New Coxn for HMCS Goose Bay
By Joanie Veitch,
The outgoing Coxswain of HMCS Goose Bay had some sage advice for his successor at the Change of Appointment ceremony held on July 19 in the D-166 building at HMC Dockyard, and via livestream on Facebook.
“Kevin, enjoy it; it goes by in a flash,” CPO2 Ian Van Zoost said to incoming Coxswain PO1 Kevin Snow. “Take it all in, every moment of it. Get to know all the sailors — it will take time but you’ll be glad you did.”
“You can’t ask for a better group of sailors and their go-getter attitude… it’s the Goose Bay way.”
Crediting CPO2 Van Zoost for his “invaluable advice and counsel” after taking on the Coxswain position during the height of COVID-19 restrictions, LCdr Daniel Rice, Commanding Officer of Goose Bay, welcomed PO1 Snow and thanked the outgoing Coxswain for his service during a difficult time.
“The ship’s company had just had their deployment to the Baltic cancelled. Morale was at an all time low,” he said. “You’ve helped keep the ship on course through… the second, and the third, wave of COVID-19 and the culture change crisis that is gripping the CAF and the RCN. And through all that, you’re always smiling.”
Change of Appointment ceremonies are relatively new in the Royal Canadian Navy, but offer an ideal opportunity to mark a significant career milestone for non-commissioned sailors, LCdr Rice said.
“You have the ear of the Captain. You have a direct line to the Fleet Chief. You’re the bridge between the officers and the non-commissioned members… You empower your subordinates. You mentor them. You give guidance and support, even if they don’t know they need it. You help the captain find that balance between the people and the mission and, in short, you’re our Mother Goose.”
While the role on board ship is an important one, also noted — by both outgoing and incoming Coxswains and the Captain — is the critical role and support provided by the sailors’ families at home, with both thanks and flowers being offered to Caitlin Snow and Michele Van Zoost during the ceremony.
For his part, PO1 Snow thanked CPO2 Van Zoost, saying he leaves “big shoes to fill,” as well as thanking the Commodore and Fleet Chief, and LCdr Rice, for the opportunity to serve as Coxswain.
“It’s a privilege to put on the uniform each day to serve Canada,” he said. “I’m committed to providing a respectful and inclusive workplace for everybody. I know we have that on Goose Bay.