The 893 Beaufort Squadron Air Cadets are within sight of the end of a 30 year journey into their own space.
Major John Cooper started fundraising for an airplane hangar or similar space in 1982, explained Janis Knapp, and they recently completed the paperwork to take possession of the perfect building at the Qualicum Beach Airport July 3, 2012.
It will be named the Cooper Cadet Training Facility in honour of the founding fundraiser and his sister Doreen who were tireless fundraisers and donators but have both since died.
The cadets will continue to fundraise to pay off the building, but next summer they will gain access and plans are in the works for a grand opening next summer.
For 30 years the cadets have used the cadet hall in Qualicum Beach, which is much too small, and various other spaces like the gym at Oceanside Middle School, and they are excited to finally have their own place to call home, expand their programs and begin a big recruitment drive.
There are currently 21 air cadets coming from across Oceanside, Nanaimo and Port Alberni, Knapp said, and they dream of doubling or even quadrupling eventually.
Some retired air force members in the area are also trying to start an alumni association.
Contact Capt. Reg Johanson at 250-752-0528 or firstname.lastname@example.org to join or for more information.