Your Stories, Lyle Carter
Truro resident Marilyn Carroll was recently presented with the Navy League of Canada Distinguished Service Award.
Marilyn Carroll, of Truro, was recently presented with the Navy League of Canada Distinguished Service Award. SUBMITTED PHOTO
Carroll has had a long involvement with the Navy League Cadet Corps 185 CPO James Carroll, sometimes referred to as navy league cadets.
Besides being involved for 12 years with the Truro branch Navy League of Canada, Carroll also spent five years with the Nova Scotia Mainland Division, Navy League of Canada.
“I was really hoping another person would receive the award,” Carroll, 72, said about the honour she received in October. “It was a young person I had in mind. I felt he was very deserving.”
She admitted to being slightly “ticked,” but said the cadet movement is important to her and she appreciated being recognized for her service and assistance.
Carroll retired as president of the Truro branch Navy League of Canada shortly after being honoured, but is staying involved as past president and as a member of the board.
“It’s a very important program for these young kids,” Carroll said. “They are taught citizenship, discipline, respect, naval knowledge and they gain self-esteem. Young people become involved and this helps them feel equal to others which is important.”
Carroll said there is presently 30 to 40 local navy league cadets, from age nine to 13, which fall under the leadership of the Navy League of Canada.
“Sea cadets, air cadets and army cadets are in an older age bracket and come under Department of National Defence,” Carroll said. “A big difference is sponsorship. The older cadets have their uniforms provided while our navy league cadets have to come up with resources for uniforms and supplies.”
Important fundraisers include bagging groceries at Atlantic Super Store, tag-days, walk-a-thons, dances, bingo’s and a huge music night held annually in Tatamagouche.
“I feel very comfortable with John Hawkins being president,” Carroll said. “We also have a number of other very committed people involved. Of late, we’ve come up with some wonderful volunteers. We probably have five adults and several sea cadets volunteering each week.
“I think we’re proceeding in the right direction. It’s all about the children. The Navy League Cadets is very important to some of these young people’s lives. They do much better in school, they blossom and are helped along their way to becoming model citizens. There’s so much good that can come from our young people. The energy we can get from being around them is something else.”
Carroll reflected on events that lead to her own involvement.
James (Jim) Carroll, Marilyn’s husband, originally from New Annan, spent 38 years with the Royal Canadian Navy.
“Jim retired as Canadian Armed Forces chief (senior non-commissioned officer) in April of 1996,” Carroll said. “Jim suddenly became sick and passed away in June of the same year from an aneurysm. The navy league was setting up a local corps around the time of Jim’s passing.”
Carroll recalled being approached and asked if it would be okay for the corps to use her husband’s name.
The Navy League Cadet Corps 185 CPO James Carroll originated in 1996 and the following year Carroll became involved.
“It was important to me the corps be kept alive,” Carroll said. “That was my first involvement with the local navy league branch.”
Carroll completed her first term as president in 2002. The league went through some rough times and Carroll returned as president in 2007.
“A number of new people became involved,” Carroll said. “Fundraising is very important and the Truro & District Lions Club came on as sponsors which has been a big help regarding finances.”
Carroll described the Battle of Atlantic during May as an important annual event.
“It is a major remembrance ceremony for the Canadian Navy,” Carroll said. “The Truro branch, Sea Cadet Corps 88 and the Navy League Cadet Corps 185 CPO James Carroll plan and carry out the ceremony with assistance from Branch 26 of the Royal Canadian Legion and air cadet units.”
Lyle Carter’s column appears every Tuesday in the Truro Daily News.
If you have a column idea, contact him at 673-2857.