Another feather in collector’s hat collection

John Schut displays his latest hat acquisition – the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessel soon-to-be HMCS Max Bernays.

John Schut displays his latest hat acquisition – the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessel soon-to-be HMCS Max Bernays.

Peter Mallett
Staff Writer
––

Retired construction worker John Schut has a unique hobby.

The 61-year-old who lives in suburban Vancouver collects warship baseball hats from around the world. He has 457, with the last hat arriving in the mail a few weeks ago.

“Before the package arrived I was eagerly checking my mailbox. I had even been looking at my mailman a few times to make sure he wasn’t wearing it.”

The latest hat, the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessel soon-to-be HMCS Max Bernays, was sent to him by Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC) Public Affairs.

He was expecting an HMCS DeWolf hat, but they were all handed out during its recent visit to CFB Esquimalt.

“It’s so cool to have the Bernays’ hat. I think it will tide me over until the Harry DeWolf returns to Halifax later this year and sends me one of theirs,” he says. “Receiving the Bernays’ hat was a really nice gesture by the RCN, which I truly appreciate.”

The caps line the walls of a spare bedroom in his home and he uses a leaf blower to keep them dust free. 

The first in his first collection was received over 40 years ago when he toured MacKenzie-Class Destroyer HMCS Saskatchewan at CFB Esquimalt.

“During that tour I learned some of the visitors collected ball caps and other navy mementos; so I said to myself: ‘Hey, I want to do that too.’”

Amongst his collection are hats from the navies of the United States, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, China, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, France, and Mexico.

He has built relationships with many navy public affairs offices, who graciously send him a hat if he can’t make a ship tour. 

He also has amassed 400 coffee mugs from navy vessels and a collection of (non-military) Zippo lighters.

image_6483441

––––

Filed Under: Top Stories

RSSComments (1)

Leave a Reply | Trackback URL

  1. IAN MONTEITH says:

    I SERVED FROM 1961 TO 1965 I WAS ON THE STLAURNT AND FRASER FINISHED UP AT NADEN THE RCN FOREVER !!!