ACF cadet and adult volunteers lunch with royalty

11 June 2012

On Tuesday 5th June 2012 Cadet Sergeant Moises Mendoza (age 17) from SW London ACF and three ACF adult volunteers, Staff Sergeant Instructor Sarah Wilde from Cornwall ACF, Captain David Cawrey and Major John Lawrence both from Middlesex and North West London ACF were among 700 honoured guests who attended HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee lunch at Westminster Hall.

Cadet Sergeant Moises Mendoza from 132 Detachment Royal Signals in Wandsworth received a surprise invitation from the Worshipful Company of Arbitrators who, along with the City of London’s livery companies were hosting the lunch. Cadet Sergeant Mendoza was also lucky enough to be seated on the same table as His Royal Highness Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.

Cadet Sergeant Mendoza said “It was a huge honour to be chosen and invited to attend such a prestigious event. I almost couldn’t believe it when Prince William came to sit on our table. I was incredibly nervous at first but he was very entertaining and soon put everyone at ease.” He continued “I would very much like to thank Mr Hew Dundas, Master of The Worshipful Company of Arbitrators, for this wonderful once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I am very, very grateful.”

Cadet Sergeant Mendoza has been a member of the Army Cadet Force for four years and is a qualified Cadet Instructor who enjoys teaching the younger cadets new skills in subjects such as field craft, shooting and first aid. He was nominated as Best Senior Cadet at Annual Camp in 2011 and also regularly represents his unit in cadet competitions. “I love being an Army Cadet,” he said. "It’s given me the opportunity to participate in challenging and interesting activities that aren’t available at school or in college, such as field craft, that help to develop leadership and teamwork skills.”The Worshipful Company of Arbitrators are very keen supporters of 13 Company from London’s South West Sector ACF and nominated Cadet Sergeant Mendoza for one of the coveted places at this prestigious lunch in recognition of his achievements and contribution to the community.

Adult volunteer Major John Lawrence, invited by Loriners Livery Company who support 216 Tottenham (The Blues and Royals) speaking about the event said “The Queen’s arrival was announced by the State Trumpeters so there was no mistaking that the Royal Family had arrived. We saw HM The Queen, HRH The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. Sadly we missed HRH Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh who was in hospital.”

Adult volunteer Capt Cawrey Officer Commanding 20 Company attended at the request of the Worshipful Company of Pewterers and added “I felt honoured and privileged to be asked to attend the lunch as a representative of the Army cadet Force. It was a once in a life time experience. “