Army Cadet heads to Singapore for international event

COMRADES: Army Cadet Max Bonilla, who is bound for Singapore, with sisters and comrades Tati, left, and Claudia after the graveside dedication on Remembrance Day.
COMRADES: Army Cadet Max Bonilla, who is bound for Singapore, with sisters and comrades Tati, left, and Claudia after the graveside dedication on Remembrance Day.

Max Bonilla has taken another step toward his dream of becoming an army surgeon.

He is heading to Singapore after being chosen to attend an Army Cadet Exchange Program.

The John Pirie Secondary School student and Interact Club member is among only two participants being sent to the exchange from South Australia.

The 12-day event will involve Australia, Canada, Hong Kong and Singapore. Max, 15, said he would be doing “a lot things” on his trip.

Activities will include visiting an air force museum and climbing aboard a huge Singapore Navy cruiser.

“There will be physical training every morning and I will be up about 6am,” he said.

Max said he would eventually like to become a medical officer in the Australian Army.

He took part with sisters Tati and Claudia in the 414 Army Cadet Unit parade at the unveiling of a new headstone for World War I “Digger” Archibald McVicar on Remembrance Day.

Also standing with head bowed was Cadet Under Officer Tommy Tancock who wore an Australian Imperial Force uniform of the kind once worn by Private McVicar. Tommy is due to join the army in February next year.

McVicar family members were invited to have their photographs taken with Tommy at the Returned Services League sub-branch hall after the ceremony.

The invitation was issued by the Army Cadets officer-in-charge Major Gavin Mildrum.

He also asked for donations to be put in a collection box to help fund the next headstone project.

There are thought to be 20 more unmarked graves belonging to soldiers in the Port Pirie cemetery.

The aim is to raise enough money to upgrade them all in one project.

Headstone Project spokesman Harry Quick told the crowd at the cemetery that an initial 300 unmarked graves had been improved in Tasmania after his volunteer group was set up.

He said the group included historians. “Today is very special,” he said.