Prime Minister Douglas, on the urging of former cadet Gabriel J. Christian, appointed former cadet Lieutenant Francis Richards to do all things reasonable and necessary to revive the Dominica Cadet Corps.
On October 1, 2000 Prime Minister Douglas died suddenly of a heart attack. Immediately Operation Cadet Corps Revival was launched on the recommendation of cadet program supporter and World War II British Army veteran Wendell McKenzie Christian. It was the position of Wendell Christian that Prime Minister Douglas had given the command to revive the cadet program, but did not live long enough to see that day. It was Christian’s firm resolve that the cadets being present at the state funeral would be a shot in the arm by which to stir the cadet movement from its slumber, and that would represent the best salute to a fallen leader.
On October 11, 2000, Wendell Christian, former cadet Claudette Loblack and Gabriel Christian travelled to Dominica from Washington, DC with the specific mission of making sure the cadet corps was turned out for the state funeral. With the aid of former cadet Francis Richards, David Andrew, Claudette Loblack and David Andrew arrangements were made to equip a contingent of cadets for the state funeral. Dominica Grammar School principal Alicia Jean Jacques provided a batch of fifteen senior students, both male and female. The contingent met Police Inspector and Police Training School Commander David Andrew at the Morne Bruce barracks on the afternoon of October 10, 2000 where they were issued their tunics, boots, and berets. That night, October 11, 2000, a shipment of uniforms was provided to the Portsmouth High School, so a contingent could be readied under the leader of Lincoln Robinson, a teacher at that school.
On the morning of October 12, 2000, after twenty two years of dormancy (1978-2000) the Dominica Cadet Corps made its first public appearance when the newly formed cadet contingent did solemn duty around the funeral bier of Prime Minister Douglas at the state house in Roseau. On the following day the cadets performed guard duty at the lying in state of the Prime Minister at Grandbay and then at the Portsmouth funeral on October 14, 2000.
The quiet support of Prime Pierre Charles, Commissioner of Police Mathias Lestrade and Superintendent of Police Nicholas George must be noted here. Without the cadet program being formally established by law, there would have been no legal basis for the appearance of the cadets on that memorable day. However, compelled by the passionate and persuasive arguments made that the farewell to the deceased Prime Minister Douglas should be inclusive of the cadets, quiet official support was given.
It was that service with inspired Trinidad born Information Technology Specialist Luke Solomon to give of his time to create a website in tribute to the work of the Dominica Cadet Corps Support Group USA, led by former Commandant Major Francis Richards.
Find out how you can help the Cadet Corps with alleviating pain and bringing prosperity to the region.