Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Breton Donates ceremonial Kisbee ring to Kelowna Sea Cadets

Sea Cadet Corps Grenville’s Kisbee ring.

Sea Cadet Corps Grenville’s Kisbee ring.

Ashley Evans
Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Breton

Naval tradition is ongoing at Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps (RCSCC) Grenville in Kelowna with the help of specialists from Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Breton.

Over the summer, Ryan Yeomans, Work Center 123 Paint and Graphics artist, built a new Kisbee ring to replace their deteriorated 20-year-old one.

Kisbee rings were once used as life-saving buoys. Today, they are primarily ceremonial, part of naval tradition, usually the first thing a person sees when crossing the brow to the ship.

For the cadet unit, it is a connection to the Royal Canadian Navy.

“Having the same Kisbee ring that is on ships of the Royal Canadian Navy helps sea cadets in Kelowna have a great connection to the navy and be able to learn and be proud of naval customs and traditions even though we are in the interior of BC,” says Lt(N) Andrew Kerr, Commanding Officer of RCSCC Grenville.

A ceremonial Kisbee Ring starts as a 30-inch orange plastic ring that is sanded, primed, painted, re-roped, and decorated with the ship or unit’s name in gold leaf. These rings are displayed on a wooden stand on the ship’s deck or in a unit’s building.

It took Yeomans about 40 hours to complete the cadet unit’s ring. Once complete, the ring was passed to the Rigging Loft’s Terry Schafer to complete the rope work, and Carly Smethurst from the Sail Loft to craft a protective bag.

The cost was waived by FMFCB as the project was deemed a community outreach initiative, and a training opportunity.

Before image of Sea Cadet Corps Grenville’s Kisbee ring.

Before image of Sea Cadet Corps Grenville’s Kisbee ring.

“This donation used an important skill set that we need to maintain in our organization,” says Steven Ringma, A/Group Manager 2. “I wanted to work with the operations department to find a solution as this was an opportunity to showcase the craftsmanship and abilities of the paint and graphics work centre, while supporting the Kelowna Sea Cadets with a donation of our time.”

Paint and Graphics A/Work Centre Supervisor Kelsey Khol says rings like the one built for the cadet unit is a small reminder of the skill and expertise of the FMFCB workforce.

“These are beautiful pieces that represent the attention to detail and level of effort the civilian work force puts into the work we do for the navy, and the CAF. Of course, not all projects look as fantastic as these Kisbee rings, but the amount of pride we take is hopefully apparent to the end user, and something they can also be proud of when displaying these pieces of art,” he says. “Whether that be on the flight deck on board our CPFs or in Kelowna inside the Sea Cadets unit, it’s a small visual reminder of how we all play a part in the larger picture of National Defence.”


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