HMCS Vancouver skips 30th birthday

His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Vancouver celebrates its 30th birthday at sea, from the left, Coxswain, Chief Petty Officer First Class ( CPO 1) Derek Dawson, Commanding Officer, Commander Meghan Coates and Second in Command, Lieutenant-Commander (LCdr) Jordan Thwaites stand together for the cake cutting celebration on 22 August 2023, in the Pacific Ocean. 
Photo credit: Corporal Alisa Strelley, Canadian Armed Forces Photo.

Capt Véronique Sabourin
HMCS Vancouver PAO

The ship’s company went to bed on Aug. 22 and woke up on Aug. 24 as His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Vancouver crossed the international dateline in the Pacific Ocean on the ship’s birthday.

Thirty years ago, on Aug. 23, 1993, HMCS Vancouver was commissioned at Canada Place in the Port of Vancouver. The commissioning of the ship marked the beginning of the revitalization of the Pacific Fleet but also the re-establishment of naval ties with Canada’s third-largest and fastest-growing city.

“As captain of HMCS Vancouver, I accept the challenge given to the ship and crew,” said Commander Brian Matthews, Vancouver’s Commanding Officer, in 1993 at the ship’s commissioning. “We are extremely proud of our ship, well-trained in our jobs and eager to set the highest of standards which will keep our successors and HMCS Vancouver, Ever on Guard.”

Vancouver has a rich maritime history that includes extensive ties with the Navy. The commissioning of HMCS Vancouver provided the ideal venue to reaffirm and enhance this relationship, which continues today as the ship carries the name of the city worldwide.

“I am confident HMCS Vancouver will not only provide Canada with a period of distinguished naval service but will also bring pride to the city after which the ship is named,” said The Honourable Tom Siddon, Minister of National Defence, in 1993.

HMCS Vancouver represents the culmination of many people’s hard work and determined efforts. Through out service, the ship has been on an exciting voyage of discovery, adventure and service. Today, HMCS Vancouver continues to serve Canada in our territorial waters and worldwide.

“Throughout the past 30 years to this day, HMCS Vancouver continues a proud legacy of distinguished naval service to Canada bringing pride to Canadians and to the City of Vancouver,” said Commander Meghan Coates, HMCS Vancouver’s Commanding Officer. “It is an honour for me to lead the ship’s company during this historic time.”

Chief Petty Officer First Class (CPO1) Derek Dawson, Coxswain of HMCS Vancouver, is also proud to carry on a legacy of dedicated service to Canada.

“My time as Coxswain of HMCS Vancouver is certainly one of the most rewarding times of my career in the Royal Canadian Navy,” CPO1 Dawson said. “It is a great responsibility and privilege to fulfill the high expectations placed upon our crew to accomplish our missions.”

HMCS Vancouver is currently in the Indo-Pacific region along with HMCS Ottawa and Motor Vessel Asterix on Operation Projection, working with partners, building trust, doing exercises, and asserting Canadian interest over the region.

The JS HYUGA, a Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) Helicopter Destroyer, MV ASTERIX, HMCS OTTAWA, and HMCS VANCOUVER, participate in a Photo Exercise while underway in the Pacific Ocean on 26 August 2023.
Photo Credit: Aviator Gregory Cole, Canadian Armed Forces Photo

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