A colleague officer made a joke, asking whether Mrs. Orr was my MVP – Most Valuable Parent.
I replied frankly.
“Not at all”
The reason for the answer however, may surprise many, if not most. Mrs. Orr’s son left the Cadet Force no less than three years ago, but she never did. She is no longer a parent, but is still proudly supporting the organisation and its events as if she was still a cadet’s parent.
It should be noted that she definitely remains a very proud parent of her two boys, but when her son Marc Orr joined the unit at St. James Secondary School, Mrs. Orr’s support for her son’s endeavour turned into a passion which they both shared, just in different ways.
Mrs. Orr was a known staple on every parade, from unit training days to Battalion Parades to National Parades. Anytime she was allowed to attend, she was there, with her camera, happily walking astride the cadets, and posting images on her social media profile.
Her steadfastness and resilience even rivaled some cadets or adults, as one could not attend such an event without having her present.
It was this steadfastness that drive me to recommend to the then Public Affairs Officer, that Mrs. Orr be recruited to join the “Cadet Media Team”.
Since then, her impact has been felt in that some may not know that she is not an adult member of the TTCF – though she would have that changed, having submitted her application and indicated her interest to the then Public Affairs Officer.
Unfortunately, likely due to the large interest in adult membership and the waiting list of applicants at the time, she was not included in the list of recruited adults. One has hope that this will change in the near future.
(The image above shows the Cadet Force padres emerging from the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity at the Cadet Force Church Parade 2015. Photo by Orleen Reid-Orr/TTCF on Facebook. See more images by clicking here)
To this date, she remains the only resource available to the Public Affairs Officer on call. Understanding the need for additional staff to keep the proverbial ball rolling, she always responds to requests for assistance with an enthusiastic “Yes sir!”.
When asked, some of the cadets who served along with Mrs. Orr in the Cadet Media Team quickly and enthusiastically shared their thoughts about her:
Corporal Shivani Sadoo (7TTCF) hinted that her dedication has earned her an unofficial commission:
Mrs. Orr is one of the longest serving parents of TTCF that I know off. Her dedication to highlight TTCF positively through her passion (photography) is highly appreciated by Cadets throughout the Force. She never cease to put smiles on cadets’ faces nor is there a hint of her wishing to stop. Hats off to the parent with the photography pips.
Cpl Shivani Sadoo (7TTCF)
Gervail Leemo, a former cadet was succinct, referring to her dedication:
Dedicated to sharing the stories of the TTCF through photography!
Gervail Leemo (Former cadet of 2TTCF)
CWO2 Nicholas Bradshaw referred to her understanding of the job:
Mrs. Orr is always dedicated to what she is doing. She is always ready to take the next step to get her job done. As a parent, she always remains humble and recognises protocols involved in getting her job done.
CWO2 Nicholas Bradshaw (7TTCF)
And my own thoughts, as Public Affairs Officer:
As a commissioned officer, I must admit that there are a number of dedicated parents who sacrifice time, money and contribute passion to keeping our cadet units resourced. As the Public Affairs Officer however, it would be remiss of me to miss this opportunity to start highlighting parents, by recognising this shining light in the life of the Cadet Force.
I can attest to having seen her brave rain, sun and shady instructions to keep the lens on our cadets. As a younger adult, she inspired me when she reinvented herself behind the lens, persuing photography training at my suggestion at the University of the West Indies, and now having completed those studies, takign a course in Film & Video Production.
Lt. Maurice Burke, Staff Officer G9 (Public Affairs)
Mrs. Orr has touched many, and those in her circles can attest to the fact that she is touched when she sees the smiles of those she photographs, or when we view her images.
Our parents are all awesome, but Mrs. Orr is Orrsome. (She actually is Orrsome – see her Facebook page Orrsome Photography)