Air cadets had triple reason to celebrate their squadron’s awards night.
While ten trophies were handed out to high achieving cadets, 346 (Tynemouth) Squadron also welcomed two new uniformed staff members.
Pilot Officer Sara Allison officially took over as the squadron’s new Officer in Charge, joined by Warrant Officer Deborah Slone.
Among the Sabena Awards handed out was the Cadet of the Year, and a new trophy dedicated to the memory of Civilian Instructor Brian Luke, who died in March this year.
Plt Off Allison said: “I was especially honoured to be asked to present the Brian Luke Award for Best Endeavour. Brian was a role model and well-known throughout the Durham/Northumberland Wing as an inspirational volunteer and mentor.
“It is wonderful that his memory will live on through this trophy. Any cadet winning it can feel justifiably proud that they have shown the hard work, commitment, enterprise and positivity that is Brian’s legacy.”
The prestigious Sabena Cadet of the Year was won by Cpl Jamie Sorby, 16, a pupil at Kings Priory School in Tynemouth.
The Brian Luke Award for Best Endeavour went to 13-year-old Cadet Luke De-Vall McMurray.
Cpl Sorby said: “I feel incredibly lucky and proud. I really love being an air cadet and the opportunities it has given me.
“Over the past three years, I have had the chance to try out so many things.”
“This award shows how far I have come and means my time in the air cadets has not gone unnoticed.”
Other trophies presented at the ceremony were:
Best First Class Cadet: Cadet Luke De-Vall McMurray, 13;
Best Leading Cadet: Cpl Ellie Knowles, 17;
Best Senior Cadet: Cpl Sean Sutherland, 16;
Wing Commander Knowles Shield for Master Air Cadet Exam: Cpl Jamie Sorby, 16;
Best Bandsman: Cadet Warrant Officer Jack Sherrin, 18;
Best Marksman: Sgt Kai Korzonek, 18;
Best Sportsperson: Cpl Sean Sutherland, 16;
Squadron Leader Kennedy MBE Cup for Best Non-commissioned Officer: Sgt Kai Korzonek, 18.
Of her own appointment to the Squadron, Plt Off Allison, said: “It is very exciting but very emotional as this is a big step.
“Tynemouth Squadron has a long and illustrious history, having been established on the day the Air Cadet Corps was formed on February 5, 1941.
“I have a lot to live up to, and it is going to take me some time to get used to.
“But I’m ready for it and eager to get started on my ideas and ensuring that 346 (Tynemouth) Squadron remains one of the best in the Corps.
“This awards’ night has been a fantastic introduction.
“It has shown me – if I needed reminding – just how lucky I am to have not just one of the best jobs in the Wing, but to be working with the best people too.”
Any potential cadets interested in joining 346 (Tynemouth) Squadron or wanting more information should email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.346sqn.co.uk