By AB B. Wiseman,
The 2020 Navy Bike Ride was organized to commemorate the 25,000 voyages of the Canadian Naval and Merchant Ships during The Second World War. HMCS Scotian’s own CPO1 Paul Edwards has participated in the Navy Bike Ride for the past four years. This year, Chief Edwards has completed his goal of 36 rides, for a total of 750 kilometres, and with an added twist. CPO1 Edwards named each of his rides after ships that were lost during the Battle of the Atlantic (BOA).
“When the 2020 ride was announced as being a virtual ride the thought of dedicating rides to Royal Canadian Navy ships lost during WWII was immediate,” he said.
“With this being the 75th anniversary of the BOA, what better way to honour the sailors, many of whom were Reservists, who paid the ultimate sacrifice, than by dedicating each ride to a ship lost during WWII. For me, it was a natural fit.”
On June 20, CPO1 Edwards’ bike ride was 32 km for HMCS Charlottetown K244, a Canadian Flower-Corvette that was sunk by a German submarine in September 1942. He then biked for HMCS Margaree H49, which was lost on 22 October 1940. Other HMC Ships he has recognized include Regina, Esquimalt, Fraser, and Clayoquot. Along with the 34 tribute rides to the Royal Canadian Navy ships, he has dedicated one ride to all the Merchant ships lost during the BOA. He hasn’t only ridden for the lost ships, he also took the initiative to assign one bike ride to each of the fallen airmen and sailors of the Stalker 22 Cyclone crash that occurred earlier this year.
Not only is CPO1 Edwards participating in the Navy Bike Ride with other Canadians, he is also joined by a former U.S Army soldier, Specialist Tonya Peterson, who is currently riding from across the border in Maine.
“This ride is important to me as I am just winding up my career with the Royal Canadian Navy. I have completed 44 years of service as of July 5, 2020, and at the end of October, I will be leaving a profession that I have thoroughly enjoyed and hopefully contributed to,” CPO1 Edwards said.
“It is an honor to be able to join my colleagues and try to meet the Navy’s goal of 25, 000 rides.”
With the lost Royal Canadian Navy ships, Merchant ships, and the lost crew of CH-148 Cyclone helicopter Stalker 22, Chief Edwards has dedicated 36 rides in total to the 2020 Navy Bike Ride. Bravo Zulu Chief Edwards!