HMCS Preserver anchor on display as part of CSTF project
By Ryan Melanson,
The former HMCS Preserver served the Royal Canadian Navy for 46 years before being paid off in 2016, and a new permanent display outside the Stadacona gates will help ensure the ship’s legacy stays top of mind for decades to come.
The anchor from the former Protecteur-class AOR was recently stood up on a concrete pad on the north side of the gate, and an additional plaque or piece of interpretive signage is soon to follow. The new display serves as a companion to the repurposed Stadacona sign that now sits on the south side of the entrance.
“I think it’s a very appropriate way to honour and remember the ship, while also dressing up the main gate a little bit,” said Clive Orford with ADM (Infrastructure and Environment) in Ottawa, who is the project director on the ongoing Consolidated Seamanship Training Facility (CSTF) construction.
He gave credit to CFB Halifax Base Commander Capt(N) David Mazur for the original idea to place a naval artifact outside the gate, and Jennifer Denty at the Naval Museum of Halifax for suggesting the anchor after the original idea of a ship’s gun mount proved to be infeasible.Defence Construction Canada Coordinator then took on the task, along with engineers and workers from Bird Construction, of moving and erecting the anchor, which weighs more than 10,000 pounds.
Crews used a crane to lift the anchor onto the pad and secure it into place back in August, and recently the fencing around the anchor was removed and the area was filled in with river rock.
Orford said he’s thrilled that improvements to the aesthetic of the base have become part of the CSTF project. Other potential ideas include alternatives to the high cement barriers that still exist on Gottingen Street north of the base entrance.
The project as a whole has involved multiple stages since the razing of A-Block, the former Fleet Club and Seamanship Division buildings in Windsor Park, including the construction of Tribute Tower and the Stadplex annex that now houses CANEX and SISIP. The newest building will function as a new Stadacona drill hall as well as a new Seamanship Division training facility. It includes state of the art replenishment at sea and boarding party simulators included as part of the training element, and will also feature plenty of offices and classrooms along with the drill space. The building is set for completion early next year.