Pacific Fleet Club set to relocate

Pacific Fleet Club set to relocate

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

The Pacific Fleet Club has been home to the Junior Ranks Mess for the last four decades but will be closing its doors later this year due to structural concerns.

Located at the top of Lyall Street, the iconic seaside building currently serves as the primary social hub and gathering spot for over 1,200 non-commissioned sailors, soldiers and aviators. 

The impending closure comes following the release of an engineering report in March 2016 that revealed flaws in beams that support the ocean-side portion of the building, estimating repairs to be upwards of $8.5 million.

The decision to move the club was announced in a base-wide email by Captain (Navy) Jason Boyd, Base Commander, just ahead of the holiday break.

Capt(N) Boyd indicated the current building will continue to operate as the Junior Ranks Mess until its closure in late 2018, at which point Naden Building 40 will become the temporary home of the Pacific Fleet Club.

“This move will be made in the interest of the safety and well-being of all club users, combined with the desire to be fiscally responsible, as the cost of repairs and maintenance to the existing facility have been found to be prohibitive,” said Capt(N) Boyd.

He also noted the importance of the Pacific Fleet Club to the “morale and culture of the Canadian Armed Forces” and said options for a permanent replacement home are currently being considered.

Forty-two years ago the Club opened with its spectacular view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Olympic Mountains. The venue’s two main rooms, the Okanagan Lounge and Bonaventure Room, can accommodate up to 325 guests.

It has been the primary spot for junior ranks and guests to unwind after work and on weekends, and over the years it has hosted events such as town hall meetings, conferences and seminars, weddings, dances, musical performances, and the regular screening of major sporting events.

President Mess Committee, Master Seaman Daniel Clarke says the existing building will continue to serve that function for the foreseeable future, but they are no longer booking large events such as weddings and other private ceremonies due to uncertainty over the timeline of the move.

Naden Building 40, located behind the CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum, currently serves as headquarters for three units including the Joint Personnel Support Unit. MS Clarke says the temporary home will be slightly smaller and more intimate than its predecessor.

“The venue won’t hold as many people as our current home, but we will likely see an increase in attendance because of its location,” he said. “Several of our junior ranks either live or work on the Naden side of the base, and many people will now see the new venue as a closer and more convenient place to have a lunch break or to meet with friends.”

The building will be re-worked to include a patio area, media room, and lower bar. Several items from the Lyall St. location, such as the Fleet Club’s quartz-top bar and furnishings, art work, and historical artifacts will be moved to the location.

Filed Under: Top Stories

About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Leave a Reply

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.