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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The Hamilton Area Group of the Naval Association of Canada held their June lunch at Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum on the 228th anniversary of “The Glorious First of June”. The food was excellent and the setting was marvellous, not in the least marred by the sound of school children in the background or warning klaxons sounding as hangar doors opened and closed.
Following lunch, we were treated to tours led by friendly& knowledgeable CWH volunteers, with a focus on naval aircraft such as the Avenger, the Firefly and the Tracker.
The Hamilton Area Group of the Naval Association of Canada is hosting their annual spring lunch at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Mount Hope on Wednesday, 1 June at 11:30. There will be a cash bar, lunch in the hangar followed by a tour of the Warplane Heritage Collection with a focus on naval aviation & aircraft like the Firefly, the Grumman Tracker, etc. You do not have to be a member of NAC to participate. Tickets are $45 and can be obtained from email@example.com or by phone at 905-765-6075. Short fuze – responses no later than 27 May.
HMCS ORIOLE, the oldest commissioned vessel in the Royal Canadian Navy, will be visiting Hamilton on 9 June, just days short of the 70th anniversary of her commissioning.
Built in 1921 for George Gooderham, the Commodore of the RCYC (Royal Canadian Yacht Club), she is a steel hulled Bermuda ketch, 102 foot long overall and with a 94 foot tall mainmast. From 1954 to 2017, she was used to teach seamanship to naval officers on the west coast and regularly participated in the Victoria to Maui Ocean Race and the Swiftsure International Yacht Race.
After a refit at Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, she continues to teach the importance of basic seamanship to the sailor of the 21st century, and to act as an ambassador for the Royal Canadian Navy.