ORIOLE was built as ORIOLE IV for George Gooderham, the Commodore of the RCYC (Royal Canadian Yacht Club) in Toronto. A steel hulled Bermuda ketch, 102 feet long overall and with a 94’ tall mainmast, she was launched 4 June 1921 by George Lawley and Sons in Neponset (Boston), Massachusetts, the same yard that built the PURITAN & MAYFLOWER, respectively winners of the 1885 & 1886 America’s Cups and served as the flagship of the RCYC from 1924 to 1928.
She was sold to the Navy League of Canada in 1941 and used for training sea cadets. Chartered during the war by the RCN she was again chartered in 1949 and then on 19 June 1952, commissioned as HMCS ORIOLE. In 1954 she went to the West Coast as a training vessel at NOTC (Naval Officers Training Centre) VENTURE and became a regular fixture in the Victoria to Maui Ocean Race and the Swiftsure International Yacht Race.
After sixty-three years on the west coast, she came east in 2017 to take part in the celebrations for Canada 150 and for a refit in the shipyard in Luneburg, Nova Scotia. At 97 years of age with 66 years of service, ORIOLE is the oldest commissioned vessel in the RCN. She visits Hamilton 29 June to 3 July 2018.