RCN plaque, story board presented to National Museum of Bermuda
By Cdr (ret’d) Len Canfield,
Commander Bob Lancashire (ret’d) and other ‘senior’ members of the Nova Scotia Branch of the Naval Association of Canada (NSNAC) have fond memories of Bermuda and aready to share a salty dip of a deployment or ’run ashore’ with new members.
Given the Royal Canadian Navy’s lengthy association with Bermuda dating to the First World War and the long standing commercial and cultural links between Nova Scotia and the island, Lancashire was a bit surprised a while back with a question posed by Venture Class ’56 classmate Dennis Briggs.
Briggs and his wife were visiting the National Museum of Bermuda that occupies the three-storey Commissioner’s House (built 1820s) in the historic Royal Naval Dockyard, Ireland Island during a cruise ship stop in Bermuda. He observed that the US Navy was represented at the museum but there was “a lack of reference to any RCN activity in the area.” Lancashire, vice-president of NSNAC, brought the matter to the board’s attention. It was decided to contact the Museum to point out the significance of the RCN-Bermuda association and explore how to have the RCN represented. After an exchange of correspondence, a work party was formed, including Peter Haydon, Bob Lancashire, Charles Westropp, Rowland Marshall, Pat Jessup (graphic design) and I. In fairly short order a 24 by 15 inch metal plaque and 2 by 3 foot display board were produced.
The “Royal Canadian Navy and Bermuda” display board includes text and photos of RCN ships of the WW ll and post-Second World War eras along with a group photo of the training staff at HMCS Somers Isles 1944-45.
The plaque, cast by Lunenburg Industrial Foundry & Engineering, reads: “Presented to the National Museum of Bermuda in recognition of the lengthy ties and bonds of friendship between the Royal Canadian Navy and Bermuda and the training support provided to the RCN and the Canadian Armed Forces in peace and war. Presented by the Nova Scotia Branch of the Naval Association of Canada. “
Arrangements were made for transporting and presenting the 45-pound plaque and display board to the museum.
Commodore (ret’d) Charles Westropp, recalling early deployments to Bermuda and later while serving as Commander Canadian Fleet Atlantic , MARCOM HQ ‘volunteered’ to add Bermuda to a planned visit to the US and make the presentation to the museum in early March.
As he commented on his return to Halifax, “Curator Deborah Atwood and museum staff have selected a great space to display our kit and will provide photos when the plaque and display board are mounted. The museum is in really good shape and definitely worth a visit.” Contact Len canfield, NSNAC, Tel: 902-443-1726; email: firstname.lastname@example.org