CFB Esquimalt celebrates Pride

Amy Gordichuk and Alli Jones, members on the Positive Space Working Group, hold up the new Pride flag that is now on a flag pole at CFB Esquimalt.

Amy Gordichuk and Alli Jones, members on the Positive Space Working Group, hold up the new Pride flag that is now on a flag pole at CFB Esquimalt.

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

The base is bolstering its commemoration of Victoria Pride Week 2020 by raising the rainbow flag for seven days in three locations.

Each morning, from June 29 to July 5, the rainbow flag will be hoisted high atop flag poles located at Nelles Block in Naden, Dockyard’s Duntze Head, and at Work Point.

Also, an official flag-raising ceremony will be conducted following Morning Colours observances on June 29 at Duntze Head. People attending this event are advised to respect COVID-19 physical distancing measures.

For the past few years, Pride has been recognized with a single flag-raising ceremony on one day at Nelles Block. The new initiative to raise three flags was organized by Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC) Positive Space Working Group (PSWG). 

Alli Jones, a member of the PSWG, says the new ceremonies are an improved effort to showcase the military’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

“In past years, CFB Esquimalt has raised the flag on the last Sunday of Pride week to coincide with the Pride parade,” said Jones. “Given this gesture previously took place over a weekend in the summer, the message was not reaching a wide audience within the defence team, so this year the decision was made to enhance these efforts.”

The PSWG was stood up in 2019 and is made up of 18 military and civilian volunteers. Members carry out initiatives to support diversity and create a sense of belonging for members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning and Two-Spirit people (LGBTQ2+) within Maritime Forces Pacific.

Capt(N) Sam Sader, Base Commander, is helping lead the effort to emphasize the importance and bolster the status of Pride week at the base.

“Flying the Pride flag across the base during Pride week represents our commitment to promoting a more diverse and inclusive Defence Team, and our promise to continue to learn from our members to ensure everyone has a safe and respectful workplace to come to each and every day,” he said.

The Victoria Pride Society recently announced the cancellation of several in-person Pride events for this year’s annual celebration due to COVID-19 physical distancing precautions.

However many of the most popular events including its Pride Parade and Big Gay Dog Walk will live on in the virtual world with the society broadcasting social media participation through its YouTube channel.

For more information visit their web page: https://victoriapridesociety.org/events/

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Filed Under: Top Stories

About the Author: The Lookout Newspaper can trace its history back to April 1943 when CFB Esquimalt’s first newspaper was published. Since then, Lookout has grown into the award winning source for Pacific Navy News. Leading the way towards interactive social media reach, we are a community resource newspaper growing a world wide audience.

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