HMC Ships Brandon and Edmonton make special port visit

HMC Ships Brandon and Edmonton

Port Clements Mayor Wally Cheer accepts ships’ plaques from the Commanding Officers of HMC Ships Brandon and Edmonton, LCdr Lawrence Moraal and LCdr Brad Henderson.

Following a formal request from the Port Clements town council to the Admiral, HMC Ships Brandon and Edmonton were dispatched to help the small community celebrate its 100 anniversary.

On the final day in June, the two Kingston-class vessels made history as the first warships to sail into Masset Inlet in the north of Haida Gwaii.

The mayor, members of the town council, fire department and local citizens were on the jetty to meet the two ships.

In his opening remarks, Mayor Wally Cheer addressed the sailors, saying, “The council, village staff, and the citizens of Port Clements and surrounding areas extend a heartfelt ‘thank you’ for visiting Port Clements, Haida Gwaii. Your presence will make our Canada Day and centennial year a memorable one for many years to come. Safe journeys and God bless you.”

The comments were met with hearty applause from the ships’ companies. After the address, locals challenged sailors to games of softball, volleyball and soccer, followed by a barbecue.

On the second day, sailors split up for a kayak trip, a hike up Juskatla Mountain, a hike along the Golden Spruce trail, and walking tour of village.

The city tour showcased significant parts of the town’s history and stories of citizens that put Port Clements on the map. The  town’s museum exhibits logging of the past and First Nations culture, including the story of the white raven and the Golden Spruce that shaped the community over the last 100 years.

Locals were also provided the chance to tour the ships and learn about the navy. Overall, 260 people toured the ship.

On the last day, both crews returned to their ship and invited the mayor, town councillors and VIP’s for a closing reception to mark the visit. A crest plaque from both ships were presented to the mayor as a departure gift and to represent the appreciation of their visit to Port Clements.

“We really enjoyed having you visiting our community and we will look forward to hopefully seeing you again,” said the mayor.

 PO1 L. Laurendeau, HMCS Edmonton

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