Grey Cup festivities include sailors and warship

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Members of the Canadian Armed Forces marched on the field for the opening ceremonies of the 102nd Grey Cup held at BC Place, Vancouver, British Columbia, on Nov. 8.

The legendary Grey Cup got one heck of a ride as it zipped across the waters beneath the Lions Gate Bridge Nov. 26, in the firm grip of Mark Cohon, Commissioner of the Canadian Football League, while being escorted to Vancouver by the crew of HMCS Vancouver.

Vancouver took a trip to the vessel’s namesake city for the 102nd Grey Cup, taking part in a weekend full of fun, festivities, and the most important football game of the year.

“The crew says it was the best shore visit they’ve had to Vancouver so far,” says Cdr Jeffrey Climenhaga, Commanding Officer of Vancouver. “I would have to agree. It was a really great time.”

On top of delivering the iconic Cup itself, Vancouver took part in a number of other activities, including demonstrations and tours for families, a Grey Cup breakfast, and a reception hosted by Gen Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff.

“That was a great opportunity,” says Cdr Climenhaga. “It was the first time personally I’ve had the Chief of the Defence Staff on board, so it was an exciting event for me, as well as the crew.”

Cdr Climenhaga says the most important part of events like this is strengthening the relationship between the general public and the Royal Canadian Navy, an opportunity both he and the crew relish.

“It’s very important to us to be visible, and let the community get to know us. We’re here for them,” he says.

On game day, the crew of Vancouver joined the people of Vancouver and beyond for the game between the Calgary Stampeders and the Hamilton Tiger Cats.

“It was a close game, and very exciting to be there in the middle of it,” says Cdr Climenhaga.

The Calgary Stampeders held on for a thrilling 20-16 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at B.C. Place.

Shawn O’Hara, Staff Writer

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