In the spring of 1956 I left Burns Lake and boarded a train for HMCS Chatham in Prince Rupert BC to join the Royal Canadian Navy. I was sixteen years old at the time and I felt the urge to see the world.
During my five years in the navy I served on two land bases; HMCS Cornwallis & HMCS Naden, and three ships; HMCS Ontario, HMCS Ste Therese and HMCS Jonquiere. It was a period when rum rations were still the order of the day.
At first I was trained in Engineering and acquired my Stationary Steam Qualification. During my final year I received adminstrative training and operated the Engineer's Office aboard the HMCS Jonquiere. My interest in electronics and amateur radio dates back to my navy days.
After completing my five-year term I accepted a discharge and returned to civillian life in Burns Lake. I retained reserve status in the navy and helped establish the Burns Lake Sea Cadets. Those five years of naval service seemed like a lifetime but I've never regretted that phase of my life.
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