WATCH ABOVE: In honour of the Queen’s remarkable achievement, the Naval Museum of Alberta held a special ceremony Wednesday, which included the addition of some new items. Global’s Doug Vaessen reports.
CALGARY – Calgarians joined the celebrations happening around the world in honour of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Wednesday.
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The Naval Museum of Alberta held a special ceremony, which kicked off with the naval tradition that calls for a tot of rum and a toast to the monarchy. Four new ship models that will be added to the museum’s collection were unveiled, including the last of three aircraft carriers in Canadian history.
“When you look at the name of all of our ships, HMCS Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship, every one of our ships honours Her Majesty,” said Commander Janet McDougall, of HMCS Tecumseh.
HMCS Bonaventure was large enough to land jets. The ship was laid down in 1943 as part of the British Royal Navy just before Capt. Bill Wilson was preparing for D-Day, and later joined him in the Canadian Navy.
“She was well-manned, our sailors and pilots were the best. But it took almost a quarter of the people in the sea-going navy to man it,” said Cpt. Bill Wilson, who is now retired from the Royal Canadian Navy. “It was a big aircraft carrier and we just couldn’t provide all the troops necessary, so she was sold for scrap.”
The HMCS Nipigon, a Cold War destroyer, the Huron A Tribal Class destroyer and the Saguenay were also added to to the museum’s growing collection.
“I have always had a dream…to sail in the navy, but back then women weren’t allowed in the navy, so the first chance I got a chance to sail, I sailed on this ship,” said Lt. Rose Tanchyk, who served on HMCS Nipigon. “We were the first women on a combat ship ever.”
The last time Queen Elizabeth II was in Calgary was in 2005 to mark Alberta’s centennial.
“Every time the Queen has come to Canada she has said that Canada very much feels like a second home,” said Josh Traptow, of the Monarchist League of Alberta.
With files from Global News