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#2901 Cadet Corps

Name -        Estevan (Elks) PPCLI Army Cadet Corps

Location        Estevan, SK

Formed    December 1, 1971      Disbanded    Active    

Commanding Officers/Chief Instructors- 

 Capt Paul C. King (1971-75)


 Capt Lloyd M. Day (1975 Sept - Nov)


Capt Frederick C. Slater (1975)


Capt William Layh, CD (1976)  

Capt Robert S. Rooks, CD (1979-)


Capt Chris J. Sarsons (1986-87) Biography


  unknown (1988-2003)


Capt Kenneth Turner, CD (2004-09) Biography
Capt Craig Bird (2009-) Biography


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History -   

This Corps was formed 1 Dec 1971 and known as 2901 Estevan (Elks) PPCLI Army Cadet Corps. It was sponsored by the BPO Elks Estevan Lodge 113. It was affiliated with 1 PPCLI.

2901 Estevan (Elks) Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps. (1971-80)
by Robert Rooks

In the fall of 1971, prior to the first official parade, Paul King and Bo Campbell, two City of Estevan police officers were having a discussion about young people in Estevan not having enough to do. Paul King, having had the experience of commanding an army cadet corps in Esterhazy, suggested they explore the idea of forming an army cadet corps in Estevan. Bob Campbell agreed.

Paul King became the prime mover and actively went about soliciting support, including finding the thirty or more boys required to start the corps. Paul King contacted Captain Tony Ferguson, the Area Cadet Officer (Land) at Canadian Forces Base, Moose Jaw and the wheels of the Department of National Defence were put into motion. Two other problems existed, that of finding an organization to be the financial sponsor, and finding a place to hold the parades. Paul King contacted Fred Slater. Because of Fred's association with the Estevan Elks Lodge No. 113, he gained their support and the Lodge accepted the sponsorship of the corps. Fred Slater, also being Sergeant at Arms for the Estevan Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 60, arranged for the Legion to provide their hall for the corps to parade in.

Every army cadet corps is affiliated with a regular or militia regiment or unit. Bob Campbell, being an ex-member of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI), suggested affiliation with the famous and proven Canadian Regiment. When Captain Tony Ferguson was in Estevan completing the final documentation for the formation of the corps, Fred Slater, taking to heart Bob Campbell's idea, suggested the corps be affiliated with the PPCLI, an active regiment. Unknown to Fred, Captain Ferguson was a member of the PPCLI and he arranged for the corps to be affiliated with the first. Battalion PPCLI, at Calgary, Alberta.

As a result, the 2901 Estevan (ELKS) Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps was formed and the corps first official parade was held at the Estevan Legion Hall. February 15, 1972.

The first slate of officers were:
Captain Paul C. King -- Commanding Officer
Lieutenant Frederick C. Slater -- Supply Officer
Lieutenant Robert Campbell -- Training Officer
Lieutenant Walter Chrest -- Instructor
Lieutenant Robert S. Rooks -- Instructor

Training commenced with 24 cadets enrolled on the first parade and by March 16, the corps strength had increased to 38 cadets.

By the spring of 1972 Lloyd Day was enrolled as range officer, John Len as first aid instructor and Wayne Hendrickson as assistant supply officer.

In the fall of 1972 the corps converted a metal quonset, near the Estevan Generating Station and owned by Reuben Jahn, into an indoor rifle range. The corps later converted an old cement building by the City of Estevan Maintenance Yard into a permanent rifle range. The corps and many cadets have received many awards for excellence over the years, including Best Cadet Corps in the province of Saskatchewan and Best Individual Cadet in Saskatchewan. Two of the corps cadets Gary Nijam and Scott Dutton, each held the distinction of being picked the best cadet in the province.

The single largest undertaking of the corps was when the decision was made to form a pipe and drum band. Prior to the bands formation, DR. Donald Burlinquette, Robert Rooks and Captain Fred Slater spent about two years checking out the possibilities of this project. After talking to some pipers and other people involved with pipe bands, they gathered a lot of information but could not find any instructors. In June of 1976 when the corps hosted the Sprigs O'Heather pipe band from Moose Jaw during the Estevan Tatoo, their band manager, Doug, Uhrick told us of an excellent piper -- Mr. John (Jock) Chalmers of Weyburn and a top side drummer, Miss Irene Scott, an Estevan school teacher. After being approached these two instructors said they could teach the cadets how to play the pipes and drums but the instructors of the corps would have to handle the operation of the band. The corps liaison officer, Lieutenant Colonel Sandy Bannatyne, was approached and he gave the corps the tentative go ahead on behalf of the Elks Lodge. The Department of National Defence gave the corps the authority to form a band. Lieutenant Burlinquette was appointed Band Officer and the recruiting for pipers and drummers started in September, 1976. The band members practiced with only practice chanters and drum sticks until February, 1977 when the bagpipes and drums arrived from Scotland and England. The Estevan Elks Lodge No. 113 provided about $13,000.00 to pay for the instruments and uniforms. By May, 1977 the band had learned "Scotland the Brave" and performed at the Estevan Tatoo. In the fall of 1977 the kilts arrived. The kilt is the dark green "Hunting Stewrt" tartan, which was adopted by the PPCLI at the onset of World War I.

The band put a great strain on the corps with the other activities of the corps being somewhat neglected. However the corps achieved another first for the City of Estevan with the development of this pipe and drum band.

In the fall of 1978 the Corps set out to rebuild a strong corps with the band. By February, 1980 this objective has been achieved by having a full complement of highly trained officers and cadets. The Corps and band stand on a strong foundation and the future looks bright for a young and very proud cadet corps.

February 1972 -- September, 1975 -- Captain Paul C. King
September 1975 -- November, 1975 -- Captain Lloyd M. Day
November 1975 -- January, 1979 -- Captain Frederick C. Slater
January 1979 -- Present -- Captain Robert S. Rooks

Present Slate Officers and Instructors:
Captain Robert S. Rooks -- Commanding Officer and Band Officer
Captain Kenneth Turner -- Administration Officer
Officer Cadet Jan Nijam -- Range Officer
Mr. Ronald Hitchcock -- Supply Officer
Mr. David Cote -- Training Officer
Mr. John Chalmers -- Bag Pipe Instructor
Lieutenant Colonel; A. C. (Sandy) Bannatyne -- Liaison Officer to the Elks Lodge
Mr. James Young -- Instructor

1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980
1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990
1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020