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

Pakistan

Kids sweatshirts made in Pakistan and sold at Kroger, Fred Meyer stores in the U.S. recalled for choking hazard

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW YORK — Nearly 8,000 children’s hoodies are being recalled because of a possible choking risk. No injuries have been reported, but…
Continue Reading »

RELIGION-CRISIS

Buddhists hard-liners from Myanmar, Sri Lanka formalize agreement to protect religion

KRISHAN FRANCIS THE ASSOCIATED PRESS COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — A Myanmar Buddhist monk and a Sri Lankan ultranationalist both known for campaigning against Muslims signed…
Continue Reading »

Crime-Vancouver-BC

Surrey Six murder trial: ‘But where is Christopher?’ With verdict expected Thursday, here’s what we know

KEITH FRASER VANCOUVER DESI Nearly a year to the day the trial began, a judge is expected to hand down her verdict Thursday in the…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Crime-Vancouver-BC

Surrey Six murder trial: ‘But where is Christopher?’ With verdict expected Thursday, here’s what we know

KEITH FRASER VANCOUVER DESI Nearly a year to the day the trial began, a judge is expected to hand down her verdict Thursday in the…
Continue Reading »

White House: ‘We support the aspirations’ of Hong Kong democracy protesters

By Alexander Panetta THE CANADIAN PRESS WASHINGTON — Foreign governments expressed support Monday for historic protests in Hong Kong despite a pointed warning from the…
Continue Reading »

1PNG_0929N_CITY_INQUEST_218232808

Mexican woman sneaked into Canada through bushes, border officer tells coroner’s inquest

SUSAN LAZARUK VANCOUVER DESI A Mexican woman who committed suicide in custody awaiting deportation had sneaked into Canada through the bushes in Surrey, a coroner’s…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

body image-beauty-weight-control

Self-compassion leads to positive body image in women

IANS Toronto – Women who accept and tolerate their bodily imperfections appear to have a more positive body image despite their high body mass index…
Continue Reading »

British comedian John Oliver takes aim at Indian prime minister Narendra Modi's U.S. visit on his HBO show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. YouTube/Screengrab.

British comedian John Oliver again covers Indian politics in HBO show, takes aim at Modi’s U.S. visit (w/ video)

VANCOUVER DESI British comedian John Oliver has covered Indian politics yet again on his new HBO show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. In this…
Continue Reading »

Sandy Sidhu main.jpg

Nanaimo’s Sandy Sidhu to appear in film at VIFF, but the actress is still waiting for her big break

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI It took years for Nanaimo’s Sandy Sidhu to admit that she was an aspiring actress. Enrolled at UBC for cell biology…
Continue Reading »

shah-rukh-khan-bn6a4756

Review: Was Shah Rukh Khan’s SLAM! The Tour worth the 3 hour delay in Vancouver?

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI After a nearly three-hour delay, Bollywood finally took over Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum Saturday night with a lavish evening of song, dance,…
Continue Reading »

Barbie

Religious groups angry over Barbie as Hindu goddess Kali, Virgin Mary (w/gallery)

VANCOUVER DESI Two artists from Argentina have given the legendary Barbie and Ken dolls forms of various religious figurines from Jesus and Mary to Hindu…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Bollywood

Fawad Khan: I like the idea of virgin romance

SUBHASH K. JHA IANS  Mumbai – His debut Bollywood film “Khubsoorat” features quite a few fudged kissing scenes and Fawad Khan, the Hindi film industry’s…
Continue Reading »

Sushmita Sen (L) and Hrithik Roshan (R) will be featured int he upcoming Mytra Fashion Weekend in Mumbai. Getty Images.

Sushmita Sen, Hrithik Roshan to glam up Mumbai’s Myntra Fashion Weekend

IANS Mumbai  – Former beauty queen and actress Sushmita Sen is set to scorch the ramp as showstopper on the opening day of fashion, beauty…
Continue Reading »

Tommy Hilfiger (L) says he is a fan of Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor (R). Getty Images.

Tommy Hilfiger fond of Bollywood films, favours Sonam Kapoor

IANS New Delhi  – American designer Tommy Hilfiger loves to watch Bollywood movies and appreciates the growing fashion quotient in Hindi movies and his favourite…
Continue Reading »