HMCS Yellowknife represents sister ship in Whitehorse

The team representing HMCS Whitehorse donates their $250 prize to the Whitehorse Firefighters Charitable Society.

The team representing HMCS Whitehorse donates their $250 prize to the Whitehorse Firefighters Charitable Society.

A/SLt Anne Desgagné, HMCS Yellowknife ~

Lieutenant-Commander Donald Thompson-Greiff, Commanding Officer HMCS Yellowknife, and a compliment of five personnel from Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships Yellowknife and Saskatoon, have just returned from the Yukon after spending a few days in the beautiful City of Whitehorse.

Members of these two ship’s crews were visiting the Wilderness City from Feb. 22 to 26 on behalf of HMCS Whitehorse (currently deployed on Operation Caribbe) in order to strengthen the bond between the ship and its namesake city.

Sailors donned all the layers of clothing they could to keep warm and took part in the annual Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Festival. The festival is a mid-winter event that coincides with Yukon Heritage Day as a means to celebrate the Yukon’s bold history and culture, and bring some color and warmth to the colder season with a celebration of gold-rush style entertainment.

Can Can dancers, knight fights, queen crowning and a variety of lumberjack-themed competitions kept the spirits of the six sailors up in spite of the chilly weather.

Part of the team visited with Mayor Don Curtis and other members of the city council, while the rest of the group answered questions from Whitehorse citizens and visitors, and talked about their experience in the navy.

The contingent also participated in the “Community Challenge” of the Sourdough festival. Their efforts, particularly during a riveting tug-of-war competition, afforded them second place, just ahead of the Joint Task Force (North) team who were also present for the weekend. The prize was a $250 cheque, which was donated to the Whitehorse Firefighters Charitable Society the next morning on behalf of HMCS Whitehorse.

On Sunday morning, the team was invited to breakfast by Ione Christensen, former Mayor of Whitehorse, Commissioner of the Yukon, and Senator for Yukon, for a breakfast of homemade sourdough waffles. The wonderful lady and her husband Art’s heartwarming hospitality was a highlight of the trip. Captivating personal stories of childhood memories in the Yukon were history lessons of the old days, as were the pictures from past namesake city visits, changes of command and even from the commissioning of HMCS Whitehorse in 1998.

The festival concluded with a wrap-up parade through the streets of Whitehorse in which the contingent handed out CAF paraphernalia and candy alongside Sonar the navy mascot, and representatives from other elements of the Canadian Armed Forces.

A soirée at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 254 in Whitehorse crowned the whole endeavour.

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