Andrew Hayward

Joined 1968

Exmouth Cadet Division, Devon

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Black and white photograph of 8 teenagers standing in a row. Two wear St John Ambulance caps. They are smiling at the camera. At their feet are some bags.
UK Cadets at London airport after a 3-week trip to New Zealand to attend the Golden Jubilee Cadet Camp at Wanganui, 1977 Museum of the Order of St John (PHA6695)
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We went to New Zealand in 1977, yep, that’s right. That was because New Zealand were celebrating their fiftieth anniversary of a Cadet Unit being established in Wanganui, which is a town in New Zealand. So, it was called Wanganui in New Zealand, that’s where the first Cadet Unit in New Zealand was established fifty years prior to 1977, so that must have been 1927. They had representatives from New Zealand obviously, Australia, Fiji and the UK. So, we had a long way to go. That was eight Cadets and two adults. So, older Cadets, so I think that was – we were all between sixteen and eighteen. So, in 1977, I’d have been seventeen. So, four boys, four girls and one male adult and one female adult, and that was to spend a couple of weeks in New Zealand and then back via Hong Kong, and then back to the UK, which was obviously, you know, a big thing to do really.

The main bit was talking to people and just learning from their experience, which was very similar to ours really, although, again, they, and this is a long time ago so it may not be the same now, but the St John in New Zealand ran the ambulance service full-time I think, but using paid professionals as well as volunteers. I remember they ran their competitions a bit differently, so they were more realistic. So, the First Aid competitions were outdoors, so instead of pretending a room like this is a road, if it was supposed to be a road accident, they had a road, and they had a real ambulance turn up with a supposed crew that knew what they were talking about. So, I remember it being more realistic than we managed.

Excerpt courtesy of Andrew Hayward