Album of HMCS Summerside, Prince County military history on display at Eptek Art and Culture Centre
A little piece of Summerside’s military history is coming home. For the month of December, a photo album, which features the pictures of crew members of the HMCS Summerside during the Second World War, will be on display at Eptek Art and Culture Centre.
“The album was recently donated to the P.E.I. Regiment Museum, by a man from Nova Scotia, after turning up in an e-bay auction,” explained the museum’s curator Greg Gallant.
“It’s a great find, and it’s nice to have it here, as it has Summerside’s name on it. Now is there anyone from Summerside on it, I don’t know. I’m sure there was/is, but who they’d be I don’t know.” The album and photos belonged to Paul Herbert, an LDG Seaman in the crew of the Summerside.
“It’s a beautiful album. The real beauty about it, is that the pictures follow the path that the ship took. It participated it Operation Neptune, as well as some blockades off of England, and also took part in Normandy invasions, by guarding the coast after D-Day. There are photos from North Africa, because the ship would have travelled around that area and into the Mediterranean for the invasion of Sicily, Italy. So, there’s a real photographic story.” The photos also depict the ship itself, as well as the artwork painted on the ship’s guns, like a cartoon picture of a frightened Adolf Hitler, the Nazi German Chancellor at the time.
“The art was called a gun shield. It was common to see art like that. All ships had it in some way, shape or form. The wartime HMCS Charlottetown had painting of a sailor pouring a bag of potatoes down the conning tube, the open hatch of the U-Boat. In other words, they’re going to sink the U-Boats with potatoes,” Gallant explained with a chuckle.
The exhibit that the album will be a part of depicts Prince County’s military history, including pieces on the Summerside RCAF base, the Mount Pleasant air force base and the radar station in Tignish.
“There’s only about 30 known photos about the station in Tignish,” said Gallant. “There is also information about the P.E.I Regiment. It’s a nice cross-collection of information for the Prince County Area.”
Nikkie Gallant, the site director at Eptek is excited to have the exhibit on display for Remembrance Day.
“We like to commemorate Remembrance Day wherever possible. The whole premise of the day is to remember what was fought for and the importance of the peace that followed. Those wars, World War One and World War Two, set the groundwork for the human rights we have today. It’s important to honour those that were willing to put their lives at risk to mark those freedoms,” she said.
For more information on the exhibit, go to the P.E.I. Regiment Museum website at http://www. peiregimentmuseum.ca, or by calling Eptek Art and Culture Centre at 902-888-8373.
Artwork on the guns atop the wartime HMCS Summerside depicting “Canada or Bust,” and “It’s no use Adolf.”