Big Day at STAR

Saturday, 23 September is the culmination of the centennial celebrations of the Canadian Naval Reserve and Hamilton’s Naval Reserve unit, HMCS STAR.

When the Canadian Forces Reorganization Act came into effect on February 1st, 1968, it changed HMCS STAR from a commissioned ship into a unit of the Canadian Forces. Fifty-five years later, that error is being rectified on Saturday morning, September 23rd when HMCS STAR and the twenty-three other naval reserve divisions will be recommissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy.

Following that short ceremony, the ship’s company will head uptown to city hall to exercise their freedom of the city, first granted them on May 5th, 1985.

The afternoon will see a memorial soccer game at Eastwood Park in honour of LS Matthew Pinczak, a member of STAR, who was lost to us in 2019.

As well, HMCS ORIOLE, Canada’s oldest commissioned vessel at 102, is alongside Pier Eight and open for public tours.

Saturday, 23 September

09:15 Recommissioning Ceremony at HMCS STAR

11:00 Freedom of the City Ceremony at Hamilton City Hall

12:00 Dinner in messes at HMCS STAR

13:00 LS Matthew Pinczak Memorial Soccer game at Eastwood Park

RIP Gerry McNair

Gerald Andrew McNair, RCNVR V-65487, 27 May 1924 – 17 August 2023

Well known among the senior HAIDA volunteers. Only last December I had the privilege of chatting with Gerry in his home when he donated some artefacts from HMS VICTORY. They now hang in the wardroom of HMCS STAR.

HAIDA Sentry Program

The HAIDA Sentry Program brings Naval Reserve sailors from across the country to HMCS HAIDA, the RCN’s ceremonial flagship, to learn more about our history and engage with Canadians. Developed in collaboration with partners at Parks Canada and the Friends of HAIDA, this inaugural year will see groups of four onboard for a week each. The first four, two from TECUMSEH and two from DISCOVERY, were excellent ambassadors for their NRDs and the Naval Reserve and added considerably to the visitor experience. Looking forward to welcoming other groups throughout July, and, hopefully, an expanded program in years to come.

Gabe Camozzi from Parks Canada on the left, Chief Kelly Mills from HMCS GRIFFON third from left and Jeff Topping of Friends of HMCS HAIDA on the right, along with the first four HAIDA Sentries.