| Credit: Lt(N) Wendy Goulet |
The Making of the Centennial Bell: The Canadian Navy Centennial Bell is a 12-inch bell normally installed in a frigate or destroyer. Weighing about 50-pounds, it will be suitably engraved in celebration of the Canadian Naval Centennial. Adding special meaning and history to the bell is that it is cast from material collected and donated to represent the century of naval service that the bell celebrates. Included amongst the artefacts are navigation tools, cap badges, shell casings, uniform buttons, boatswains call, ship’s fittings and equipment and even flammable items such as pieces of uniform, letters and photographs that vaporized and added essence when the metal items were melted down. The artefacts represent ships, submarines, naval air and the men and women of the entire period from 1910 to 2010.
The bell was cast by sailors at the Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Breton Foundry located in HMC Dockyard at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt in Victoria, during a ceremony on Sept. 30, 2009. The casting was polished and engraved by the artisans at the Fleet Maintenance Facility and is expected serve as a piece d’art when the Navy celebrates it second century in 2110.
The Bell Rope: The Bell will be decorated with a colourful rope chosen from amongst several created by sailors across Canada in a national competition.
The Bell Book: A book will accompany the Centennial Bell to highlight the history of the bell and list the variety of artefacts it is made from. The book will record the participants at the casting and dedication ceremonies, the winner of the bell rope contest, and a description of the events supported by photographs and art.
Navy Waters Collection: Throughout 2009 Canadian Navy ships and submarines were tasked to collect water from Canada’s three oceans – Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic, as well the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Great Lakes, and international theatres of operations. The water samples reflect the country’s domestic maritime interests and the Navy’s international operations. On Battle of Atlantic weekend in Halifax (April 30 – May 1, 2010) there will be a ceremony aboard the Second World War Corvette, HMCS SACKVILLE, when the six water samples, symbolic of the navy’s history and missions, will be combined together as a national collection. The combined waters and a video of its collection will be an important aspect of the dedication ceremony in Ottawa on May 4, 2010.
Centennial Bell Ceremony: On May 4th at 10:00a.m., The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker of the Senate and The Honourable Peter Milliken, Speaker of the House of Commons hosted Vice-Admiral Dean McFadden, Chief of the Maritime Staff, as he presented a ship’s bell to the people of Canada in a ceremony held in the Senate Chamber on Parliament Hill. “The Centennial Bell rededicates the Navy’s commitment to the people of Canada for the next 100 years of service. It stands as a symbol that honours the past, celebrates the Canadian Navy achievements and recognizes the navy’s safeguarding of Canadian values of freedom, democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law,” said Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence.