Hunter Hornet Squad Awards 2017

Last Saturday, November 18, the Hunter Hornet Squad recognised the efforts of several of it's members at an end-of-year social event.

"When I joined the 501st there were about 5 other new recuits who were approved around the same time. So the local numbers jumped significantly. Almost doubled. 13 of us wanted to do the 'squad thing'," Glen Fredericks, Squad Leader, explained.

"On Saturday night, while not all current members were present, our approved squad numbers sit at 35. About triple of what it was just a few short years ago," continued Glen.

The awards were presented at the Squad's year-end social, located in a suburban Newcastle park, where members and their families enjoyed a BBQ meal, great conversation, many laughs and some outdoor games. The event drew members from across the Garrison, some travelling from Sydney and Canberra.

"Before handing out the certificates and awards I was immensely proud of the sight of the large group, with family members present. We didn't get to where we are without the efforts, understanding, even sacrifice, of not just our members both new and old, but the spouses, cadets and wranglers." said Glen.

Squaddie of the Year 2017 - Suzan Allan

Squaddie of the Year was awarded to Suzan Allan for her dedication in representing the 501st Legion in numerous events, known as troops, and recognition of her efforts in her role in the Garrison's PR group where she has been instrumental in planning the new website and social media promotion.

Squaddie of the Year, Suzan Allan

Suzan can often be found causing havoc, dressed as a mischievous Jawa, however she will soon be donning the robes of a Royal Guard and also the expanded universe (legends) character of Kir Kanos.

Squad Rookie of the Year 2017 - Luke Goura

Having recently defected from the light-side's Rebel Legion, Luke Goura was presented with the Squad Rookie of the Year for his efforts with helping to wrangle at troops, behind-the-scenes organisation of events and his significant contribution to Garrison PR work. Luke is always quick to volunteer to help and has attended a considerable number of troops throughout the year.

Squad Rookie of the Year, Luke Goura

Luke's Imperial duties see him neatly presented as an Officer, however he is also working on Stormtrooper armour plus Ewok and Jawa costumes. As Luke still likes to dabble with his Rebel Legion colleagues as Jedi Master, the Squad never fails to remind him of his "wand-waving" Jedi heritage.

Squad Wrangler of the Year 2017 - Craig Elliott

Craig Elliott has proven himself to be an invaluable soon-to-be member of the Hunter Hornets. While he has assisted the group as a wrangler at several trooping events, his prowess with a sewing machine has been applied with assisting members and fellow cadets with the material components of their costumes, with Craig willingly sacrificing spending time working on his own costumes. Craig's resolve and commitment at Maitland Relay for Life was inspiring, where an open invite allowed Star Wars fans to join the 501st's Relay team, he wore his almost-complete Snowtrooper costume.

Squad Wrangler of the Year, Craig Elliott

Craig has a collection of costumes being built, including a Snowtrooper, Stormtrooper, Boba Fett and Imperial Bridge Crew.

"With 2017 coming to a close, it's time to reflect on the Squad's achievements over the last year. We've supported each other through some difficult times, helped support and fund raise for some amazing charities, visited sick children at the John Hunter Hospital giving them some relief from their troubles, participated in and helped setup an incredible Supernova exhibit, and brought happiness to a bunch of kids (young and old). Excitingly, we've also had the privilege of joining the Garrison in helping Lucasfilm and Disney promote The Last Jedi," said Paul Hempsall, Squad XO.

"The Hunter Hornets consist of an amazing group of people, of which I'm humbled to be counted among their numbers, and I look forward to seeing what 2018 has in store for us," Paul concluded.