On its inception in 1972, 819 Squadron was officially known as the 819 North Delta Lions Squadron. The Squadron motto of “Ad Altior Tendo” was adopted from the Melville family of Edinburgh, which means “to strive for higher”. In 1977 the Air Cadet League of Canada authorized a change of sponsorship from the North Delta Lions club to that of an Independent Sponsor, and we became officially known as the 819 North Delta Skyhawk Squadron.
In September of 1973, the Squadron Drill Team was newly formed and went on to win the B.C. Drill Competition in 1974. This team had the privilege of being the Honour Guard for the 50th Anniversary of the RCAF Parade in Vancouver. The Squadron Drill Team won the A.D. Bell Irving OBE, MC, ED Trophy for “Top Drill Team in B.C.” in years 1974, 1975, 1976, 1979 and 1986. The team also received the Nick Carter Trophy for Precision Drill in 1977. In 2003, 2006, 2008 and again in 2009, the 819 Drill Team attained the honour of a first place finish in the Fraser Valley (now Lower Mainland) Wing Drill Competitions.
The Squadron Band was formed in December 1974, and in April 1974 won the Tri-Service Band Competition, capturing the trophy from the team with a six-year winning streak. The 819 Band has received the award for the “Top Tri-Service Military Band “A: division in BC” in the years 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1983, 1984, 1987 and 1996. In 1983, the Band was invited to travel to Ottawa to compete in the National band Competition and received the trophy for the “Top Dress Military Band in Canada”. In 2007, the 819 band won the “C” division, and in 2008 the ‘B’ division Gold winning the trophies. Again in 2009 and 2010, the band won the ‘A’ division Gold levels. In 2013, the band won in “C” Division.
The Squadron also has active junior and senior First Aid teams, marksmanship and biathlon competition teams, an Effective Speaking program – all of which have won accolades from time to time by excelling in their activities, both in the zone and the provincial levels. In 2013, the biathlon teams won 2 gold, 2 silver & 4 bronze medals at the Pacific Region Lower Mainland Zone 4 Biathlon Championships. In addition to all the above, several of our cadets are active participants in the Duke of Edinburgh’s program.
The 819 Squadron was presented with the “Lord Strathcona Trust Proficiency Award” – the Air Cadet League award for the “Top Squadron in B.C.” in 1975, 1976, 1980, 1989 and 2004.
In the year 1975, when there were 380 Air Cadet Squadrons in Canada, the RCAF Association Trophy for the “Top Squadron in Canada” was presented to the 819 squadron.