Anchors Away

HMCS Protecteur’s anchor, headed to the Naval Museum of Alberta.

HMCS Protecteur’s anchor, headed to the Naval Museum of Alberta.

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

The giant anchor that once rested on the ocean floor, securing HMCS Protecteur for the better part of five decades, has found a new home 1,045 metres above sea level in Alberta.

It is being loaned by the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) to the Naval Museum of Alberta. Plans are underway to transport the 12,000 lb anchor and its 1,100 lb connector shackles to its temporary home.

“To be able to send a piece of sea-going history, especially from a vessel as important to the navy as Protecteur, inland to our naval brothers and sisters in Alberta is a great opportunity for the RCN, and we were more than happy to facilitate,” said LCdr Justin Leger, Base Logistics Executive Officer. “Otherwise the anchor would have waited on our property for disposal; this way we get to share it with the public.”

The Protecteur-Class replenishment oiler was commissioned Aug. 30, 1969, and prematurely decommissioned in May 2015 following a major shipboard fire. In February, the ship was towed via tugboat from Esquimalt Harbour, south through the Panama Canal to its final destination, a scrapyard in Liverpool, N.S. where it was broken up.

However, its anchor remained in Base Logistics’ inventory at their warehouse in Colwood. An inquiry was made by Calgary museum staff to the office of the Base Commander to borrow the anchor. Their request was then relayed to the Assistant Deputy Minister (Materiel) who granted the request.

Naval Museum of Alberta Project Manager, Brad Froggatt said he was delighted to learn their request was approved.

“Our museum is dedicated to telling the story of the RCN and Protecteur, having served for more than 45 years, was an integral part of that story,” he says.

The anchor will be on display outside the museum to complement the propeller from HMCS Huron.

“The anchor will act as a landmark, but will also help visitors relate to the sheer size and complexity of Protecteur, whose class was the largest ship of the RCN’s recent history,” says Froggatt.

The anchor was loaded onto a flatbed truck Oct. 21 to make the 1,064-kilometre journey along the Trans-Canada Highway to Calgary.

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  1. Alison Flannigan says:

    Fantastic museum, this anchor is going to a good home. The museum is definately a Canadian treasure and should be ona tourist:s places to see in Calgary list! Calgarians can be proud of it!

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