INTERIOR’S FIRST CD AUXILIARY POLICEMEN RECEIVE DIPLOMAS
The Interior’s first Civil Defence Auxiliary Police corps received diplomas and identification cards Thursday night, culminating nine months of extensive work and training.
Resplendent in spanking new blue serge uniforms with red piping, the 19 men and one woman from the Kinnaird-Castlegar district are now prepared and ready to assist in any national disaster.
Some 80 persons attended the two-part ceremony in the Kinnaird Improvement Society Hall and the kinnaird School. Inspection and presentation of diplomas was conducted at the school, with Cpl. Angus Macdonald, head of the Castlegar RCMP detachment who started the corps last April, was in charge of the inspection, with inspecting officer being Major Reg Wiley of the Trail RCE Regiment, representing Lt. Col. Buchanan, Civil Defence co-ordinator for this area; Bill Irvine, Tadanac Police chief, Staff Sergeant Noel Beaumont, of the Trail RCMP, Nick Oglow chairman of the Castlegar village commission; Carl Loeblich, chairman of the Kinnaird village commission; Steve Jankola, CD officer for Castlegar-Kinnaird; and Bill McKay, former RCMP staff sergeant who recently retired.
Cpl. Macdonald started the corps last spring after being approached by Mr. Jankola. He was assisted by RCMP members Const. Mel Murton of Grand Forks, Const. Bud O’ Connor of Trail and Const. Ron Somerville of Nelson.
Frank Richardson is the new corps director; his assistant is Bob Smales
The corps was formed with the co-operation of the federal, provincial and municipal governments, with the first two bodies absorbing 90 per cent of the cost of uniforms. Castlegar and Kinnaird commissions split the remaining 10 per cent.
Mr. Macdonald said the corps was prepared for disaster of any kind, including fire, floods and bad automobile accidents.
“This group,” said the RCMP officer, “has proven very keen and conscientious over the last nine months. They will continue receiving lectures as there is something new coming up all the time.
“They will not be doing duties like the ordinary police forces, but they are here as citizens who have volunteered to help in event of a disaster. We hope they never have to be called upon but it is nice to have such a group prepared.”
Mr. Loeblich extended an official welcome on behalf of his council, and paid special tribute to the only woman who graduated from the course – Mrs. Catherine Stadler.
Mr. Oglow, speaking on behalf of his commission, commended the corps and Cpl. Macdonald.
“I’m only sorry,” he commented. “That our neighboring cities of Trail and Nelson were not represented tonight. Because I’m sure they’d want to form their own corps once they saw ours.”
Mr. Buchanan told the banquet that Kinnaird and Castlegar are fortunate to have such men as Mr. Jankola, Mr. Richardson and Mr. Smales.
“Neither community has to take a back seat to anyone in B.C.,” he added. “Course coming up includes one on home nursing, communications and radiation.”
Staff Sergeant Beaumont expressed the congratulations of the RCMP.