by Retired Navy Captain Peter Milsom, President, Kemptville Navy League
There are many reasons for the success of the cadet programs in theNavy League of Canada: the financial backing of the Royal Canadian Navy, the management, By-Laws and oversight of the distinguished National Board and its provincial Division Boards of the Navy League of Canada, (founded in 1895 and now celebrating its 125th anniversary), Naval Reserve Divisions, and Liaison support groups all serve the needs of the cadets. Naval League Branch Boards, especially where there are no local supporting defence facilities, and their volunteer Board Members, such as we have in excellence in Kemptville, are equally key partners in the success of the program.
This week’s article, however, speaks to the “coal face” of this huge program for 11,000 – 12,000 young people in Canada – the direct, responsible, and critical interface of officers and volunteers that keep the young people safe, and guides and assists them through a creative, challenging, and hugely rewarding program of personal growth and development.
In Kemptville, for the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps RCSCC DEFIANT, leading the charge and setting the pace is its remarkably accomplished Commanding Officer, Lieutenant (N) Jay Tousaw. “Accomplished” is a well-chosen word. Mr. Tousaw’s volunteer work has been extraordinarily layered and multifaceted over thirty years since 1990. He served as President of the Bishop’s Mills Community Recreation Association from 1990 to 2005, with many significant community achievements. In 2006, the association merged with the Community Hall Association to form the Bishop’s Mills Community Association, of which he served as Vice-President for an additional two years – eighteen years of highly accomplished service.
Mr. Tousaw served Freemason Movement in Brockville in 1996 for thirteen years with Sussex Lodge#5 AF&AM GRC, Brockville, and served as the Lodge Master for two years in 2005 – 2006. He served as a Beaver Leader in Oxford Mills from 1996-2000, and shifted in 2000 to Kemptville, where he was a Cub Leader for ten years, from 2000 to 2010. In 2009 – 2010 he volunteered with RCSCC Defiant Cadets. This subsequently translated into ten years of outstanding uniform service from 2010 to 2020.
His volunteer leadership in community involvement does not stop there. Support of the Kemptville Youth Centre in organizing their annual Book Sale, annual assistance in food drives on behalf of the House of Lazarus and the Salvation Army in the Kemptville area, and his support of community Christmas events every year in Kemptville and in Morrisburg, are further examples, as are his service to the Legion as Poppy Chair for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 campaigns for this critical annual funding drive supporting the Le- gion’s charitable program.
It only remains to say that your Kemptville children are clearly in the very best of hands!