|V-Adm James C. Wood|
The navy of 1985 was different and also very similar to the one of 1960. The title Royal Canadian Navy was abandoned for Maritime Command (MARCOM) following the unification of the Canadian Armed Forces in 1967. Vice-Admiral James C. Wood, CMM, CD, was Commander of MARCOM and his naval headquarters was in Halifax.
The navy was composed of Maritime Command (MARCOM) in Halifax, N.S., Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC) in Esquimalt, B.C., and there were 18 Naval Reserve Divisions across the country. MARCOM counted 9,625 men and women and its members wore green uniforms (but was in the process to revert to the current uniform); in addition there were 3,850 naval reservists and 6,725 civilian employees. The fleet counted 84 vessels: 23 destroyers (including 3 in reserve status), 3 submarines, 24 minor warships and 34 auxiliary vessels. Air Command provided air support with ship-borne helicopters and long-range aircraft. In 1985, the Canada Navy had a jubilee year as the 75th anniversary of the Naval Service of Canada was celebrated by a series of special events coast-to-coast. For veterans and serving members of all ranks the year was a time of nostalgia; of remembrance of those men and women who sacrificed all for their service and their country; and, of a sense of pride and commitment.
Naval assemblies, tattoos, port visits, parades, reunions, remembrance ceremonies and religious services were some of the memorable events conducted by men and women who still "go down to the sea in ships".
|"Pride & Commitment"|
Ships of many nations assembled in harbours at Halifax, 27 June - 2 July; Vancouver, 24 - 30 August; and Victoria, 31 August - 8 September.
Naval Assembly and Review - Atlantic
One of the larger assemblies of naval ships in peacetime was held in Halifax, between 26 June to 2 July, during celebrations marking the 75th Anniversary of Canada’s Naval Service.
|His Royal Highness Prince Andrew with VAdm James Wood, MARCOM, onboard CFAV Quest - 28 Jun 85.|
Thirty-four ships from Canada, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, the United States and West Germany assembled in Bedford Basin on Wednesday and Thursday, 26 and 27 June. The review of the ships, conducted aboard CFAV Quest, occurred on 28 June. Accompanying Vice-Admiral Wood onboard Quest were His Royal Highness Prince Andrew and Her Excellency the Right Honourable Jeanne Sauvé, Governor General of Canada.
Early Saturday morning, 29 June, the ships moved from Bedford Basin to berths alongside and were open to the public in the afternoons from Saturday 29 June to Monday 1 July. The ships were illuminated at night both at anchor in the Basin and when alongside.
Naval assemblies are traditionally held to celebrate a national event. The previous assembly held in Halifax was in 1967 during Canada’s Centennial celebrations.
While in Halifax-Dartmouth, the men of the different ships took part in a number of sports events, social functions and church services. The co-ordinator of the Naval Assembly Planning Group was Commander James King, Commanding Officer HMCS HURON. The planning group included representatives of the Nova Scotia Government and the cities of Halifax and Dartmouth.
Canadian Navy ships visited many coastal and inland ports throughout the summer months.
Standing Naval Force Atlantic
The Standing Naval Force Atlantic (SNFL) arrived in Halifax on the morning of 25 June. The eight ships, HMS BRILLIANT, BNS WIELINGEN, HMCS SKEENA, FGC PHEINLAND PFALZ, HNLMS PIETER FLORISZ, HNOMS STAVANGER, NRP COMMANDANTE ROBERTO IVENS and USS R.E. BYRD, took part in the 75th Anniversary Atlantic Assembly on 28 June and departed on 2 July.
SNFL continues to be a unique naval entity, being the first active permanent naval squadron ever formed. Falling under the Command of NATO’s Supreme Allied Command Atlantic (SACLANT) the Force at the time was made up of the ships from Canada, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Netherlands, the United States and the United Kingdom. These five countries assign ships to the Force on a continuous basis while Belgium, Denmark, Norway, and Portugal participate as regularly as national priorities permit.
While in Halifax the eight ships took part in the Naval Assembly on 28 June in Bedford Basin. They returned to HMC Dockyard on Saturday 29 June. The public was able to go aboard the ships on 29 and 30 June between 1335 and 1630. The ships were illuminated from sunset until 0200 from 25 to 30 June. On 29 June the ships were dressed with masthead ensign in honour of the birthday of His Royal Highness the Prince of the Netherlands, on 1 July for Canada Day and on 2 July in honour of the birthday of His Royal Highness the King of Norway.
A 30 man contingent from the eight ships marched in the flag-raising parade around Citadel Hill on 1 July. The fleet departed Halifax on 2 July.
The first Canadian Patrol Frigate, HMCS HALIFAX, was laid down in Saint John, NB.
Canadian Forces Tattoo
The tattoo toured eleven Canadian cities:
|Saint John||July 5 - 8|
|Moncton||July 10 -11|
|Quebec City||July 16 - 18|
|Ottawa||July 21 - 23|
|Montreal||July 26 - 28|
|Toronto||August 1 - 5|
|Winnipeg||August 9 - 11|
|Edmonton||August 15 - 17|
|Calgary||August 20 - 23|
|Vancouver||August 26 - 30|
|Victoria||September 3 - 6|
The Royal Nova Scotia Tattoo
The seventh annual production featured the naval gun run championship which was held in Halifax 27 June - 1 July.
HMCS SACKVILLE - Canadian Naval Memorial Dedication
Halifax – Saturday, May 4th marked more than the actual 75th birthday of the Canadian Navy. It also marked the dedication of the navy’s lady of the year, HMCS SACKVILLE, as the national naval memorial.
|HMCS SACKVILLE K-181|
The last remaining corvette of the 122 which patrolled the North Atlantic corridor during the Battle of the Atlantic in World War II, SACKVILLE has been the object of a massive fund raising campaign to restore her to her wartime configuration. Maritime Command alone raised over $100,000 to help the Sackville Trust reach its goal.
“In our day they were the proudest ships,” said the Hon. Erik Nielsen, Minister of National Defence, during the ceremony. “HMCS SACKVILLE represented democracy’s willingness to defend its freedom with the means available.”
Other dignitaries in attendance included Vice-Admiral D. Mainguy, Assistant Chief of Defence Staff; Vice-Admiral J.C. Wood, Commander Maritime Command; Commander Marc Garneau, Canada’s first astronaut; and Mr. Mike O’Leary, 97, the oldest known naval veteran in Nova Scotia.
|HMCS SACKVILLE K-181 Moment of Dedication 4 May, 1985|
There were many present who had come to remember their days on the corvettes. Cecil Hicks, who commissioned the ship in December, 1941, said “SACKVILLE was a young man’s ship. She slammed and banged, the food was on the deck and she was cold and wet, but it was the happiest time of my life.”
Alan Easton, SACKVILLE’s commander in 1942, was impressed by the restoration. “From the dock you’d think you were forty years younger… During the war she was covered in rust. Today she is beautiful.”
HMCS SACKVILLE was docked beside the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax as a floating exhibit. More than just another tourist attraction, she represents the spirit of the Flower Class ships and the men who sailed in them.
Battle of the Atlantic
National ceremonies commemorating the sacrifice of men and women who served during the Battle of the Atlantic were held 5 May at the National War Memorial in Ottawa as well as at other memorials and cenotaphs from coast-to-coast.
CBC Radio Special
On Sunday 5 May the CBC broadcast a program entitled “Sounds of the Sea”. The program was comprised of 32 interviews with men and women who served in the Canadian Navy from 1910 to 1985, either in peacetime or in war. The interviews, from members of all ranks, provided first-hand accounts from those who were there. The interviews were supported by excellent narrative, sound bites of songs of the day and a satirical song entitled “You’ll Get Used to it”. Freddie Grant wrote the original song in 1940 about life in an internment camp. The version aired during this program had been re-written and performed by John Pratt, who thrilled audiences in the theatrical wartime show “Meet the Navy”.
The Stadacona, Naden and Naval Reserve bands performed across Canada.
Sea to Sea Run
Cross Country Ski Marathon
"Navy Ski Team wins at Canadian Ski Marathon"
Halifax - The Canadian Navy cross-country ski team (took) home the Canadian Ski Marathon's "R-A Ski Club" trophy awarded to the "Maxi" team skiing the greatest cumulative distance in the participation event. The 98-member "NAVY SKI 75TH" team skied a total distance of 10,560 kms to establish a record in this category. The naval contingent defeated the 101-skier team from Sedbergh School, in Montebello, P.Q., which for three consecutive years had won the trophy and held the record distance of 6,896 kms.
In the predawn hours of 9 February some 98 members of the Canadian Navy anxiously awaited the pistol shot that would signal the start of the 160-kilometre Canadian Ski Marathon from Lachute to Hull, P.Q.
Huddled around the fire before the start in -29C temperatures, mixed emotions went through the team; one of the novices thought "it was all very bizarre", others noticed all the experienced marathoners by their (name) by badges on their packs and clothing. At the sound of the gun, the coureur des bois gold level started, followed by the silver, then bronze. Not long after the start the several hundred skiers eventually spread out along the trail, with red flares lighting the track. LCdr Dennis Kolba described the atmosphere as "dead silent, only broken by the sound of skis."
Morale was kept high along the route dotted by volunteers and spectators clapping and cheering the skiers as they reached the feeding stations. Personal attention was given to the Navy team by an Ottawa-based couple from the Forces' Physical Education trade. As Warrant Officer Frank Decker recalls, "the best thing was seeing them at each check point. They really helped give the total team-work feeling."
It was clear that their intensive training had paid off, when the skiers' fatigue was easily overcome by knowing how to pace themselves, and when and how long to rest. As the end grew near, the "sprint to the finish" took over most of the team. Cdr Ron Rhodenizer crossed the finish line waving his Navy jacket from his ski pole. He later said, "I knew they were all coming and as more of them came in I felt elated." Collectively the team skied 10,560 kms with a cross section of ranks from Ordinary Seaman to Admiral, representing ages from 18 to 55. LCdr Dennis Kolba summed up their efforts this way; "I felt like we had accomplished something that we could be really proud of."
The team members came from: Maritime Command units in Halifax, Maritime Forces Pacific in Esquimalt, B.C., and National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa. The Naval Reserve was represented by: HMCS DISCOVERY in Vancouver, HMCS NONSUCH in Edmonton, HMCS CHIPPAWA in Winnipeg, HMCS GRIFFIN in Thunder Bay and HMCS DONNACONA in Montreal. A contingent of soldiers and airmen from Canadian Forces Bases Comox, B.C.; Kingston, Ont.; Ottawa and Montreal; as well as students from the Canadian Forces Staff College in Toronto completed the team.
- PHARE BEACON, Thursday 25 April, 1985
Royal Canadian Navy Memorial Sword
|RCN Memorial Sword|
The Admirals' Medal
A medal to recognize outstanding achievements in Canadian maritime activities, had been established in conjunction with the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Naval Service of Canada.
The Admirals' Medal was initiated in honour of three former naval officers, now all deceased, whose distinguished personal contributions made a significant impact on the development of maritime affairs in this country.
The award was named for Rear-Admiral George Stephens, a founding member of the Royal Canadian Navy; Vice-Admiral Rollo Mainguy, whose 'Mainguy Report' provided a basis for naval personnel and leadership policies which last to this day; and Rear-Admiral Victor Brodeur who organized the Naval Reserves of Canada.
Though established in the name of these naval service pioneers, the prestigious medal will actually provide public recognition to the new generation of Canadians who display initiative and skill in advancing martime affairs, operations and research.
The Admirals' Medal Foundation will award the medal annually on the basis of nominations submitted to the Foundation by individuals and organizations in a position to identify outstanding achievement in the wide range of maritime affairs. Meritorious accomplishments, whether through science, technology, academic studies, or the application of practical maritime skill will be considered for this special recognition.
Nominations, by letter, must be sent to the Awards Committee of the Foundation by October 31 annually. Nominations must include biographical information and a brief description of the work, achievement, or display of practical skill of the nominee. The name of the individual or organization submitting the recommendation must also be given to the committee which consists of distinguished Canadians with backgrounds in various maritime fields.
Titled "The Canadian Navy in the Modern World" was held at the Maritime Warfare School, CFB Halifax in October.
Canada Post Corporation issued a 75th Anniversary stamp.
On behalf of Maritime Command, the Canadian Music Centre in Toronto, held a music competition. A three-person jury comprised of naval officers and music experts judged 23 submissions. The winning submission, titled "Ready Aye Ready", composed by Stadacona Band member Petty Officer 1st Class Earl Fralick, will be used mainly to complement the traditional march "Heart of Oak". Harry Steele presented Petty Officer Fralick with a $2,000 prize. Mr. Steele was the President of Eastern Provincial Airways, the competition's main sponsor.
Naval Anniversary Range
Four naval officers, led by Lieutenant - Commander Dave Redmond (37) included: Commander John Pirquet (44), Lieutenant (Navy) Jim Huzzey (28) and Sub-Lieutenant Frank Hallam (24) climbed seven mountains in British Columbia and gave them each a name to mark the 75th Anniversary.
The seven mountains have been officially registered with the B.C. government as the Naval Anniversary Range. The peaks, their namesake, and their locations are:
Naval Anniversary Range
75th Anniversary of the Canadian Navy
N 51°21'00" W 124°31'00"
|Navy Peak 2,942 m||Named after the Naval Service||N 51°20'35" W 124°32'15"|
|Venture Mountain 2,875 m||HMCS VENTURE||N 51°19'20" W 124°33'30"|
|Cornwallis Peak 2,881 m||HMCS CORNWALLIS||N 51°18'45" W 124°33'05"|
|Royal Roads Peak 2,964 m||Royal Roads Military College||N 51°19' 05.9" W 124°32' 48.1"|
|Rainbow Mountain 2,759 m||HMCS RAINBOW||N 51°19'45" W 124°32'00"|
|Naden Mountain 2,698 m||HMCS NADEN (CFB Esquimalt)||N 51°21'45" W 124°30'30"|
|Stadacona Peak 2,485 m||HMCS STADACONA (CFB Halifax)||N 51°21'00" W 124°30'30"|
Freedom of the City
The tradition of granting Freedom of the City to a military unit goes back more than three centuries. Throughout history there has been a strong aversion against the war-like appearance of large bodies of troops in city streets disturbing the peace and appearing to be a threat to the ancient civic rights of the city fathers. The custom first took hold after the restoration of King Charles II of England in 1660.
| Freedom of the City, Victoria - 1985|
His Worship Peter Pollen, Mayor of the City of Victoria, inspects the 100 person guard of honour during the Freedom of the City parade.
During the winter months, military troops would camp outside the walls of the city. While the soldiers might visit the city's taverns during the day, they would return to their camp at sunset. Over the winter, the soldiers would gain the trust of their city neighbours, as the citizens became more familiar with them. They might then be conferred with Freedom of the City, particularly if they had defended the city from an attacking enemy or performed some other worthy deed.
The Freedom of the City means, in the physical sense, the granting of the privilege for all time for a specific military unit to march through the city with "drums beating, colours flying, and bayonets fixed." This is a most prized honour, for it recognizes over time, the honourable record of the military unit, and demonstrates the affection and esteem with which it is held by the community and the trust the citizenry has in the military to protect its democratic institution.
The granting of "The Freedom of the City" is therefore a private matter between civic officials and the specific unit concerned. The decision to grant this symbolic freedom rests with the municipal authorities. While it is not unprecedented, it is rare for a city to grant the honour to a foreign military unit.
The ceremony starts as the unit to be granted the Freedom of the City marches towards city hall, colour cased and rifles carried without bayonets fixed. When the unit nears city hall, they are stopped by the chief constable standing in front of a barrier in the centre of the road. The unit halts at the barrier. The chief constable challenges the unit on its identity, and the commanding officer responds with the unit's title. The chief constable then calls for the unit to "advance one and be recognized". The commanding officer only, moves closer to the barrier.
The commanding officer, accompanied by the chief constable, then marches to the door to city hall where the commanding officer knocks on the door three times with the pommel of his or her sword. The door is opened by the mayor, and the commanding officer declares his name and that of the unit. The mayor and councillors line up at the entrance to city hall and the mayor then reads a proclamation proclaiming that Freedom of the City is bestowed on the specific unit. The commanding officer accepts the freedom and returns to the unit and chief constable orders that the barrier be removed. The unit fixes bayonets, and the colour is unfurled. The unit marches past, with the mayor taking the salute.
Once a unit has been granted Freedom of the City it may exercise its freedom on occasions arranged with the civic authority. The ceremony to exercise Freedom of the City is similar, except the unit may march directly to city hall with drums beating, colours flying and bayonets fixed. After the unit is challenged and identified by the chief constable, the mayor proclaims the unit welcome, inspects the troops, and invites the unit to exercise its freedom.
Maritime Command Museum Memorial Window Dedication
|Maritme Command Museum Memorial Window|
The window was designed in memory of all the sailors who have died in World Wars I and II and the Korean Conflict. The upper arch reflects the historical significance of this Museum as the shelter for so many naval artefacts. The Naval Crown is the top focal point and embodies many aspects of naval tradition. The symbolic Kisbie Ring encircles the window as it has encircled so many lives throughout the wars. The ten maple leaves represent the ten provinces from which Canada drew her naval fleets. The threatening sky reflects the horror and anger of war, while the strength of the mountains symbolizes the stability of our Canadian homeland. The pale blue ocean beneath the mountains reflects the tranquility we have enjoyed in Canada because of the great sacrifices of so many. The naval anchor represents the strength and stability of our naval service, past and present. At the base, the grey glass stands for the cold seas which our navy must continue to travel, to carry on the “Pride and Commitment” of those who died and gave so much for us.
Oland Anniversary Library
Commodore Bruce Oland donated his private collection of 649 naval volumes to the Maritime Command Museum at a private function held at the museum on 23 June. Commodore Oland’s collection began as a hobby in the mid 1930’s and grew to include some semi-rare volumes and several authoritative reference sets. A complete set of Crowsnest issues and a series of naval Chronicles dating back to the early 1800’s form part of the collection.
Sailors from the twelve nations represented during the Atlantic Naval Assembly were able to enjoy some Maritime hospitality through the Dial-A-Sailor program. The program, which had proved popular during past visits of the Standing Naval Force Atlantic, was designed to let visiting sailors and local residents get to know each other better. Any member of the public who wanted to entertain a sailor from another country could do so by contacting the appropriate ship’s phone number.
CFB Halifax Hospital
The new hospital, named after the founder of the RCN Medical Service late Surgeon Commodore Archie B. McCallum, was inaugurated on 27 July.
Shearwater International Air Show
Naval Aviation was featured as the major theme of the SIAS at CFB Shearwater, N.S., 21 - 22 September.
Navy League Sunset Ceremonies
The Saskatchewan Division of the Navy League co-sponsored a Sunset Ceremony to commemorate the 75th Anniversary, the International Year of Youth and the 90th Anniversary of the Navy League. The event, comprised of approxiamately 250 cadets, took place in front of the Regina Legislature on 2 June.
Maritime Forces Pacific held a regatta in the Victoria inner harbour on 28 June. Events included under the Naval Regatta the Great Beard Growing Contest and the Cock-of-the-Walk.
Participating members had to be clean shaven on 28 February with a straight razor.
On 26 June at 1030 hrs the contest ended. Six finalists in each category: best, most colourful, and longest were judged during the Naval Regatta in Victoria's Inner Harbour on 28 June.
The winners were LCdr Jim Bradbury for Best Beard, PO Dave Odgers for Longest Beard and James Steffan for Most Colourful.
Winnipeg Naval Reunion
was held at the Winnipeg Convention Centre, 3 - 5 May.
Royal Canadian Naval Association Reunion
The RCNA Reunion was hosted by the Cornwall and District Naval Veterans Association in Cornwall, ON., 17 - 20 May.
Cornwallis Naval Reunion Association
A special 75th Anniversary reunion was held in Cornwallis, N.S., on 18 - 19 May.
Naval Communicators Reunion
The Naval Communicators Reunion took place in Halifax, N.S., on 21 - 23 June.
A reunion for all naval supply officers both active and retired was held at HMCS SCOTIAN on Monday, 24 June.
Naval Officers Association of Canada National Reunion
The NOAC National Reunion was held in Halifax in conjunction with the Annual General Meeting, 25 - 29 June.
Naval Weather Service Reunion
The Naval Weather Service Reunion took place in Halifax, N.S., on 28 - 30 June.
University Naval Training Divisions Reunion
The UNTD Reunions were held in Halifax, N.S., 28 Jun - 1 Jul and in Victoria, B.C., 29 Aug - 01 Sep and with regional events taking place in Winnipeg, Toronto and Montreal.
The Medical Reunion took place in Halifax, N.S., between 26 - 28 July. The event was highlighted by the opening and dedication of the Archie B. McCallum Hospital, Halifax, on 27 Jul.
Women's Royal Naval Service Association National Reunion
The WRENs National Reunion was held in Toronto, ON., 8 - 11 August.
Chiefs and Petty Officers Reunion
The C&POs Reunion took place in Victoria, B.C., 5 - 8 September.