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Well done, Shirman!

AS a young 11-year-old boy he was inspired to consider a career in a dark blue suit, and now eight years later, that dream just might become a reality.  Shirman Brown (19) from Sea Vista in St Francis Bay, has devoted his teenage years to acquire his sea legs and fulfill his ambition of becoming an officer in the navy.  He has already applied for a position at the Navy in Cape Town, and is anxiously awaiting their reply.

According to Shirman, it all started when he was only 11-years-old and still playing in the streets of Sea Vista.  “The Friday, that changed my whole life and shaped my future choices, started just like any other ordinary day of the year,” said Shirman.
“However, when I saw my brother coming down the street in his dark blue sea cadet uniform after training, I knew that Fridays for me will never be the same again. Right there and then I decided that I too want to join the sea cadets of the Training Ship Kromme in Sea Vista. The very next Friday, I was on my post next to my brother.”

In the eight years that Shirman attended the training programme, he has proven himself a hard-working and worthy cadet and has recently been promoted to Cadet Midshipman.

The Sea Cadet Programme of the TS Kromme – in association with the South African Sea Cadets – was established ten years ago by Oliver Holmes.  The SA Sea Cadets is a voluntary extra-mural organisation offering learning initiatives geared towards boys and girls from Grade 6 to Grade 12.

“I always wanted to do something that will not only serve the local community, but also uplift the young members of that specific community. And what better way is there than by equipping them with recognised maritime qualifications that will enhance their ability to seek gainful employment in the maritime industries?  It is all about enjoying serious fun, but at the same time learning leadership, self-discipline and loyalty – developing one’s self through ‘honour and skill’,” said Oliver.

“Our programme is structured in such a way that the cadets will not only assimilate the skills we offer in basic seamanship, basic engineering, communications, catering, personal safety and survival at sea, firefighting at sea, first aid, marine conservation and others, but also those necessary elements of leadership to better equip themselves to meet the challenges of life.

In addition our training also cultivates those intangible social attributes, whatever the actual skill being taught, of self-discipline, self-esteem, self-worth, self-confidence, self-identity, self-resilience, self-attitude, successful teamwork, leadership and citizenship, all of which underlie the training and which directly impact on the cadet’s ability to concentrate, learn, consolidate, think and apply information or skills which will be necessary through life.”


Oliver Holmes with Shirman Brown

The TS Kromme has many expenses and members of the community are requested to support them where possible. For more information or to make a donation, contact Oliver Holmes at

Source:  Monique Vermeuelen, The KougaExpress

More on the Sea Cadets:

The Sea Cadet in South Africa movement traces its origins back to the first South African Training Ship, located on Woodstock beach, Cape Town, TS Woltemade that was opened on June 8, 1905. The movement spread throughout South Africa and there are currently 15 Training Ships, of which nine are active and developing those values and skills required to ensure that the maritime industry is provided with recruits who have a passion for the sea.

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