Amherstburg Public School

Local cadets show their abilities at annual review



By Ron Giofu


The 202nd Fort Malden Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps got a chance to show what they’re all about last week.

The local cadet corps, which is sponsored by Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 in Amherstburg and Royal Canadian Legion Br. 338 in Harrow, held its 41st annual cadet review last Wednesday night at Amherstburg Public School. In addition to parading into the gym, the cadets conducted a pair of demonstrations and there were several awards handed out.

Capt. John M. Vanthournout
inspects the corps during the annual review June 20 at Amherstburg Public School.

Winners included:

Outstanding Green Star – Cadet N. McLean

Outstanding Red Star – Cpl D. Russelo

Outstanding Silver Star – MCpl A. Bisson

Outstanding Jr NCO  – MCpl A. Bisson

Outstanding Sr NCO (Roy Northrup Award) – Sgt K. Matlock

CO’s Award – MWO D. Bezaire

Best Overall Cadet – MWO M. Ashton

Most Improved Cadet – MCpl M. Bisson

Best Attendance – Cpl E. Brundritt

Top Marksman – Sgt K. Matlock

Pat Thrasher Award – Cpl D. Russelo

Capt. John M. Vanthournout, this year’s reviewing officer, praised the corps and said he started out just as today’s cadets have. He noted they are learning many things from leadership to how to be a good citizen and many will be learning new things while being paid at various summer camps.

Capt. Jeff Turner (left) presents the Ambassador for Peace medal from the Korean government to Capt. Richard Girard.

“These cadets are going to be our future leaders,” said Vanthournout. “(Cadets) is an exciting program. It’s the best kept secret around. People don’t know enough about it.”

Capt. Jeff Turner, the corps’ commanding officer, also had another special presentation. He presented an Ambassador for Peace Medal to Capt. Richard Girard, a Korean War veteran. Girard acknowledged the brother he lost during that war. While he can’t wear the medal due to rules put forth by the Canadian Armed Forces, he said if he could, he’d wear it for his brother.

Girard told the corps, whom he commanded several years ago, that he was proud of them and that their demonstrations brought back many memories.

“Your demonstrations were great,” he said. “I enjoyed them.”

Don Nantais, liaison officer with Br. 157, said he enjoys being around the kids.

“They are almost like my own kids,” he said, noting he has been liaison officer for 19 years.

For more information on the 202nd Fort Malden Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps, call 519-736-4900 or e-mail

Amherstburg Public School students take “vow of silence,” spread message in town



By Ron Giofu


Amherstburg Public School went silent last Tuesday as part of the annual “vow of silence.”

Amherstburg Public School students assemble for a group photo prior to their “Vow of Silence”.

The local elementary school saw students take the vow to recognize other youth that don’t always have a voice, including those who are bullied and those living in third world countries. Students also walked around town, many carrying signs and banners displaying their message.

Students, through teacher Melisa Mulcaster, did convey what their messages were and why they were having such an event thanks to written submissions.

“This day sends an amazing message to the rest of the community especially during our walk,” explained Grade 8 student Morgan Bezaire. “We travel the area around town staying silent to push our message further. To be able to see (Ugandan students sponsored by Amherstburg Public School) Ronald and Hadijah doing so well within SACU gives me even more encouragement to get this movement further out there to the world. No one should have to suffer like some of those in third world countries.”

Bezaire added that “we take many things for granted” and “today is a day to reflect and appreciate all of the things we have.”

Erica Ayres, another Grade 8 student, wrote that “there are some people in this world who cannot voice their rights because the rest of the world is too ignorant to notice. We need to become more aware of how many millions of children in third world countries are suffering (due to) a lack of basic human rights. Today, we stay silent so those children will be heard, so for one day we will fall silent so they can speak up.”

After sitting quietly for the group photo organized by the school, the students then left on a walk through the downtown core (left). Amherstburg Public School held the event as a way to show support for children who may not have a voice due to bullying or who live in third world countries.

Jesse Carter, also in Grade 8, said the day was about creating awareness for those whose voice is not heard, even though they cry for help.

“They do not have access to clean water, food and a right to education,” Carter stated. “We go silent to feel like they feel.”

Carter added they want to help “break poverty in third world countries” as well as give people rights to education, food, clean water and “for their voice to be heard.”

“Education is the key to all of this because they are drinking muddy, filthy water and they don’t know that’s actually hurting them or actually killing them,” said Carter. “With an education, they could get a job, leave their country and change the world.”

Amherstburg Public School going silent in support of less fortunate May 22



By Ron Giofu


Amherstburg Public School will be a quiet place to be May 22.

The Grade 8 classes at the school are heading up the “vow of silence” and are doing so in support of children who don’t have a voice. Those include students in Third World countries and those who are bullied.

“There are students who are bullied every day,” said Ben Pillon, who acted as master of ceremonies at an assembly last Friday with classmate Chelsea Boose. “These individuals exist on a global level and right here in our community.”

Pillon said that “we have amazing students here. We need to shine a light on them.”

Boose added that “everyone has a voice that needs to be heard.”

“We have made a lot of change happen and we continue to make an impact,” she said. “We need to take care of each other too – at our own school, out on the playground and in the classroom. We need to encourage others instead of putting them down. We need to stand up to those who aren’t doing that. If we don’t work together and try to build a positive school atmosphere, no one wins.”

Grade 8 students at Amherstburg Public will lead the “vow of silence.”

Amherstburg Public School sponsors two students named Ronald and Hadijah that live in Uganda. The two Ugandan students are sponsored through Save African Child Uganda (SACU) with SACU committee member and retired Amherstburg Public School teacher Ingrid Silvaggio Heugh speaking to the students about her cause.

“It’s all about human rights. That’s what the SACU committee believes in.

Heugh said a lot of work has been done thanks to sponsors, including the construction of homeless shelters and classrooms. SACU helps 160 children with schooling and food thanks to over 100 sponsors, said Heugh.

Heugh told the Amherstburg Public School students their fundraising efforts have taken children like Ronald and Hadijah from lives of destitution to lives where they now can dream of post-secondary educations and careers.

Children in the shelters take care of one another, she added, as “they know what it’s like to be abandoned and afraid.”

“We continue to seek sponsors,” said Heugh. “For less than $1 per day, you can make a difference.”

Additional information can be obtained, and donations can also be made by contacting Heugh at 519-736-3512.

The “vow of silence” will be an all-day event for some, though some classes may do it for a period. The students are collecting donations up until the day of the event.

Gas leak forces one-day evacuation of Amherstburg Public School



By Ron Giofu


The presence of a natural gas smell forced the evacuation of a local elementary school last week with the situation being resolved without injury.

Amherstburg Public School students and staff were cleared out of the building last Thursday after a natural gas smell was detected in a science classroom.

“There was a gas valve that somehow got turned on in the science room,” explained principal Mark Campbell.

The gas line emanated from the roof and fed into the science room and the valve on the roof was the actual cause of the smell.

“Somehow, it got turned on,” Campbell stated.

Amherstburg police and fire attended the scene as did Union Gas. The gas line was capped so that it could not happen again, said Campbell.

Amherstburg Public School principal Mark Campbell gets an update from a Union Gas worker following the evacuation last Thursday. No one was injured and all staff and students were transported to General Amherst High School.

Campbell noted that emergency officials were also called to the school the previous night for the smell of natural gas but the school was given the all clear. The next morning around 8 a.m., a teacher noted the gas smell again and the school was evacuated. Classes had not yet begun, Campbell noted.

Students were transported to General Amherst High School where they congregated in the gymnasiums. High school students were helping to direct people where they needed to go as parents and guardians picked up many of the children. Others who couldn’t be picked up right away were entertained with movies and pizza.

Superintendent of education Lynn McLaughlin praised Campbell’s handling of the situation with both of them thanking General Amherst High School for their assistance in accommodating the students.

“Mr. Campbell did exactly what he needed to do,” said McLaughlin.

Students and parents were able to pick up belongings at the school later in the day Thursday and classes resumed Friday.


Duke of Edinburgh pin award by cadet corps, new RSM takes helm



By Ron Giofu


The 202nd Fort Malden Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps has a new cadet leading the corps while one of its civilian volunteers has received a prestigious award.

A special pin presentation of the Duke of Edinburgh gold award was made to William Eagleson-Borshuk, formerly a member of the #2715 RCAC out of Windsor and now a volunteer with the Amherstburg and Harrow corps. The presentation was made as part of a ceremony held at Amherstburg Public School.

“It took a long time to get,” the 18-year-old Eagleson-Borshuk stated. “It was two years of hard work.”

In order to get a Duke of Edinburgh gold award, Eagleson-Borshuk had to complete the requirements in four areas, including service, skills, physical recreation, adventurous journey and a residential project.

The age limits to qualify for such an award are from a person’s 14th birthday to their 25th birthday.

RSM Dylan Bezaire leads his corps on parade in the Amherstburg Public School gymnasium.

“This is an internationally recognized award,” said Eagleson-Borshuk.

Eagleson-Borshuk started the journey to get the Duke of Edinburgh gold award while as a cadet in Windsor. It is a journey he hopes more youths will consider.

“I’d encourage anyone to do this,” he said. “Employers recognize the amount of work it takes to do this.”

Cadets or civilians can pursue a Duke of Edinburgh award, he added.

The 202nd Fort Malden Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps also has a new Regiment Sergeant Major (RSM). Master Warrant Officer Dylan Bezaire received his new duties as RSM as part of a change of command ceremony held the same night.

Bezaire said he was proud to become RSM and lead the parades.

Capt. Jeff Turner presents William Eagleson-Borshuk with a ring from the Masonic Lodge as part of the recognition Eagleson-Borshuk received for his Duke of Edinburgh Award.

“It’s a good feeling to achieve the goal I wanted to achieve,” he said.

Bezaire has been a local cadet for four years, starting when he was 12-years-old. He was pleased to see his hard work and dedication pay off.

The 202nd Fort Malden Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps train Wednesday evenings at Amherstburg Public School. For more information on the corps, call 519-736-4900 or e-mail