Friday, November 19, 2010

Queen Elizabeth II visits Halifax

HMCS Sackville all dressed up
In looking through my pictures I realized that I missed a pretty important blogging opportunity over the summer.  Not only were Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in Halifax, but they unveiled a plaque at the HMCS Sackville, our national naval memorial (and Passage member).  Since our office is down on the waterfront it was pretty easy to sneak out and capture some photos of the fleet review and plaque unveiling.  Given the recent announcement that Prince William and Kate Middleton are engaged, this seems like an even more appropriate time to talk about the royal visit.

conducting the fleet review from the HMCS St. John's
The Queen's first order of business was to conduct an international fleet review in honour of the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Navy.  Ships from Canada, Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and United States participated in the review, and many of these vessels were also open to the general public over the course of the week.  As usual, our international guests raved about the wonderful Maritime hospitality they experienced while in our port.
saying goodbye to the HMCS St. John's crew

The weather didn't really cooperate as the day was blustery and overcast, but thankfully the rain held off.  The crowds of people didn't seem to mind the weather, and were very excited to see the royal couple.  For many it was the first time to see her in person, and for others it afforded the opportunity to share memories of previous visits with their children and grandchildren.

unveiling the plaque 

The unveiling of the plaque was preceded  by a speech which was a little difficult to hear due to the helicopters flying overhead. Following the unveiling the Queen and Prince Philip did a little walk about, meeting with veterans and their families who were seated in some reserved bleachers on the dock.  I know this is part of her job, but from my vantage point, both the royal couple and the veterans they met with truly seemed to enjoy this.

leaving the waterfront
If you've never visited the HMCS Sackville, it is definitely worth checking out.  It is the last remaining WWII corvette and going aboard is like stepping back in time.  I'm always struck by how narrow and cramped the space is.  I also appreciate how the volunteers of the Naval Memorial Trust have created such a time capsule atmosphere on board.  During the summer months she can be found along the waterfront near the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.


L said...

So glad to see you pics. I was curious.

J Goreham-Penney said...

Cool post. Fleet Review Week was certainly a busy time for the formation's CF museums, here at SAM we had great fund raising opportunities on the waterfront (as well as PR opportunities) and we had a visit at the museum from the crew of the HMS Ark Royal. Also I cycle to and from work when the weather is fine, and the view of the ships from the Waterfront trail between Woodside and Alderney was fantastic! I saw helicopter deck landings, fireworks, all kinds of cool stuff.