As part of GLD (Great Lakes Deployment) 2018, the Kingston Class MCDV (Maritime Coastal Defence Vessel) HMCS MONCTON will be visiting Hamilton from 23 to 25 July. MONCTON is well travelled, having deployed during the past two years to the Caribbean twice, assisting the US Coast Guard with the seizure of 834 kg of cocaine, the Canadian arctic twice and the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of West Africa. Not bad for a “coastal” defence vessel.
HMCS / CFB CORNWALLIS
The first HMCS Cornwallis opened in Halifax on 1 May 1942 as a training base for new recruits. It moved to Deep Brook near Digby, Nova Scotia in April of 1943 and was the largest naval training facility in the Commonwealth during WWII.
The base closed after the war but reopened shortly afterwards and was the basic training facility for RCN recruits and then all English-speaking recruits for the Armed Forces till 1994 when the base was closed and basic training moved to St. Jean, Quebec.
When the base closed, several items from St George’s Chapel were brought to HMCS STAR by our Padre, LCdr Don Lee. In 2013, Canon Bill Thomas was kind enough to transport the items back to Cornwallis for display in a museum which operated there from 1997 to 2017. In 2018, Guy Godin from the Naval Museum of Halifax returned them and numerous other chapel related items to STAR.
Aluminum Chaplain’s branch badge
A brass missal Stand
Brass anchor & cross
Some of the items on display in St. George’s Chapel in CORNWALLIS before their return to HMCS STAR.
There is a table in the wardroom at HMCS STAR composed of a ten spoke ship’s wheel on a metal stand with a polycarbonate insert for the top. People remember it in the wardroom in Building Two as far back as 1951, at which point it reportedly had a wooden base, and it moved to Building Forty in 1997. It has been suggested that it might have come from LCdr Archie Hodge (1922-2004) but we cannot confirm that and information on its provenance is needed. Shown below is a table that was definitely made by Archie for comparison.