Red Serge returns to HMCS Regina

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superintendent (Retired) Robert Boyd receives an honorary membership to HMCS Regina’s wardroom by the ship’s Executive Officer, Lieutenant-Commander Andrew Graham and Base Commander, Captain (Navy) Jason Boyd.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superintendent (Retired) Robert Boyd receives an honorary membership to HMCS Regina’s wardroom by the ship’s Executive Officer, Lieutenant-Commander Andrew Graham and Base Commander, Captain (Navy) Jason Boyd.

James Vassallo, Base Public Affairs ~

This is a story about connections: between a ship and a land-locked city, between those who protect us from threats at home and those who protect us from threats abroad, between a man and his uniform, between a father and son.

Two weeks ago, a special donation was made to HMCS Regina that brought all those connections together into one shadow box to be displayed in the ship.

On the ship’s flight deck, with members of the crew in attendance, Superintendent (Retired) Robert Boyd, a 41-year veteran of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), bestowed his Red Serge uniform to the ship. It is to replace another one that went missing during the ship’s mid-life refit.

Also on hand to witness the event was former Regina Commander, Captain (Navy) Jason Boyd, son of Superintendent Boyd.

“The idea that a piece of my father will be immortalized with this ship for as long as she sails, it’s a feeling that’s hard to describe,” he says.

The backstory of how this uniform came to the ship begins last year when Lieutenant-Commander Andrew Graham assumed the job as Regina’s Executive Officer.

“I began to learn about this link between the City of Regina’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the ship,” he says.

The RCMP Academy, Depot Division, which trains future Mounties, is located in Regina, the ship’s namesake city. Over time the ship has acquired Mountie memorabilia such as artwork of the iconic front-wise facing bison head. It has also added a little Mountie flavour to the ship with red-yellow-blue striping painted on doors, and two graphic plates of a mounted horse and rider located prominently on the forecastle of the ship.

“Regrettably, I was informed there had been a Red Serge in the Chiefs’ and Petty Officers’ Mess but that it had been lost while the ship was in mid-life refit,” says LCdr Graham. “So we were missing an important symbol of this unique relationship between the RCMP, the Royal Canadian Navy, and the City of Regina.”

So began the hunt to find a replacement Red Serge.

The executive officer reached out to former naval officer Jonathan Treen, now an RCMP Constable. In pure serendipity he found one, and it belonged to the new Base Commander’s father.

“It means an awful lot to me to have my Red Serge placed on HMCS Regina since my son was Commanding Officer,” says Supt (Ret’d) Boyd. “Our careers have intertwined with this honour.”

The red serge is on permanent loan to the ship until such time as the ship is paid off. Then it will be returned to the Boyd family.

In thanks, the ship has made him an honorary mess member.

Filed Under: Top Stories

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