As part of their centennial celebrations, The Royal Canadian Navy visited Drumheller on Monday, April 26 and presented the Town of Drumheller with a plaque depicting the history of HMCS Drumheller at Town Council.
During his presentation, Commander Ron Pumphrey, Commanding Officer at HMCS Calgary, based at Esquimalt, British Columbia, explained they were touring to pay tribute to the towns and to talk and pay respect to veterans.
Cmdr. Pumphrey said the corvette HMCS Drumheller played an important role in the Battle of the Atlantic in World War II.
“When people think of Drumheller, they think the museum, the dinosaurs, at least my son does! But I think more towards the Navy, and I am quite proud about what you have done and the support given, I don’t know if you realize but the town actually used to send care packages and parcels to people from this ship during World War II as well so it is an interesting history that is here.”
In September 1943, the ship, under the command of Tony Storrs, was deployed to protect convoys at a critical stage of the Battle of the Atlantic and was subjected to repeated U-boat attacks.
For this service Storrs was awarded the Legion d’Honneur and the Croix de Guerre avec palmes.
Cmdr. Pumphrey talked about the significant role the Royal Canadian Navy plays in providing security for the sea trade, as Canada is surrounded by three oceans, Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic, explaining the prices of goods in grocery stores would be much higher without the Canadian Navy.
“I have been to quite a few places around the world, and I will tell you Canada is the best part of the world to be, and I can say that without question,” he concluded, adding “I’d like to give my own personal guarantee from all the sailors, right from our highest Admiral down, that we will continue to do what we can to protect those sea lines, to protect your interests that are out there.”
During his presentation to council, Cmdr. Pumphrey was joined by Cmdr. Sylvain Belby, Executive Officer, HMCS Calgary, Lt. Cmdr. (ret’d) Doug Bourne, from HMCS Tecumesh, Calgary, Ltn. Cory Titsing, Area Cadet Officer, Lt. John Ibbotson, Commanding Officer of the RCSCC Furious, and members of the Drumheller Sea Cadets.