Current Bulletin

Peterborough Naval Association, 24 Whitlaw St. Peterborough, Ontario K9K 1K9
Clubhouse 705-743-6115, Admiralty Hall 705-749-3588
Email: pna.clubhouse@gmail.com

The 2017 Spring/Summer edition of the Peterborough Naval Association semi-annual bulletin acknowledges and remembers the efforts of ALL Canadians who served in the Canadian Armed Forces from the Boer War to the present. Many thousands paid the supreme sacrifice, words cannot adequately express our gratitude “ We Will Remember Them”

July 1st, 2017 we celebrate our 150th anniversary as a Nation. We, as Canadians, enjoy a lifestyle, and freedoms that are the envy of the world. As many have said,“freedom is not free”it was purchased on the battlefields of Europe, in the Far East, Afghanistan, Iraq, the high seas and many peacekeeping operations throughout the world. During our Canada Day celebrations, take a very moments and give thanks to those who have gone on before, and those currently engaged with protecting our freedoms. It is worth protecting.

God Bless Canada
What a wonderful place to live
For we can thank our Veterans
Their life they fought to give

For we all thank our Veterans
On Remembrance Day each year
For they fought with pride
And so many dies
To keep Canada free you hear

And when we wear a Poppy
What a beautiful thing to see
It’s worn with pride, on your left side
For all the world to see

And all our wartime Veterans
Are slowly fading away
For service in the Air Force, Army and Navy
They gave their all each day

So God Bless Canada
Our home of the proud and free
For Veterans served Canada
For Canadians like you and me.

Arv Hoss Wilson,
Member, Peterborough Naval Association

Canada Remembers – The 100th Anniversary of The Battle of Vimy Ridge

The Battle of Vimy Ridge, 9-12 April 1917
Tim Cook

Many historians and writers consider the Canadian victory at Vimy a defining moment for Canada, when the country emerged from under the shadow of Britain and felt capable of greatness. Canadian troops also earned a reputation as formidable, effective troops because of the stunning success. But it was a victory at a terrible cost, with more than 10,000 killed and wounded.

The Canadian Corps was ordered to seize Vimy Ridge in April 1917. [Map] Situated in northern France, the heavily fortified seven-kilometre ridge held a commanding view over the Allied lines. The Canadians would be assaulting over an open graveyard since previous French attacks had failed with over 100,000 casualties.

To capture this difficult position, the Canadians would carefully plan and rehearse their attack. To provide greater flexibility and firepower in battle, the infantry were given specialist roles as machine-gunners, rifle-men and grenade-throwers. These same soldiers underwent weeks of training behind the lines using models to represent the battlefield, and new maps crafted from aerial photographs to guide their way. To bring men forward safely for the assault, engineers dug deep tunnels from the rear to the front. Despite this training and preparation, the key to victory would be a devastating artillery barrage that would not only isolate enemy trenches, but provide a moving wall of high explosives and shrapnel to force the Germans to stay in their deep dugouts and away from their machine-guns. “Chaps, you shall go over exactly like a railroad train, on time, or you shall be annihilated,” warned Canadian Corps commander Sir Julian Byng.

In the week leading up to the battle, Canadian and British artillery pounded the enemy positions on the ridge, killing and tormenting defenders. New artillery tactics allowed the gunners to first target, then destroy enemy positions. A nearly limitless supply of artillery shells and the new 106 fuse, which allowed shells to explode on contact, as opposed to burying themselves in ground, facilitated the destruction of hardened defences and barbed wire. The Canadian infantry would be well supported when it went into battle with over 1,000 artillery pieces laying down withering, supportive fire.

Attacking together for the first time, the four Canadian divisions stormed the ridge at 5:30am on 9 April 1917. More than 15,000 Canadian infantry overran the Germans all along the front. Incredible bravery and discipline allowed the infantry to continue moving forward under heavy fire, even when their officers were killed.

There were countless acts of sacrifice, as Canadians single-handedly charged machine-gun nests or forced the surrender of Germans in protective dugouts. Hill 145, the highest and most important feature of the Ridge, and where the Vimy monument now stands, was captured in a frontal bayonet charge against machine-gun positions. Three more days of costly battle delivered final victory. The Canadian operation was an important success, even if the larger British and French offensive, of which it had been a part, had failed. But it was victory at a heavy cost: 3,598 Canadians were killed and another 7,000 wounded.

The capture of Vimy was more than just an important battlefield victory. For the first time all four Canadian divisions attacked together: men from all regions of Canada were present at the battle. Brigadier-General A.E. Ross declared after the war, “In those few minutes I witnessed the birth of a nation.”

Vimy became a symbol for the sacrifice of the young Dominion. In 1922, the French government ceded to Canada in perpetuity Vimy Ridge, and the land surrounding it. The gleaming white marble and haunting sculptures of the Vimy Memorial, unveiled in 1936, stand as a terrible and poignant reminder of the 11,285 Canadian soldiers killed in France who have no known graves.

HISTORY AS MONUMENT: The Sculptures on the Vimy Memorial

Dr. Laura Brandon

The Canadian War Museum has custody of seventeen of the plaster figures created by Canadian sculptor Walter Allward (1875-1955) between 1925 and 1930 for the Vimy Memorial in France. They are now the only legacy of Canada’s most important memorial commission in which the artist’s own hand is clearly present. The stone memorial and figures in France are the work of professional stone carvers working from his designs.
Nations have always commemorated their achievements and sacrifices in battle with monuments. These have usually been the work of their best artists and sculptors. Canada has been no exception. The nation’s Great War memorial at Vimy Ridge [Maps] was also Allward’s culminating achievement. Situated on top of the ridge, overlooking the Douai Plain in northeastern France, and easily viewed today from the highway that passes below, the memorial is a magnificent testimonial to the Canadian sacrifice during the Great War.

Canadian losses during the First World War (1914-1918) were staggering: 60,000 soldiers dead from a total enrolment of 625,000. On the western front, one Canadian in seven who served was killed. Of those, 16,000 have no known grave. The Imperial War Graves Commission (IWGC), established in May 1917, to properly bury the dead and establish permanent cemeteries, tried to determine how to memorialize the dead and missing. The 1918 Imperial Conference in London, England approved five general principles. The two relating to memorials stipulated that they should be both public and permanent.

At the end of the war, an IWGC committee awarded Canada eight battle sites – three in France and five in Belgium – on which to construct memorials. In 1920, the newly established Canadian Battlefields Memorial Commission organized a competition for a Canadian memorial to be erected on each site. In October 1921, the commission announced the winner: Walter Allward, whose design included twenty symbolic figures associated with war. These figures formed an integral part of a massive stone platform surmounted by two soaring pylons representing Canada and France.

Allward stated in a 1921 interview that his idea for the memorial was inspired by a wartime dream that he had never forgotten: “When things were at their blackest in France, I went to sleep one night after dwelling on all the muck and misery over there, my spirit was like a thing tormented…I dreamed I was in a great battlefield. I saw our men going in by the thousands and being mowed down by the sickles of death…Suffering beyond endurance at the sight, I turned my eyes and found myself looking down on an avenue of poplars. Suddenly through the avenue I saw thousands marching to the aid of our armies. They were the dead. They rose in masses, filed silently by and entered the fight to aid the living. So vivid was this impression, that when I awoke it stayed with me for months. Without the dead we were helpless. So I have tried to show this in this monument to Canada’s fallen, what we owed them and we will forever owe them.”

Allward was an experienced sculptor and a well-known designer of memorials at the time he won the competition. Born in Toronto in 1875, he trained as a draughtsman. In the period 1891-93, he attended sculpture classes at Toronto’s New Technical School and, in 1894, rented his first studio. For the next two years he worked on the figure of ‘peace’ for the Toronto monument honouring the 1885 Northwest Rebellion, the insurrection led by Louis Riel in what is now Saskatchewan. In 1910, he completed another Toronto memorial, this one commemorating Canada’s participation in the South African, or Boer War, of 1899-1902. These commissions secured his reputation and ensured Allward was fully employed as a sculptor. He mainly created portrait busts and statues of famous Canadians such as the one of Sir Wilfred Laurier created in 1901 and memorials, such as that honouring Alexander Graham Bell, unveiled in Brantford, Ontario in 1917.

In the summer of 1922, the Canadian Battlefields Memorial Commission selected Vimy Ridge as the only site for Allward’s winning memorial. The other battle sites, with the exception of that at St. Julien, which received the competition’s second-place design, made do with less distinguished monuments. Certainly Vimy Ridge’s impressive location and vantage point, as much as the battle’s military significance, contributed to its selection. Allward almost immediately began to sculpt the figurative elements in clay in a newly acquired studio in London, England. Meanwhile, clearing the100-hectare site of the dangerous detritus of war – unexploded bombs, artillery shells, and grenades – took two and one half years. It also took two years to find stone that Allward considered suitable for the memorial. The source, ironically, was a quarry near Sarajevo, Yugoslavia where, in 1914, the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife had precipitated the outbreak of the First World War.

Because unfired clay quickly dries out and cracks, Allward made plaster moulds from the original clay figures very soon after their creation. The far sturdier plaster statues that the Canadian War Museum now holds were then cast from these moulds and shipped to the Vimy site. The recent restoration of three of the main figure groups, however, has shown that the sculptor worked these plaster casts afterwards. He applied additional plaster in some cases, or carved the original casting in more detail.

The plaster figures are approximately life-size, but the completed stone figures on the actual memorial are twice as large. French stone carvers at the Vimy site copied the plaster figures employing a technique that enabled them to double the dimensions as they carved. Using a pantographic, or copying, device the stone carvers measured the relative depths of different parts of the plaster figures with a measuring rod. By drilling into the stone blocks placed beside the plaster carvings to depths determined by another connected measuring rod, they were able to reproduce the plaster dimensions at twice the scale. Scattered over the plaster figures are pencil marks and, on occasion, partially buried metal markers. These were the stone carvers’ points of depth measurement.

The Christian symbolism of a number of Allward’s twenty figures is obvious. For many Canadians, the First World War had been coloured by a belief that the horrifying number of deaths on the battlefield could be equated with Christ’s death on the Cross and be seen as having redemptive value. The figure of ‘Canada mourning her fallen sons’ makes a clear reference to traditional images of the Mater Dolorosa (the Virgin Mary in mourning), while the figure spread-eagled on the altar below the two pylons resembles a Crucifixion scene. The figures at the tops of the pylons represent the universal virtues of faith, justice, peace, honour, charity, truth, knowledge and hope. The traditional link between art and memorial is inferred in the reclining figures of the two mourners, patterned on the four statues by Michelangelo on the Medici Tomb in Florence, Italy. Between the pylons stands a figure holding a burning torch. Entitled ‘The Spirit of Sacrifice’, it is a reference to one of the most famous poems of the Great War, ‘In Flanders Fields,’ by the Canadian Army Medical Corps officer, Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae.

The memorial took ten years to complete. It was finally unveiled on 26 July 1936 before a crowd of more than 100,000 spectators. Canada’s Minister of Justice, Ernest Lapointe, expressed the sentiments of those present, and reinforced the messages of Allward’s monument, when he said: “The grandest tribute we could offer to Canadian soldiers is to affirm that their sacrifices have contributed to the introduction into our civilization of its highest modern conception – that of universal Peace founded on recognition of the basic right of people to life and justice.”

In 1937, the plaster figures were packed in crates and shipped to Canada. In a letter written in March 1937 to J. B. Hunter, the deputy minister of Public Works, Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King seemed to support the idea that bronze statues might be cast from them and placed at suitable sites in Ottawa and the provinces. This never happened, however, and the plaster figures disappeared into Department of Public Works storage. In 1960, the statues were housed in a warehouse that also contained a portion of the collection of the Canadian War Museum, which requested that they be moved elsewhere in order to accommodate an impending large shipment of artifacts.

On 3 May 1960, the Department of Veterans Affairs, which had custody of the models, informed the museum that “…the Minister of Veterans Affairs had agreed that the models may be destroyed” so long as photographs were taken of them first. At the time, this seemed to be an acceptable action because the sculptures were regarded as working models rather than as original works of art. The proposal was “that the Army authorities could assist by accepting delivery of the crates, at the Proving Grounds or some other location where the attention of the public would not be attracted, and where the models could be photographed and then destroyed.” However, the Minister of National Defence did not agree to the plan. Instead, in September 1960, the sculptures were shipped to Vimy Barracks at Barriefield, Ontario for storage.

Seventeen years later, in 1977, seventeen of the plaster figures had returned to Public Works storage in Ottawa. (The remaining three remained in Barriefield and are now on display in the new Military Communications and Electronics Museum attached to Canadian Forces Base Kingston.) That year, a small museum in Elgin, Ontario that specialized in Canadian sculpture requested permission from the Department of Veterans Affairs to acquire and display the Allward sculptures. This request revived interest in the works. However, lacking proper facilities for storage and display, the Elgin gallery was unable either to acquire or display them. Instead, the Department of Veterans Affairs transferred them to the Canadian War Museum. In 1993, museum staff opened the crates for the first time since 1937, in preparation for an exhibition on the work of Walter Allward. Although this exhibition never materialized, the figures were not re-crated. Instead, in 1999, the delicate, time-consuming and expensive process of restoration began in association with the exhibit Canvas of War that opened in February 2000.

Sixty-four years after the completion of the Vimy Memorial, Walter Allward’s greatest works have become a newly vibrant part of our national heritage. Many Canadians have had the opportunity of travelling to France to visit the Vimy Memorial; now tens of thousands more can see the inspiration for this historic monument in the sculptor’s original plaster figures.

Lest we forget: The ‘Black Battalion’

The No. 2 Construction Battalion, Canada’s “Black Battalion,” was formed in 1916.
They just wanted to serve their country. Even though there was an urgent drive for new soldiers in 1916 during WWI, local recruiters refused to enlist black men because of the prevailing stereotypes.

“Nothing is to be gained by blinking facts. The civilized negro is vain and imitative; in Canada he is not being impelled to enlist by a high sense of duty; in the trenches he is not likely to make a good fighter; and the average white man will not associate with him on terms of equality. Not a single commanding officer in Military District No. 2 is willing to accept a coloured platoon as part of his battalion; and it would be humiliating to the coloured men themselves to serve in a battalion where they were not wanted.” So wrote W. Gwatkin, Major-General Chief of the General Staff, in a memo dated April 1916.

As a compromise, Gwatkin recommended the establishment of a labour battalion. The No. 2 Construction Battalion, Canada’s “Black Battalion,” was formed in 1916. Honour Before Glory, a film by writer, actor, producer and director Anthony Sherwood illuminates the legacy of this unit.

“The most fascinating thing about doing the research for the film was the lack of information regarding the No. 2 Construction Battalion. Most libraries and archives had practically nothing on the black unit. It was still Canada’s best kept secret,” says Sherwood.

The contents of Reverend William White’s diary provided the emotional insight and the inspiration for this film. Archival footage and interviews also expose some of the realities black soldiers faced during WWI.

“His diary was written with such passion, poetry and honesty that I was compelled to write the story,” says Sherwood. “Professionally, this was a great project to do because not only did I have a personal connection to the story, but it was a unique military story that had never been told on film before.”

Rev. White, the Battalion’s chaplain, was a prominent Baptist minister in Truro, Nova Scotia. He was one of many black leaders who led the drive for a black unit &emdash; and was Sherwood’s great uncle.

The No. 2 Construction Battalion, headquartered in Pictou, Nova Scotia was trained in Pictou, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Sutherland. In total, 605 men and 19 officers left Halifax on March 28, 1917, for Liverpool, England; the unit included 168 black Americans. All of the officers were white except for Rev. White, the only black commissioned officer in the entire British Armed Forces during WWI. Members of the battalion came from across Canada.

The late Senator Calvin W. Ruck said, as chair of the Black Battalion Committee in a submission to The Historic Sites and Monuments Board in 1991, that blacks were treated as third-class citizens and listed blatant acts of discrimination against those trying to enlist.
A close personal friend of Sherwood, Ruck wrote The Black Battalion: 1916-1920, Canada’s Best Kept Military Secret, which was published in 1987.
Says Sherwood: “[Ruck] helped bring me into the world when I was born at home in Halifax many years ago. So you see, there were many close and personal connections to the story that made me compelled to produce this film.”

Even though they were fighting for freedom and democracy, black soldiers were subjected to racism on the war front &emdash; and the home front. They fought battles overseas and in Canada with honour and glory.

Black participation in military efforts did not start or stop with WWI. In fact, in 1859, William Edward Hall of Nova Scotia was the first Canadian navy man to earn the Victoria Cross, the highest award for military valour in Canada and the Commonwealth: it honours courage and bravery. Sherwood has created an educational play about Hall, which is scheduled to be performed in schools in February, 2010.

Blacks fought for the British during the American War of Independence; in the War of 1812 (as The Coloured Corps or the Company of Coloured Men), they fought at the Battle of Queenston Heights and other battles; in the 1837-38 rebellion; defended Canadian borders against the Fenian invaders in 1866; and in WWII. They also fought in the Korean War and participated in the Suez crisis. Enlistment and participation has become easier and less hostile since then. The truth is that black Canadians have, and continue to serve around the world in various units and capacities with pride.

Story courtesy of Sway Magazine
© Copyright (c) Post media Network Inc.

The Battle of Atlantic 1939-1945

The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest continuous battle of the Second World War and one in which Canada played a central role. The battle began on the opening day of the war in September 1939 and ended almost six years later with Germanys surrender in May 1945.

The Battle of the Atlantic was the struggle between the Allied and German forces for control of the Atlantic Ocean. The Allies needed to keep the vital flow of men and supplies going between North America and Europe, where they could be used in the fighting, while the Germans wanted to cut these supply lines. To do this, German submarines, called U-boats, and other warships prowled the Atlantic Ocean sinking Allied transport ships.
The Battle of the Atlantic brought the war to Canada’s doorstep, with U-boats torpedoing ships within sight of Canada’s East Coast and even in the St. Lawrence River. Canada’s Merchant Navy, along with the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), played a key role in the Allied efforts. East Coast cities soon found themselves involved in the battle, since Allied convoys (groups of ships that crossed the Atlantic together under the protection of naval escorts) were frequently leaving busy ports like Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia, and St. John’s, Newfoundland, during the war.

Challenges and Successes

Early in the war, German U-boats took a heavy toll on merchant shipping as the Allies struggled to find effective ways to combat the enemy threat. Between 1939 and 1942, the Germans increased the number of U-boats from 30 to 300 and developed effective hunting techniques like using groups of submarines, called wolf packs, to attack convoys. Their efforts initially paid off, with 454,000 tonnes of shipping being lost to German U-boats in June 1941 alone. Their successes continued as nearly 400 Allied ships were sunk between January and July 1942, while only seven U-boats were lost. The situation was very serious for the Allies, as merchant ships were being sunk faster than they could be replaced, thereby putting the supply link between North America and Europe at great risk.

Technology played an important role in the Battle of the Atlantic. Aircraft were effective in protecting merchant ships, but the Allied planes used earlier in the war did not have enough range to offer air cover for the convoys all the way across the Atlantic. Indeed, the central area of the ocean beyond aircraft range became known as the “Black Pit” as that was where many of the heaviest convoy losses occurred. However, the introduction of new long-range planes helped reduce the hazards of this dangerous portion of the run.

Both sides kept trying to get the upper hand in technology and tactics during the Battle of the Atlantic. Germany developed torpedoes that were attracted to the noise made by a ship’s propellers. Allied scientists responded by inventing a noise-making device that was towed behind a ship to divert the torpedoes. New radar and sonar (ASDIC) technologies helped the Allies find the U-boats and new weapons, like the “Hedgehog” bombs, helped sink the submarines more effectively. The Germans also developed technological advancements like snorkel tubes that allowed U-boats to run their diesel engines while travelling underwater and on-board radar that increased their submarines’ capabilities. Eventually, the improved equipment and tactics of the Allies finally helped turn the tide of the battle in their favour, with the U-boat fleet suffering heavy losses during the later phases of the war.

The growth of Canada’s navy was remarkable. At the beginning of the Second World War, the RCN had only six ocean-going ships and 3,500 personnel. By the end of the war, Canada had one of the largest navies in the world with 434 commissioned vessels and 95,000 men and women in uniform. Canada’s industry also played an important role in the growth of our military and merchant navies. From 1941 to 1945, Canadian shipyards produced approximately 403 merchant ships, 281 fighting ships, 206 minesweepers, 254 tugs, and 3,302 landing craft.

Furthermore, Canada played an important role in directing Allied efforts in the Battle of the Atlantic. In 1943, Rear Admiral Leonard Murray was put in charge of the Allied air and naval forces in the Northwest Atlantic—the only theatre of war commanded by a Canadian during the conflict.


Helping the Allies triumph in the Battle of the Atlantic came at a high price. More than 1,600 Merchant Navy personnel from Canada and Newfoundland were killed. Indeed, percentage-wise, their casualty rate was higher than those of any of Canada’s fighting services during the Second World War—one out of every seven Merchant Navy sailors who served was killed or wounded.

The RCN and RCAF also paid a high toll in the Battle of the Atlantic. Most of the 2,000 RCN officers and men who died during the war were killed during the Battle of the Atlantic, as were 752 members of the RCAF. There were also civilian casualties. On October 14, 1942, 136 people died when the ferry SS
Caribou was sunk as it crossed from Nova Scotia to Newfoundland.


Allied victory in the Second World War would not have been possible without victory at sea. It would require overcoming great odds, but the courage of the RCN, Merchant Navy and RCAF personnel helped keep the Allied convoys running and the supply lines to Europe open. These brave men and women were some of the more than one million Canadians who served in the cause of peace and freedom during the Second World War.

Canada Remembers Program

The Canada Remembers Program of Veterans Affairs Canada encourages all Canadians to learn about the sacrifices and achievements made by those who have served—and continue to serve—during times of war and peace. As well, it invites Canadians to become involved in remembrance activities that will help preserve their legacy for future generations.

Retrieved from http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/history/historical-sheets/atlantic

Peterborough Naval Association member remembers.

May 8th, 2017 is the 72nd anniversary of VE Day. One of our members, former Petty Officer Rex Rose, remembers this historic event. Petty Officer Rose was serving onboard HMCS Gatineau in the English Channel when Germany surrendered. His ship returned to port for refuelling then off to the north of Scotland searching for surrendering German submarines. He returned to Canada some months later.


I hope that by the time you receive this bulletin that spring is finally here after what feels like a long and cold winter. We can now look forward to upcoming events at the Club.
Once again I remind our members of the main reason for our being, that being the remembrance of those who served in the navy during the Battle of the Atlantic.
We honour their memory on Battle of Atlantic weekend beginning with our Annual Dinner and Dance on Friday, May 5, 2017, at Admiralty Hall, reception at 6:00 p.m. with dinner following at 7:00 p.m.
On Sunday, May 7, 2017, we fall in at our parking lot at 12:45 p.m. and march over the bridge to the Memorial Cairn for our Battle of the Atlantic Memorial Services at 1:00 p.m.
Following the service there will be a reception in Admiralty Hall with refreshments provided by our wonderful Ladies Auxiliary.
I urge all members to attend these two most important functions of the Peterborough Naval Association to honour our veterans and those who have crossed the bar.
In closing I would ask our members to encourage others to join the PNA to keep our club viable in the future. We are preparing a brochure to outline the benefits of membership. These will be available very shortly at the Club House for distribution.

Thank heavens it is finally spring and I look forward to seeing all of you on the Battle of Atlantic weekend.
John Carter

Ladies Auxiliary News and Events – Carolyn Peters, President

– Mother’s Day brunch, May 14th. 10:30am to 12:30pm. Adults $12.00, children 6 – 12 $6.00
– Fashion Show and luncheon May 24th $25.00. Lunch served @ 11:30am
– Father’s day brunch, June 18th. 10:30am to 12:30pm. Adults $12.00, children 6 – 12 $6.00
– If there is an interest a members picnic will be held on August 27th
– Men’s washroom has been redecorated, ladies washroom will be completed within the next 5 to 6 weeks.
– Hall rentals are available, contact Kathy at 705-749-3588 for details, you won’t be disappointed with your choice.

Ways and Means – Wava Brown, Co-ordinator

– Cards will continue throughout the summer, Wednesday night, 7:00pm, Clubhouse
– Open mic, clubhouse 2:00 pm Saturday, April 22nd and May 27th – no open mic June, July or August. Resumes September 23rd
– Canada Day celebration, 2:00 pm clubhouse, live music

Next Meetings

– Executive meeting May 1st, 08:30 am
– General Members May 1st, 11:00 am
– Elections June 5th 7:00 pm ALL positions are open for nomination. This is a very important time in the history of the PNA and we need more of our members to be involved. A simple way to achieve this is to be a member of the Executive Committee. “all hands on deck” is a “must” for this meeting. Looking forward to a FULL slant of candidates.

Members who “Crossed the Bar”

– Ken Underhill, Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserves, November 28th, 2016
– Vaida Honour, Ladies Auxiliary, PNA, December 22nd, 2016 widow of Bob Honour,WWII, Royal Canadian Navy
– Ken Downer, Canadian Army WWII, January 26th, 2017.

Admiralty Hall

– replaced/installed new upright freezer in the kitchen
– replaced sink faucets
– replaced/installed new grease trap
– redecorated men’s washroom
– replaced/stalled new sewage pump
– replaced/installed new compressor and refrigeration unit in the walkin freezer
– purchased 20 new upholstered folding chairs
– costing to replace window blinds and re-painting the Hall is being obtained


Watch your thoughts, they become words,
Watch your words, they become actions,
Watch your actions, they become habits,
Watch your habits, they become character,
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.
(author unknown)

The Invictus Games are being held in Toronto September 23rd to the 30th, 2017. The Invictus games is an International Paralympic-style multi-sport event, created by Britain’s Prince Harry, in which wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and associated veterans take part in sports including wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball and indoor rowing.

For more information google: https://invictusgamesfoundation.org

What’s happening in the Fleet

– Vice-Chief of Defence Staff, Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, was removed from thisposition January 2017 by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Jonathan Vance without explanation. Vice-Admiral Norman had enjoyed a distinguished career with the Royal Canadian Navy. Often described as an “outspoken advocate of his beloved Navy” some sources believed his harsh critique of Government policy (size of the fleet, building of replacement ships) may have lead to his dismissal. For what ever the reason(s), Vice-Admiral Norman, as well as the Canadian public, require an explanation. Unfortunately, regardless of the outcome, a man’s career has been destroyed.

– HMCS Athabaskan (DDG282) was an Iroquois-class destroyer that served the Royal Canadian Navy from 1972 to 2017. She is the third vessel to use the designation HMCS Athabaskan. Built at Davie Shipbuilding, Lauzon, PQ. June 1969 and launched on November 27th, 1970. She was decommissioned March 10th, 2017 Honours and awards – Arctic, 1943/44; English Channel,1944; Korea 1950/53; Iraq and Kuwait. Motto “We Fight as One”

– RCN adopts redesigned command badge that better reflects both the current RCN makeup and its traditional identity. The original badge was adopted in 1968 with the introduction of unification. It has been out of date since 2011 when the historic names of the Canadian Armed Forces were restored – Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force. (source Government of Canada website)

– The Royal Canadian Navy was warned five years ago that air conditioning on its 12 patrol frigates was not sufficient to cool compartments with newly upgraded electronic warfare systems. Now, after spending $4.3 billion on a massive facelift for the fleet, an additional$50 million has been authorized for new AC units. (source CBC news January 2017)

– HMCS Saskatoon seized an estimated 660 kgs of cocaine March 12th, 2017 in co-operation with the United States Coast Guard in international waters off the coast of Central America.

– HMCS Ottawa and Winnipeg left CFB Esquimalt March 5th, 2017 to participate in the Poseidon Cutlass deployment – Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

World Naval News

– Britian’s abiltiy to defend it self against a major military attack has been called into question after an investigation found Navy warships are so loud they can be heard 100 miles away by Russian submarines. Rear Admiral Chris Parry, a former director of operational capability for the Minister of Defence, said the 1 billion pound a piece Type 45 destroyers are “ as noisy as hell” and sound like “a box of spanners” undewater. It comes amid warnings that years of defence cuts and expensive procurement contracts with a small number of large defence firms, has left the military with an “existential minimum amount of equipment.( Laura Hughes, Political Correspondent, The Telegraph Fenruary 5th, 2017) *Maybe Canada can learn from Britian’s experience? ( Editor’s comment)

– This year the United States Navy will add nine ships to the battle force as it slowlymoves towards a 300-ship fleet. The total includes one aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford, two destroyers, two nuclear attack submarines and four littoral ships. USS Gerald R. Ford began construction in 2005 but technical problems the navy blames on a brand-new ship design pushed it behind schedule and over budget estimated at $3.2 billion. The carrier was to be commissioned in 2014. This will increase the carrier force back to the 11 ships as required by Federal US law. (source Popular Mechanics)

– According to the head of the Russian Navy, the number of days per year theirsubmarines spend at sea is back at levels unseen since before the end of the Cold War. The numbers reflect both the introduction of new, more reliable submarines into the fleet and MORE FUNDING OVERALL for Moscow’s naval forces. Russian submarines spent 3000 days at sea in 2016. A submarine spends an average of four to six months at sea per patrol. During the Cold War the Soviet Navy had the largest submarine fleet in the world, with more than 270 submarines of all types. (source Popular Mechanics)

– On October 15th, 2016 the USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) was commissioned. She is thefirst ship of the Zumwalt class with stealth capabilities. Length 600 feet, beam 81 feet, draft 27 feet, displacement 14,564 long tons, speed 34 knots, complement 142, armament too numerous to list. Motto “Peace Through Power” Oh, did I mention cost? In excess of $4.6 billion.

– In 1998 China purchased from Ukraine the hull of its only aircraft carrier the Liaoning. The carrier became operational in the fall of 2016. The Lianoning is part of China’s rapidly modernizing Navy, and now places China in an elite club with the world’s greatest naval powers. A second carrier is currently under construction with a completion date of late 2017 or early 2018.


By Arv Hoss Wilson

The P. N. A. hosted the Royal Canadian Navy Reunion for all of Canada. After many meetings, the P.NA. had everyone involved. As I am trying to remember what took place there are some things I may not be right with. I think it was in the 1950’s. and at that time I was Bar Chairman and looked after ordering supplies and getting members to work the bar.

First, we had to advertise over radio and newspapers Canada wide. Remember our Club House was not that big. We had a Club Room with tables and chairs. A TV in the corner hung over a Juke Box. A bar with refrigerator for booze. There was a small kitchen and a room to store a few cases of beer and a Women’s Head and Man’s Head.

I had to find a spot to store many, many cases of beer and liquor. Reg Caley and his wife had a new home up the road from the P. N. A. and his basement was empty and they gave me the OK to store our booze there. So, I started to fill the basement and Bob Honor, Naval Vet, who was on H. M. C. S. Haida and who was our Treasurer, kept giving me a hard time about spending so much on booze. But at the meeting with all our Executive, I explained we must have sufficient booze for our Club House and the Memorial Centre we obtained for meals and dances planned for the weekend. There was one time I had to order 20 portable heads or Johnny on the Spot toilets for the back of the P. N. A. Club House. I put 10 of them to the right of our property and marked them Ladies/Head. I then put 9 of them in our field to the left and marked them Men/Heads. For a joke, I put the last one away by itself and marked it Stockers Only/Head. Did I ever get a response from that but it was all in fun?

We were all busy cleaning, painting and cutting grass and trimming trees on our property. We had a local farmer come with a pig to be barbecued on a spit. He was a huge man about 300 lbs. and he stayed with the job of cooking the pig and looking after the fire. They started to arrive for the reunion from all parts of Canada, USA, England and other parts of the world. They registered and got our brochure on all events planned with the day, time and place of all events. We directed them to their hotel/motel and most of them had reservations.

Cec McClennan from our P. N. A. was in charge of the bar at the Memorial Centre. He kept phoning me at our Club House that he was needing more beer. I would send up about 40 cases at a time from our stock at Reg Caleys house which was stocked to the rafters. I remember a time at the P. N. A. Club House which was on the edge of the creek when a Navy lab was feeling no pain and walked right into the creek. The big fellow who was cooking the pig was drinking Rye 26 oz and would drink about 3 or 4 bottles a day. There was a tour of the city and the lift locks for the women and the man had time get to know each other. When the pig was cooked, the big guy cooking it got me to come out and get the first hot pork on a bun. Boy, was it good!

I don’t remember what went on at the Memorial Centre as I was busy day and night at the P. N. A. Club House. I remember after the reunion we cleaned up and paid our bills and we made approximately $20,000.00. I am sure there was other things that went on but I can’t recall them.

Everyone one sees to be in such a hurry to scream ‘racism’ these days…read on and enjoy.

A customer asked, “In what aisle could I find Newfy sausage?”
The clerk asks, “Are you from Newfoundland?” The guy, clearly offended, says “Yes I am! But let me ask you something, “If I had asked for Italian sausage, would you ask me if I was Italian? Or if I had asked for German Bratwurst, would you ask me if I was German? Or if I asked for a kosher hot dog would you ask me if I was Jewish? Or if I had asked for a Taco, would you ask if I was Mexican? Or if I asked for Polish sausage, would you ask if I were Polish?”.
The clerk says, “No, I probably wouldn’t.”
The Newfoundlander answers, “Well then, because I asked for Newfy sausage, why did you ask me if I’m from Newfoundland?”
The clerk replied, “Because you’re in Home Hardware.”

Next bulletin publication will be Fall/Winter 2017/18.

Bill Preston, Editor 705-872-8586billpreston.5and5@gmail.com articles welcomed
*Vimy Ridge, Black Battilion and Battle of Atlantic – source warmuseum.ca