Admiral welcomes guests for morning coffee

Above: Commander MARPAC, Rear-Admiral Christopher Robinson and his Steward Master Sailor Cory McMillan welcome visitors to the Admiral’s Residence for Morning Coffee with the Admiral.

Peter Mallett
Staff Writer

The conversation was casual, coffee fresh, and muffins abundant as Rear-Admiral (RAdm) Christopher Robinson welcomed visitors on the morning of Oct. 3.

The Commander of Maritime Forces Pacific played gracious host at his historic Dockyard Residence for Morning Coffee with the Admiral. This event was the kick-off of four weeks of events in the MARPAC Health and Wellness Strategy (MHWS) Healthy Workplace Month, with refreshments provided by the messes.

With a hot cup of java, RAdm Robinson welcomed visitors and emphasized the importance of a healthy workplace for all military members and Department of National Defence (DND) civilian employees. 

“Being physically and mentally healthy allows people to bring their best self to work, and events such as this remind people that maintaining their health is also part of their responsibilities at work,” RAdm Robinson said. “That could mean getting up from your desk and taking a break, going to the recently re-opened gym here in the Dockyard, taking a walk or taking time out for conversation and coffee with your coworkers.”

Below: (Left) Master Sailor Emily Whalen; Lieutenant-Commander Judith Harlock, Senior Staff Officer, Diversity, Culture Change and Inclusion; Rear-Admiral Christopher Robinson, Commander MARPAC; Claire Grant, MARPAC Health and Wellness Strategy Assistant; Captain (Navy) Matthew Coates, Naval Training Group and Champion Organizational Wellness Group; and Caroline Wylie, Formation Safety and Environment, gather for a photo during Morning Coffee with the Admiral. Photos: Peter Mallett Lookout Newspaper

Standing by his side to greet visitors was Captain (Navy) (Capt(N)) Matthew Coates from Naval Training Group and Champion of the Organization Wellness Group. Capt(N) Coates agreed with the Admiral that taking a time-out during your workday is highly encouraged because of its health benefits.

“Every day doesn’t need to be 100 miles per hour, and you can actually get more work done during your day if you take a break to socialize with your colleagues in an informal setting,” said Capt(N) Coates.

Dockyard D-101, the Admiral’s Residence, was constructed in 1885 from designs by John Teague, and has served as the principal dockyard residence for most of its existence. RAdm Robinson does not live in the historic home but instead keeps his home in a more modest nearby cottage adjacent to the property.

The conversation among guests ranged from the impacts of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation events, and the sucess of the National Defence Workplace Charitable Campaign (NDWCC) pancake breakfast, the reopening of the Dockyard gym, deployments and activities of HMC ships and submarines, traffic woes, and upcoming winter weather issues for bicycle commuters.

Master Sailor (MS) Dana Kimoto of Canadian Submarine Force (CANSUBFOR) HQ stopped by the gathering to say hello to the Admiral while getting a look at the residence building for the first time.

“It was so nice to enjoy the refreshments and the company of the Admiral and see this historic building; it was certainly a healthy way to start the day,” she said.

MHWS’ Organizational Wellness Working Group organized each event as part of their initiatives for Healthy Workplace Month:

  1. Harbour/Shoreline Cleanups took place the mornings of Oct. 10 and 12.
  2. An introduction to Meditation and Mindfulness classes are available at noon in the Upper Gym at the Naden Athletic Centre (NAC) from Oct. 17 to 19.
  3. Physical Activity Week, Oct. 24 to 27, will feature several events designed to promote a healthy workplace, including fitness classes in the NAC and Dockyard Gym, Go-By-Bike Week Celebration (Oct. 25), National Sports Day (Oct. 26) and the monthly Formation Run on Oct. 27.

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