Former Mayor Neil Davidson (left) unveils the Freedom of the City proclamation with Col. Jake Beer

Former Mayor Neil Davidson (left) unveils the Freedom of the City proclamation with Col. Jake Beer

Cadet camp honours fallen commanding officer

Vernon Army Cadet Camp lowers flags in memory of Col. Jake Beer

Flags were lowered at Vernon Army Cadet Summer Training Centre Tuesday when word arrived that former commanding officer Col. Jake Beer had died in Victoria.

Beer, 91, had a long career in the Canadian Forces after joining the 8th Medium Battery, Royal Canadian Artillery (militia) as a gunner in 1937. He landed in Normandy with the second wave of soldiers and fought all the way to Germany where he oversaw the disarming of enemy troops.

He later served in Korea, Saigon, England, Germany, France and Italy in a series of positions of increasing responsibility.

After retirement in 1975, he assumed command of the Vernon Army Cadet Summer Training Centre in 1976 and served in that position until 1979.

Beer was instrumental in earning VACSTC the rights to the Freedom of the City, which was granted by then-mayor Neil Davidson in 1979.

This was the first time a cadet training centre in Canada had been granted the privilege and it was followed by a large parade of cadets and officers down 30th Avenue past the reviewing stand.

After his tenure in Vernon, Beer was appointed to command the Royal Canadian Cadet National Rifle Team and twice accompanied the marksmen to competitions in Bisley, England.

Funeral services are scheduled for later this week in Victoria.