Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Sackville moving day

Every year Canada's naval memorial the former HMCS Sackville moves from its winter quarters at HMC Dockyard to Sackville Landing, next to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. The move usually happens around the Victoria Day weekend so that the ship is in position for the tourist season. This year, the ship will not be open to the public, so there was no particular rush to make the move, which happened today.

Sackville made a ghostly  appearance through thick fog as it move along the Dartmouth shore.

With the dockyard tugs CNAV Glenbrook providing the power and CNAV Granville as escort the ship made its way along the Dartmouth shore to Point Pleasant for ceremonial duties. It then back along the Halifax shore to its berth.

Emerging from the lower harbour fog, Sackville moves past George's Island, dressed all over for the occasion.

Although it will not be open to the public this year, it will still be approachable and visible for the summer months - one of the highlights of the Halifax waterfront, and the last surviving corvette from World War II.

Despite reports that the ship's hull is paper thin, it still looks wonderful from the outside, and benefits from winter shipkeeping at HMC Dockyard where it is connected to steam heat.

As with all Canadian Flower class corvettes, Sackville was named after a city or town - in this case Sackville, NB. George Sackville, a Godson of King George I of England was British Secretary of State for America during the American War of Independence. He was known as Lord George Sackville from 1720 to 1770, then Lord George Germain until 1782 and finally Viscount Sackville until his death in 1785. Despite a very questionable reputation as a soldier (he was court marshaled out of the British army as a battle losing General) and as politician (for losing the War of Independence) New England settlers (called planters) named the town after him in 1760. The original Acadian settlers, who had cleared and dyked the Tantramar marsh land, had been deported in 1755, and the newcomers from Rhode Island claimed some of the most fertile land in the Maritime provinces as ready made farms.

Sackville's name is also found on maps of Nova Scotia with the communities of Lower, Middle and Upper Sackville strung out along the Sackville River upstream of Bedford, where it discharges into Bedford Basin. There is also a Sackville Street in downtown Halifax. Sackville Landing is at the foot of that street. The name was chosen as one of the original street names when the city was laid out before settlement in 1749. An intersecting street in the same plan is Granville named for John Carteret, Second Earl Granville, a British politician of the 1740s and 1750s.

HMCS Sackville was built in Saint John, NB where Germain Street is named after the same character.

After a post war career as a survey ship AGOR 113  Sackville was restored to its war time appearance. I have very few photos of the ship in its "interim" days:

 Inbound off Pier 20 on a misty day.

On the synchrolift at HMC Dockyard - the old "O" class sub shed at right.

Conversion starting at Pier 2, recently taken over by the RCN.
(Always good to know that the bin is big, but is it big enough ? and how big must the litter be ?)


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