HMCS Regina strengthens bond with namesake city

HMCS Regina crew with Club de Souvenir.

HMCS Regina crew with Club de Souvenir.

SLt Siobhan Gilbert, HMCS Regina ~

Once a year, HMC ships visit their namesake city to participate in local events and further enrich the ties between the ship and their city.

On Sept.12, 11 members of HMCS Regina’s crew travelled to Regina, Saskatchewan, led by the ship’s Commanding Officer, Commander Jacob French.

The team began their journey with a visit to the RCMP Depot where RCMP recruits are trained. They participated in the high-speed collision avoidance traffic course led by members of the RCMP, followed by a tour of the Depot facilities. This tour, led by RCMP officer Daryl Chernoff, allowed the crew members to see the training facilities for the recruits and the many historic buildings on site. 

The Commanding Officer also inspected one of the troops under going training for their falling out parade (graduation).

Later that afternoon, the crew stopped by Ecole St. Elizabeth to visit Club de Souvenir. Club de Souvenir is a school-based organization for kids interested in military history that helps veterans and charities obtain much-needed funding for various undertakings.

In 2013, the club funded the commission of the World’s Largest Saskatchewan Rough Riders flag that the ship proudly displayed upon receipt. The children asked intuitive questions relating to the crew’s responsibilities onboard the ship which were well received by the crew.

That evening, the entire crew visited HMCS Queen, the local Naval Reserve Division in Regina. This visit involved a presentation to the local Sea and Navy League Cadets, which included insight into the crew’s roles on the ship; further solidifying their desire to be in the Royal Canadian Navy. 

To finish off the first day, Regina crewmembers provided an additional $1,000 to their local charity, the Chris Knox Foundation, which works with children fighting Cancer. 

In total, Regina has raised $25,000 this year for the charity.

The following day Cdr French met with the Minister of Trade and Export Development, the Honourable Jeremy Harrison; the Mayor of Regina, his Worship Michael Fougere; and the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, His Honour, W. Thomas Molloy. All visits were well received and further strengthened the ties between the City of Regina, Province of Saskatchewan, and the ship that proudly represents them. Concurrently, the remainder of the crew had a fantastic visit with Silverscreen warehouse in Regina where the Rough Rider’s flag was manufactured in 2013. 

Friday evening turned out to be a treat as the crew headed to a pre-season WHL game between the Saskatchewan PATS and the Prince Albert Raiders. The game had nail-biting suspense throughout. It was a fantastic show of Saskatchewan hockey skills.

Saturday was an especially interesting day, after a group lunch the crew attended a CFL game between the Saskatchewan Rough Rider’s and the Ottawa Redblacks.  During the pre-game ceremonies, Regina crew were on the field for the playing of the national anthem accompanied by members of the legion, local cadet squadrons and members of the RCMP.

The crew headed back to Victoria on Sunday morning with a new appreciation of Regina, its culture and most importantly, its people.

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