JUNE WARD, chaplain to Warsash Sea Cadets, relishes her connections with the youngsters even if it did mean she had to learn to march and salute properly
FORTY years ago I moved to Warsash to live in what was then The College of Nautical Studies, as my husband had been appointed divisional officer there for three years.
Little did I realise that 33 years later I would be walking in those same grounds in my role as chaplain to the Warsash Sea Cadets.
I am also a reader at St Mary’s Church, Hook with Warsash.
It was a member of the church there who asked me to take on the role as chaplain to the newly-formed Cadets.
I was honoured to be asked and accepted with great joy.
The college is now called Warsash Maritime Academy and as chaplain to the sea cadets I have the honour of taking the prayers at monthly divisions.
On occasions I have delivered part of the syllabus, as well as being there in a pastoral role for the cadets and for the staff members.
I undertook a week’s course which enabled me to meet other sea cadet chaplains and understand all the necessary requirements of being part of a sea cadet unit.
Learning how to march and salute was particularly taxing for me!
However, they are very necessary as there are a number of occasions, apart from Monthly Divisions, when we are very visible to the public.
Sea Sunday is one of these instances.
The service is held on the shore at Warsash and the unit is very much part of it.
At the Remembrance Service, I march with the cadets from the war memorial to the church and this year I shall be giving the address.
This year, our unit was awarded the Canada Trophy for being the best sea cadet unit in the country.
It was a very well-deserved recognition of the hard work and dedication of all those who attend and support the unit.
The presentation was held on the parade ground and was a really grand occasion.
It is an honour to be associated with an organisation which aims to help young people towards responsible adulthood.
For further information about the unit, go to sea-cadets.org/warsash/.