A sea cadet at RCSCC LION from 1963 to 1968, I joined the Naval Reserve at HMCS STAR in 1968 as a Bos'n. I was an Officer Cadet in the ROUTP, commissioned in 1971, and awarded my watchkeeping ticket in 1973. I served at sea, at one time or another, in all five Gate Vessels and HMCS FORT STEELE & CHAUDIERE as well as the Coast Guard icebreaker Louis St. Laurent and served as OIC of the patrol vessels RALLY and RAPID. At STAR from 1968 to 2007, I served as XO twice and then as CO from 2002 to 2005. I rounded out my career by serving as SSO Training at NAVRESHQ in Quebec City in 2008, retiring in 2009 as CO of HMCS HUNTER in Windsor. I was Executive Director for the Friends of HMCS HAIDA till 2011 and have been an active volunteer onboard HAIDA since she arrived in Hamilton in 2003.
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A/Cdr George Holcombe Parke was Commanding Officer from 27 Nov 50 to 1 Dec 53. This picture is supplied courtesy of his daughter, Sarah Laidlaw. Note the RCNVR “Wavy Navy” stripe of a Sub Lieutenant. He was promoted to Lieutenant on 27 April 1943 so this picture predates that. He served at sea in the corvettes DAWSON & SHEDIAC as Gunnery Officer. After the war, he joined STAR in 1946 and served as XO from September 1948 till becoming CO in 1950. He was promoted to Commander (AWSE) on 1 January 1951.
In civilian life, he was a pharmacist and President of President of Parke & Parke Ltd, a drugstore at the corner of King & James where Jackson Square is today.
On 26 June, LCdr Marie-Sonya Sowa succeeded Cdr Stephen Churm as the 36th Commanding Officer of HMCS STAR and Lt(N) Mike DiBerardo, on promotion to LCdr became Executive Officer. Cdr Churm has been appointed as Special Advisor Workplace Relations at NAVRESHQ. Congratulations to all.
The Battle of the Atlantic is always remembered on the first Sunday of May. Being the 75th anniversary of VE Day (Victory in Europe), this year’s ceremonies were to be very special. COVID-19 has resulted in an amended program. A virtual commemoration will take place on Sunday 3rd May, on the Navy’s national Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Battle of the Atlantic content and programming will begin at 0700 EST and continue throughout the day. The content includes: 0800 EST: Battle of the Atlantic feature video; 0900 – 1000 EST: Historical overview of key victories and events; and 1100 – 1130 EST: Modified wreath-laying ceremony by Vice Admiral Art McDonald, Commander of the RCN, and CPO1 David Steeves, Comand Chief Petty Officer. These times are tentative and subject to change. For more information, please visit: