A Charlottetown school was among several P.E.I. organizations recognized Wednesday for its commitment to P.E.I.’s reserve force.
While Lt.-Col. Steven Wynne is commanding officer of the P.E.I. Regiment, he’s also a vice-principal at Charlottetown Rural High School.
Wynne said there have been numerous occasions where he had to travel, conduct local meetings or simply try to meet the day-to-day demands of being the regiment’s commanding officer.
“Charlottetown Rural granted me every request for leave so I could carry out my duties effectively,” said Wynne, adding the school has also supported other reservists and cadets to they could take advantage of training opportunities. “(The school) has been a positive influence on the military community within the school and has been a great supporter of the military as a whole.”
Apart from Wynne, who nominated Charlottetown Rural for the Canadian Forces Liaison Council (CFLC) award, the school has a number of student reservists and cadets every year.
Throughout the academic calendar, there are often learning opportunities for those students that may require time off or re-scheduled exams.
Principal Dylan Mullally said the school tries to support any valuable community-based learning experience.
“We usually try to be flexible with those students because we see the value in those opportunities,” said Mullally, adding that reservist students are often motivated and disciplined. “I view it as a win for both the military and for our school.”
Brig.-Gen. Josee Robidoux, who handed out the awards during a ceremony at Government House Wednesday, said she was confident that Wynne’s role as a teacher also benefited him as a commander.
She also feels the skills taught through military service, such as leadership, management, teamwork and communication, bring a benefit to civilian workplaces.
“The benefit is on both sides, and we’re so happy to see these businesses and organizations have made it possible for reservists to continue their careers,” said Robidoux, who is director general of the Reserve Force for the Canadian Armed Forces.
Every second year, the CFLC hosts the awards events to thank organizations who have shown exceptional support to military reservists. This year saw more than 400 organizations across Canada nominated for an award.
Other businesses recognized in P.E.I. included Campbell Lea Barristers and Solicitors, Island Water Technologies, Rodd Crowbush Golf and Beach Resort, the Montessori School of Charlottetown and Island EMS. Certificates of recognition were also awarded to Veterans Affairs Canada employees Debbie Barry and Rachel Steele.
Robidoux said those organizations are vital as they encourage reservists to continue their military careers. They are needed in order to continue investing in the training given to reservists, who are often called upon to help in their communities during natural disasters and emergencies such as fires, floods and ice storms.
“It’s very important, and we’re so thankful to those businesses that allow reservists the flexibility in their schedule so they can continue to serve,” she said. “It’s good for the community as well.”
During her visit to P.E.I., Robidoux also met with members of the 36 Signal Regiment, the P.E.I. Business Women’s Association and Tim Goddard, the father of Capt. Nichola Goddard, the first female Canadian combat soldier killed in Afghanistan.
Robidoux said, when speaking with young members of 36 Signal Regiment, she especially wanted to hear from them what they like and what they dislike about military service.
“I think it’s important to listen to hear what they’re saying because they’re living it every day,” she said. “We need to listen to them.”
More information about the CFLC is available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or at 1-800-567-9908.