All posts by Dinger

About Dinger

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.

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.