STAR Kitchener Tender

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“For the first time in Canada’s long military history, the Royal Canadian Navy has established a department in the Waterloo Region. The Kitchener-Waterloo Division launched January 21 as a satellite unit with His Majesty’s Canadian Ship Star, the Navy’s Reserve Division at Hamilton, with a unique co-op program available to local high school students.”

Waterloo Record 27 January 2023

Not the first but the second. The pressure to start a tender to HMCS STAR in Kitchener began in 1951 and 1952 with the former #3 CWAC Basic Training Centre at Knollwood Park (by the Kitchener Armouries at 350 East Avenue) suggested as a site. It was eventually established on 1 June 1954 using offices on the 6th floor of the Dunker Building (now demolished, possibly around 255 King Street West) and sharing space in the armouries with the 54th Light AA Regiment. LCdr James R.H. Kirkpatrick, DSC, MID, the wartime Senior Officer of the 65th Canadian MTB Flotilla, was named as CO. In 1956, the unit had a strength of 95 and the next year it had increased to 114. In October of 1963, the unit moved to the top floor of the AB Caya Building at 130 Weber Street, the army having moved to new accommodation on Victoria Street. Consideration was given to creating a separate Naval Reserve Division with the name HMCS CONESTOGA but the tender fell victim to a round of defence cuts and was closed on 30 November 1964.

Kirkpatrick, in civilian life a Provincial Court Judge, was promoted to Cdr in 1955 and Captain in 1959.

The first Kitchener tender is mentioned on pages 66 & 67 of HMCS STAR – A Naval Reserve History by Cdr (Ret’d) Robert Williamson. Additional research mine.

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