As explained in the previous posts (see SA Army Band CT trains Drill Squad, Visit to the Naval Dockyard and Visit to Fort iKapa), the drill squad of the Western Province School Marching Drill and Exhibition Association (WP SMDEA) recently participated in a week-long training program at Youngsfield Military Base.
They underwent some intensive drill training under the watchful eyes of Staff Sergeant Jerome Mecloen and WO2 André van Schalkwyk from the SA Army Band Cape Town. The aim of this was to prepare them for their participation in the pre-show program of the Cape Town Military Tattoo to be held at the Castle of Good Hope from 03 to 06 November 2010.
On Friday morning, neatly attired in black pants, white shirts and yellow waistcoats, complete with white gloves, the drill squad marched confidently out onto the parade ground near The Train Restaurant at Youngsfield Military Base to the rhythmic drum-beats generated by their entourage of drummers.
Their dramatic, energetic and highly polished performance was witnessed by representatives from the SANDF, the Defence Reserves, the Western Cape Education Department and the South African Police Service of Mitchells Plain. Their teachers and drill instructors, as well as Ssgt Mecloen and WO2 Van Schalkwyk of the SA Army Band Cape Town, looked on proudly, as their charges proved that the long hours of intensive drilling and the repeated rehearsals of the routines had been worthwhile.
With backs straight, chins up, chests out, and arms straight, the troop marched in perfect sync with each other and with the beat of the drum, demonstrating a marked improvement from their first rehearsals at the beginning of the week.
After this stirring display, we returned to the restaurant for the formalities. Ssgt Mecloen, in his capacity as MC, introduced Colonel Pieter Kobie, the Commanding Officer of Army Support Base Youngsfield, as the first speaker. Col Kobie praised all the youngsters who had willingly given up their free time to participate in the week long training camp during the school holidays. He said that their discipline and hard work had impressed him greatly and that he hoped many of them would join the Defence Force when they left school. Mrs Lyrice Trussell from the Western Cape Education Department echoed Col Kobie’s sentiments.
Thereafter, it was time to hand out certificates of attendance to all the learners who had attended the training, in acknowledgement of their commitment and hard work, as well as to the invited representatives from the Defence Reserves, from SAPS Mitchells Plain, and from the school. The SA Army Band Cape Town will continue with the training in the next two weeks to ensure that the marching band remains sharp for the Tattoo.