Forward December 2017 Forward_2017Dec WEB - Page 19

SENIOR SCHOOL Cadets Cadet Formal Dinner 2017 – a longstanding tradition of army officers, especially in Scottish regiments, to the Crown. Other toasts included the Australian Army Cadets, Guildford Grammar School Cadet Unit and Absent Friends, in honour of those that have given their lives in military service. As the end of the academic year approaches, many sporting codes and Houses hold dinners to celebrate the events of the year and the contributions that individuals have made – so what sets the Cadet Formal dinner apart from the rest? Mess Dinners (also known as dining-in nights) are a long-standing military tradition that have their origin in the British Army well over two hundred years ago. The intention was to introduce junior officers to the history and traditions of their regiment, to build respect for authority and the military hierarchy and to foster strong relationships between members of the mess. The tradition spread throughout the Commonwealth and similar events are held in the US, Canada, New Zealand, as well as in Australia. The routines are well established – the Dining President (at Guildford Grammar School this is the senior Year 12 Cadet) oversees proceedings, whilst The Dining Vice-President (“Mr Vice”, a Year 11 Junior NCO) makes all the announcements and introduces speeches and toasts. The Loyal Toast (to the reigning monarch) was introduced in 1745 in the aftermath of the Jacobite Rebellion to ensure the loyalty The guest of honour at this year’s dinner was LT COL (AAC) Trevor Matthews, Assistant Commander of the WA Australian Army Cadet Brigade. Also present were LT COL Craig Madden (father of CDTSGT Madden) and MAJ Joanne Briggs. LT COL (AAC) Matthews had not visited the School previously, and was highly impressed by the buildings and campus, as well as by the meal and service provided by Mr Steve Dixon and his team. LT COL (AAC) Matthews gave the toast to Absent Friends in honour of CAPT (AAC) Peter De Masson, an AAC officer and Vietnam Veteran who had passed away during the fortnight preceding the dinner after a lifetime of service to the ADF and AAC. The Dining President, CDTSGT Caden Alexander provided a review of the year’s activities, illustrated by a slideshow of photos during the dinner, and the Headmaster and the Officer Commanding, CAPT (AAC) Martin Dell, both addressed the mess. The officers of the Unit, invited guests, cadets and their parents enjoyed a sociable and entertaining evening, whilst maintaining traditions that were first established hundreds of years ago. CAPT (AAC) Martin Dell 20