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CANADIAN NAVY : CONGRATULATIONS ON ONE HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY

 

Honourable Senators, I rise before you today in recognition of the Canadian Navy and our sailors who have defended Canada for the past century.

I rise today to pay tribute to the Canadian Navy and to our brave sailors who have been defending Canada for the past century.

They stood fast through two world wars, two battles of the Atlantic and innumerable conflicts abroad for our country. Our navy has produced many heroes — men and women of iron, sailors who guarded our shores and those of distant countries.

I especially want to mention Lieutenant-Commander Allan Easton, who served with great distinction in the last world war. I learned about Lieutenant-Commander Easton while I was preparing for an event in my hometown of Sackville, New Brunswick, where a plaque was erected for the HMCS Sackville as part of the naval centennial celebrations.

HMCS Sackville was built in Saint John, New Brunswick. In 1941, the entire town council of Sackville journeyed to Saint John to attend her launch. Throughout the war, the Sackville sailed the stormy North Atlantic Ocean protecting convoys that carried crucial supplies for the war effort. In 1942, with Lieutenant-Commander Easton at the helm, theSackville, in a time span of 12 hours, faced three enemy submarines, capturing two and damaging a third. For his superb performance, Lieutenant-Commander Easton was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross.

The good ship Sackville is a little vessel, measuring only 210 feet. She carried a crew of less than 90, but she could make 18 knots. Over four long years, she stood guard in the Atlantic. She punched above her weight, as our whole military does today.

HMCS Sackville was not a luxury ship. Her crew were packed tightly for living space. Food was bad and it was said the ship rolled on dew. Honourable senators can imagine what that was like in the North Atlantic. However, no matter what comforts they lacked, the Sackville's crew performed their duty with no thought of themselves. They fought with an unwavering dedication to protect our shores.

HMCS Sackville was the last Flower Class Corvette. She lies in Halifax Harbour, a symbol and reminder to us all of the monumental effort it took the defeat tyranny. She made us proud.

Honourable Senators, please join me in saluting our men and women like Lieutenant-Commander Easton who serve our country today with great heroism and sacrifice. Hats off to HMCS Sackville, lest we forget.