The Cooper Cadet Training Facility at the Qualicum Beach municipal airport that will soon be the new home for the 893 Beaufort Squadron air cadets, got a huge boost recently.
A fundraising event, A Dream Takes Flight, was held at the Parksville Community and Conference Centre May 12 and money was raised for the state-of-the-art hanger that will finally give the squadron a permanent home.
The 893 Beaufort Squadron has been operating from a series of school gymnasiums but now have a purchase agreement for a Qualicum Beach hangar as a home of their own.
Guests who bought tickets for a special murder mystery benefit dinner and auction heard about Major Cooper’s dream to create a permanent home for the cadet squad that he created in 1982.
With a hanger that has everything the group needs, drill area, offices, classrooms, supply room, storage and a workshop, the dream is about to be realized. The 893 Beaufort Squadron has reached out to the community for financial assistance in creating a lasting legacy for the youth in the Oceanside community and on July 3, the cadets will move into their new permanent home just in time to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the squadron.
A murder mystery called The Scent(s) of Doom, was presented by Victoriamurdermysteries.com and there was also a buffet dinner prepared by volunteers, a 50/50 draw, a silent auction and a live auction.
One of the items in the live auction included a framed limited edition print by by Robert Bailey.
Al Walsh, president of the 893 Beaufort Squadron, donated the print called Typhoon Warning which depicts two Second World War bombers blowing up a train carrying German troops in 1944. Walsh said a few of the pilots who flew the bombers had their signatures on the mat framing the print and some of them have since died, so it really is a special picture.
He said Qualicum Beach Framing donated the frame and that alone would have been $300.
In the end, Dave Doskoch, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch 49 scored the picture for a bargain, bidding $275.
Auctioneer and Parksville Mayor Chris Burger told the crowd he is proud of what the cadets represent. He said the young people who go through the program have a great advantage because of the skills they build and take with them throughout their life.
Burger also told The News that the City of Parksville has set aside $70,000 in it’s budget to purchase a pre-fabricated steel hanger from the cadets to be used in their public works yard.
He said the cadets had the 12,000 sq. ft. steel hanger up for sale because they don’t need it and although it has taken some time to get all the paper work done, the city will be writing a cheque for the unit.
“It is perfect for our needs … so it’s a win-win for the city and the cadets,” stated Burger.
Burger said it will be a while before they erect the unit and use it for storage because some preparation work still needs to be done, but he said the city has always had a good relationship with the cadets and it’s great that both groups can benefit from the sale.