Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Crow's Nest--A Link to the RCN of Old

 The Crow's Nest is a private club in St. John's, Newfoundland that has a remarkable past. The location, right beside the War Memorial, was for two hundred years the site of an inn, "The Ship". Following the 19th century fire in the city, the present structure, beam and brick, was built, referred to as The Old Butler Building.

In 1942 Captain (D) [for Destroyer] E. R. Mainguy arranged, with private help, to lease the space occupied by the club for $1 per year for The Seagoing Officers Club. Here, Canadian and allied naval officers could relax ashore.

Mainguy, who was in charge, decreed that each visiting ship could have four square feet of wall space for a crest, or other display--to get some sort of order out of the members' propensity to scribble signatures and ships' names on any space available.

Today, the historic 2 x 2 foot installations remain. (More about them in a subsequent post.)

In the meantime, holding pride of place among the overhead beams, are the crests of the RCN's three O-boats: HMCS Ojibwa, senior, in the centre, flanked by her sisters Onondaga and Okanagan either side.
To top off the submarine theme is a periscope mounted in one corner. More about that later, too!

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Lamont said...

Must have felt good to see the Ojibwa, Onondaga, and Okanagan crests. If only those walls could talk.

Robert Mackay said...

Yes--pride of place, upper right corner on main wall is an unofficial rendition of the St. Laurent, the ship in which Thomas Colson Mackay won his DSC.

Lamont said...

Very cool, Robert.

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