19th October 2017 18:26:10 Hours
The National Cadet Corps (NCC), the country’s school Cadet Corps of the Ministry of Defence with a history of more than 135 years as of 2017 staged one more of its Passing out Parade (PoP) of the Hermann Loos/De Soyza Trophy Camp at the NCC Training Centre at Rantembe this morning (19) in the presence of a distinguished gathering.
This year's Camp saw around 1500 Cadets representing 60 platoons, out of 2000 island-wide school level Cadet platoons participating in the final event. In addition, a representative group of foreign participants, including 60 Cadets and 15 Officers from India, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, and Pakistan who are currently on a visit to the island are also present during the event at Rantembe.
Hon Ruwan Wijeyawardena, State Minister of Defence as the Chief Guest, together with Mr Kapila Waidyarathne PC, Secretary of Defence, Mr Sunil Samaraweera, State Secretary of Defence, Admiral R.C Wijegunaratne, Chief of Defence Staff and Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Army graced the ceremonial parade as special invitees to the Hermann Loos/De Soyza Camp - 2017.
Major General A.K.P Wickramasinghe (Rtd), NCC Director welcomed the day’s Chief Guest, Hon Ruwan Wijeyawardena and State Minister of Defence at the entrance to the NCC premises.
Speaking at the occasion Hon Ruwan Wijeyawardena, State Minister of Defence as the Chief Guest praised the NCC for building a younger society, which is trained to face challenges with discipline. He was also invited to award medals and certificates to the achievers in the camp.
Towards the end of the day’s programme, NCC Director Major General A.K.P Wickramasinghe (Rtd) presented a memento to the State Minister of Defence & the Secretary Defence in appreciation of their visit to the place.
Cadets of De Mazenod College (DMC), Kadana won the first place in the boy's category and received the Hermann Loos Trophy for the Best Platoon in the island for the year 2017. Nalanda College, Colombo and Ibbagamuwa Central College, Kurunegala carried away the trophies for the second and third places respectively.
Maliyadeva Balika Vidyalaya, Kurunegala meanwhile, won the De Soyza trophy for the Best Platoon in the female category while Gothami Balika Vidyalaya, Colombo and Devi Balika Vidyalaya, Colombo secured second and third places respectively.
Afterwards, a special Army Tattoo that showcases an assortment of exceptionally attractive skills of Army personnel to the public was staged. This feature highlights undisputed skills of Army personnel who conducted mock simulation attacks and rescue scenes, ceremonial features, free-fall parachute jumps, dog shows, demonstration of the Bailey bridge construction, assembling of artillery guns and jeeps, stunt riding displays, Ranabera and Bugle displays, physical training and fire work displays, drill displays, etc.
Senior tri-service Officers, Deputy Director NCC, Senior Officers in the NCC, Principals, teachers and parents of those Cadets, well-wishers and a large group of civilians were also present at the PoP ceremony.
Generally, Hermann Loos Championship Trophy is awarded annually to the best performing Cadet platoon from a boys’ school while De Soyza championship is awarded to the Best performing from a girls’ school.
Under this arrangement at Rantembe, all Cadets undergo practical and theoretical training at their platoon and company level in the areas such as physical fitness, leadership activities, foot drills, weapon training and firing, map reading, field craft, first aid, confidence building measures, fire fighting, etc.
NCC courses are also designed to train and inspire Cadets using effective and training curriculum, by which the NCC expects to develop character, courage, sportsmanship, self-reliance, discipline, spirits of adventure, responsibility, comradeship among young school goers, etc. It also expects to groom youths who are capable of providing leadership in all aspects of life.
Pinning of medals to Hermann Loos winners, SAARC Cadets and other achievers added colour to the day’s event.