Remembering those that served
Battle of the Atlantic parade to take place in North Sydney on Sunday
A commemoration of one of the important military campaigns of the Second World War will take place on Sunday in North Sydney with the Battle of the Atlantic parade and memorial service.
Royal Canadian Legion branch 19 in North Sydney is hosting the event and the parade and service is under the direction of the Cape Breton Naval Association.
The Battle of the Atlantic is considered the longest continuous military campaign of the Second World War, running from 1930 to the defeat of Germany in 1945.
During that time, the Canadian Navy and the Merchant Marines protected the supply lines for the Allied Forces.
“It means an awful lot to the naval veterans. We put a lot of time into planning and making a successful parade and church service,” said Nando Mazalin, public relations spokesperson for the parade and service.
“Usually all the members of the naval veterans are there and the families as well. We like to see them line the streets as they parade by. It is something we look forward to.”
Though it began the war with 13 vessels and only 3,000 men, the Royal Canadian Navy ended the war with 373 fighting ships and more than 90,000 men.
It is estimated that more than 25,000 merchant ship voyages were made from North America to Britain during the war and 72
Canadian merchant ships were lost to enemy action during that time.
For local commemorations of Canada’s seafaring contribution to the war, parade participants are asked to fall in at 2:15 p.m. on Sunday at the Ballast Grounds to ready for the parade march to St. Joseph’s Church at 3 p.m.
The parade commander will be Walter Stewart.
The eyes-right saluting will take place on the parade route and taking the salute will be Second World War naval veteran Charles Buchanan.
The Cape Breton Sea Cadet Corps cadets will join the naval veterans, which has become a parade tradition through the years.
At the memorial in St. Joseph’s Church the main wreath
laid will be in the form of a ship’s anchor.
The service will be conducted by Fr. Patrick O’Neil, Rev. Darius Powell, Deacon Leo Penny and Martin MacKinnon, president of the Cape Breton Naval Veterans Association.
A candlelight service is also set for Sunday at branch 19 in North Sydney conducted by Second World War veteran Stan MacPhail.
This naval tradition sees the lost naval ships and the men and women who served in the
Each lost navy ship will be named during the ceremony, a bell will toll and the candles will be extinguished.
Guest speakers will be Mayor Cecil Clarke and Coun. Earlene MacMullin of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.
A supper and dance will follow.
The Cape Breton Naval Veterans meet at the Royal Canadian Legion branch 12 in Sydney every second Tuesday of each month at 2 p.m.
Membership is open to all navy personnel now serving and those who have served in the Royal Canadian Navy, Merchant Marines, Naval Reserves, the Canadian Coast Guard and on Canadian national ships.
A convoy of 37 ships leaves Sydney harbour in 1942, on its way to the British Isles. In the background is northern Cape Breton and Cape North.