There have been many changes to the RCN as I knew it. In 1968, in
came unification and out went bell bottoms, tight jumpers, dickey fronts
and collars that made a sailor stand out in a crowd, in favour of an "olive
green" suit. Also gone was the cap talley with the name of the sailor's
ship, worn with pride not only because it was his ship but because it was
his his home. I can only imagine the shock to the matelot
on that day. But, at least the three branches of the military got their
proper uniform colours back. Gone are the cherished bo'sun calls "Up spirits"
and "Senior hands of messes to muster for grog" and the seldom but more cherished
"Splice the Mainbrace". Gone are the old white and blue ensigns.
During the 1950's the ships of WWII were being replaced by ships of the St Laurent and Restigouche class. And today even more modern ships of the Canadian Navy, loaded with the latest electronic warfare systems, are sailing to the four corners of the globe flying their new ensigns. But through all these changes one thing has remained..
The dedication, professionalism and seamanship of the Canadian sailor.
HMCS St Croix ...Restigouche class destroyer
Sister ships HMCS's Chaudiere (DDE235); Kootney (DDE258);Gatineau (DDE236); Terra Nova (DDE259); Columbia (DDE260); Restigouche (DDE257)
On 21 Oct 1955 my father came home from work and a photographer from the
local paper was waiting to take this photo which was published the following
day on the front page under the caption,
"Hail Hail The Gang's All Here".
My father and his three sons home on leave at the same time.
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