday parties and celebrations with…
Continue Reading »

Vagina Monologues

Sex workers from India’s largest red light area seek American feminist Eve Ensler’s help

IANS Kolkata – American activist and playwright Eve Ensler Friday met sex workers in Kolkata’s Sonagachi, one of Asia’s largest red light areas, who sought…
Continue Reading »

Miss World

Bikini round removed from Miss World pageant

IANS London – The Miss World contest, which has been an annual feature since 1951, will no longer feature a swimsuit round in their competition,…
Continue Reading »

sexi desi babes

Gallery: Wait for India’s Kingfisher Calendar Girl 2015 is almost over

VANCOUVER DESI The Hunt for the Kingfisher Calendar Girl 2015 is almost over. An Indian lifestyle channel will air the grand finale of the reality…
Continue Reading »

Taliban attack

Pakistani student who skipped school on the day of Taliban rampage ‘isn’t talking to anyone’

VANCOUVER DESI A 15-year-old student of Pakistan’s Army Public School  – which was bombed by the Taliban this week, killing 141 people, of which 132…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Priyanka Chopra

Gallery: Stars come together for another big fat Bollywood wedding

VANCOUVER DESI After Salman Khan’s sister Arpita Khan’s wedding with businessman Aayush Sharma last month, Bollywood stars gathered for another high-profile Bollywood wedding that turned…
Continue Reading »

BOLLYWOOD

Film Review: Aamir Khan’s PK unconventionally outstanding

TROY REBEIRO IANS Film: “PK”; Cast: Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma, Sushant Singh Rajput, Saurabh Shukla, Boman Irani, Parikshat Shahni; Director: Rajkumar Hirani; Rating: *** 1/2…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood jodis-ex lovers

Bollywood’s ex-flames Shahid Kapoor, Kareena to work together in ‘Udta Punjab’?

IANS Mumbai – Actor Shahid Kapoor, who once dated actress Kareena Kapoor, has said that he has never refused to work with the latter and…
Continue Reading »