Waverley College Cadet Unit
The College Cadet Unit was first raised in 1911 when Brother P A Conlon was Headmaster. Captain Holborrow and Sergeant-Major Clayfield were the first instructors. It was disbanded in 1929 and reformed in 1941. At this time Lt N Monoghan was the Commander with the Unit strength standing at 55. Rapid growth under Captain T C McMahon during 1942 - 47 brought the strength to 345. It was also during this period that the Chapman Canes were awarded for the first time. Training was concentrated on military techniques and weaponry formed a large part of the syllabus.
Until 1947 the Brothers were not members of the Unit. The first Brother to command the Unit was Major F D Marzorini in 1948. He was followed in 1956 by Major Ziesing, while Brother F S Farrell, a former Deputy Headmaster of the College became OC in 1957 and remained in the post for eleven years. In 1968 Major F R Pelin took command for the next four years. Major Marzorini was posted to the school in 1973 and once more assumed the office of OC. He held this post for two years prior to his appointment as President of St. Patrick's College Goulburn. Brother Corbett succeeded him as OC in 1975, the year the Federal Government under Mr Whitlam announced its decision to disband the Cadet Corps. The final ceremonial of that year witnessed the Unpiking of the Unit Flags and the Beating of Retreat at Queens Park.
The present Unit was reformed in 1977 with a strength of 250. The Commanding Officer since 1977 has been Lt. Colonel P R Frost the current Deputy Headmaster (Senior). He has served with the Unit since 1960 and was the joint recipient of the Chapman Cane in 1964 with General Peter Cosgrove. The Unit strength is now approximately 350, with all boys in Year 8 serving one year with the Corps.
In 1980 the Cadet Old Boys Association (COBA) was created to encourage a continuing interest among Old Boys in the activities of the Unit. Members of the Association assist the Unit in a wide range of activities, as well as providing a training resource for future OOCs. Many OOCs currently on the Unit roll are Old Boys of the Unit. Seven are members of the College Staff, while the remainder contribute their time whenever their employment allows.
Training in the 21st century bears little resemblance to that of the earlier Units, although the traditions of the Unit are maintained by the two major Ceremonials conducted each year: the ANZAC Commemoration and Mass and the Passing-Out Parade. CUOs, Warrant Officers in Year 12 and all OOCs are members of the Unit Mess which conducts three major social functions each year, The Reveille Dining-In Night in February, the Queens Birthday Dinner Dance and the Valedictory Mess in October.
The culmination of all Unit training is the Annual Camp which is now conducted on a Unit basis. In the days when the Unit could attend the Army Camps at Singleton the Unit's efficiency was recognised by the Award of the AMP Shield in 1982 and 1983. At camp the Year 9 NCOs now carry out a one day trek in parties of four in the Meryla State Forest, where the Unit establishes a forward base separate from the main campsite.
The main camp at Douglas Park now forms part of a College residential program for 200 Year 8 boys, with the Unit providing support and services during their introduction to living in the field. Abseiling, Canoeing, Survival, Medics and Signals are the mainstays of the modern instructional program, but great emphasis is also placed on the ability of the senior ranks in running the camp administration.
The framework for this leadership training is laid down at the Annual Promotion Courses held each year in October at a residential location, while Specialists receive their training in the July school holidays. The first year cadets commence their training at a Recruit Progression Course in the first week of the Christmas holidays, prior to promotion to Lance Corporal. The Army Sponsor for the Unit is 8 SIG Regiment at Randwick, contributes important assistance with training, tenting, equipment and transport whenever these are available within their own budget and training allowances.