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VIDEO: Vernon's Army Cadet Training Camp was very different 61 years ago

A recently discovered film showing life at the Vernon Cadet Training Camp in 1956 was just released to the public.
Image Credit: YouTube
May 23, 2017 - 4:39 PM

VERNON – A long lost film that shows army cadets training during a 1956 summer camp in Vernon has just been found and released.

More than one hour of footage, shot on 16mm color film, shows what life for the 1,700 young cadets from B.C. and Alberta was like more than 60 years ago.

A media release from Army Cadet League historian Francois Arseneault says the collection of films was found in Ottawa last spring at the army cadet league national office where it had been in storage for at least 50 years.

"Of the dozen films, two large reels in particular stood out, marked Vernon Army Cadet Camp. Several others feature cadets in Ipperwash, Picton and Ottawa. The film footage shot in the summer of 1956 is in remarkable condition, being Kodachrome colour and well stored for the past six decades," Arseneault says. 

"What makes this film so unique is the variety of footage including a CPR troop train arriving at the Vernon train station with 800 cadets, a military convoy through the centre of town, life at the military camp, cadets touring through town featuring Nick’s Kandy Kitchen, the Allison Hotel, the North Okanagan Regatta, Kal Beach, Polson Park and the old grandstand and much more."

The video was uploaded to YouTube over the long weekend by the Army Cadet League of Canada. Arseneault says this is the best-preserved film showing life at the Vernon camp he has ever seen. 

"It’s not known who shot the films but appears it might have been one of two local and well known photographers, either Cam Leblond or Doug Kermode. Both men were well known to the camp having taken photos since the cadet camp began operations in 1949 and both could operate the film cameras of the day alongside their 35mm SLR cameras. There were no productions notes or credits so it is entirely possible that there may have been more reels that have gone missing."

"I suspect there are more old films of Vernon waiting to be rediscovered," Arseneault says. 


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