For more than two decades, a highlight for SAC’s Cadet Leadership program is the Annual Wellington Leadership Lecture and Dinner.
This year’s rendition took place March 30, and for the first time, was held in our own Cole Hall. The dining room was dressed in regimental colours for the evening to create our own Officer’s Mess.
“It is a great evening with our graduating Cadets, as they start their final term of leadership in the Corps,” said Major Brian McCue, CO of the #142 SAC Highlands Cadet Corps.
Guest speaker for the evening was Major (ret’d) Kamal Sethi, who recently released his memoires of his life in the British Army, entitled Shaping Destiny. Major Sethi presented a signed copy of his book to each of our Senior Cadets and provided a compelling lecture on leadership at the dinner. Other special guests included LCol Harry Pedwell, CO 48th Highlanders of Canada.
This celebrated military tradition was established by Major Geoff Smith, former faculty member and commanding officer of the Corps from 1990-99. The genesis of the dinner traces back to when officers lived in barracks that contained not only their sleeping quarters, but also lounges, games rooms, and dining facilities. Known as messes, they were often the centre of an officer’s social life and their home-away-from-home. Guests were treated to gracious hospitality.
Today, proper “mess” etiquette is closely observed, and the student Cadet leaders at this year’s dinner were carefully briefed to ensure no protocols were breached; for instance, arriving on time, dressing in full uniform, removing headwear, and avoiding topics which might risk offending others.