Dear Knights and Dames,
Earlier this month, we announced the launch of an anthology series to honour and share the everyday heroism of our members as we muster to support our veterans and to fight COVID-19.We begin this series today by telling two inspiring stories from the Cascadia Commandery. Every Commandery will be featured.
One of our stories is COVID-19 related, while the other speaks to the Order’s proud support of Canada’s cadet programs. Both epitomize how this Order is about people and good works – serving our communities in any way we can.
Andrew Nellestyn Leo Valiquette
Grand Master Communications Group
“I am proud, as a Commander, that our members continue to contribute and be a partner in solutions to everything around us in these trying times.
I say congratulations to both, the family of Ron Theroux and Deborah Morrow, for the goals they have set before themselves, exemplifying what the Order is all about.”
Chevalier Steven R Mohns
Supporting Sea Cadets is a Family Affair For Cascadia’s Theroux Clan
Develop in youth the attributes of good citizenship and leadership and promote physical fitness.
The aims of Canada’s military cadet programs are just as vital to our society today as they were when Chevalier Ron Theroux first enrolled as a sea cadet in 1952.
His days as a fresh-faced cadet may be long behind him, but this member of the Order of St. George’s Cascadia Commandery still tirelessly supports the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps.
Ron retired from his role as a commanding officer in the Corps in 1979. Never one to sit idle, he then went on to serve in a variety of capacities with the local branch of the Navy League of Canada and BC Mainland Division – vice-president, president, treasurer. His years of service have earned him Navy League of Canada Member of the Year, a Community Service Award and appointment as a Life Member of the Navy League, among others.
This is a family affair. Ron’s wife Yvonne has her own distinguished service record with the local branch of the Navy League of Canada and the Fraser Alumni.
In the role of treasurer, Yvonne has played an instrumental role to ensure sound financial management. She too is a Navy League of Canada Life Member and will soon be invested as a Dame into the Order of St. George.
A Training Facility Second to None
“It’s a lifestyle for my wife and myself at this stage,” Ron said.
With that pedigree, it should come as no surprise that their son James is just as involved. He too is a member of the Navy League New Westminster branch and a former sea cadet. James is also a postulant for investiture into the Order. He volunteers his expertise in computer IT support, 3D printing and CNC machining wherever it’s needed.
No cadet training program is viable without the facilities and resources for cadets to make the most of the experience –suitable quarters for both male and female cadets, properly maintained jetties, appropriate watercraft and equipment, and so on.
The Theroux family regularly volunteers with other sea cadet alumni to ensure these assets are in place. Their efforts are focused on the New Westminster Navy League Branch Cadet Training Facility on Annacis Island in Delta, B.C. The facility has been a work in progress since Ron was a cadet.
Mustering donor support from area businesses goes hand in hand with the ongoing Wednesday work parties of volunteers. Yvonne is a pro with a paint brush with no fear of heights. James is the building supply hauler with his truck and a fabricator of custom boat trailers. It’s an all-hands-on-deck effort where the old veterans eager to give back work side-by-side with the latest crop of cadets to pass on a few practical life lessons.
As seniors in their 80s, why do Ron and Yvonne still do it?
“When you can find yourself at a store away from home and a young lady or young man comes up and says, ‘Hi sir, hi ma’am,’ and recognizes us from their time in the cadet program…that acknowledgement, that thank you, is all you need,” Ron said.