After immigrating to Canada more than a decade ago, a Langford family continues their commitment to the military, carrying a passed-down tradition.
Narender Tirukovela moved to Canada in 2006. Coming from a family of military servants, the father of two felt there was a calling he needed to answer. His father served in the National Cadet Corps in India, achieving the highest rank.
“He was at the highest level when he was doing that. He’s a veterinary officer by profession. Even my father-in-law, his civic job is in the railways, but he also served as paramilitary,” said Tirukovela.
The private reservist has been enlisted in the military for four years, spending sometimes months away from his family to train. His desire to serve his community has trickled down to his two children Siddharth and Nihaarika who are enlisted in the Navy and Air Cadets.
“I thought it would be a nice little thing that I could do and it would something that’s fun and also focused and would help other people,” said 10-year-old Siddharth.
Siddharth has spent two years with the Navy Cadets and his older sister Nihaarika has completed a total of five years so far, with three of those years in the Air Cadets.
The two don’t have their eyes set on a career path yet. Many of their ambitions include being a biologist, pediatrician, food-tester, and even acting. They say that being able to serve their community, following the advice their father gave them, is rewarding.
“He says to work hard and keep at it, and help the community,” said 14-year-old Nihaarika.
With a combined 11 years of commitment to the military, the family always takes time to honour those before them. As they stand alongside veterans at the annual Remembrance Day parade in Victoria, the family continues a legacy.
“You’re like looking up to them [veterans] and you’re also marching alongside them in the parade, so it’s really cool,” said Nihaarika.