This story comes to us from retired submariner George Roach who is usually to be found in the Control Room of HMCS Ojibwa on Saturdays or Sundays until it's time to head south for the winter. This summer, he was very pleased to see young Jasmine DeBoer at Ojibwa. He is a fixture at many Remembrance Day ceremonies in his area and George recalled that Jasmine played the Last Post at the previous Remembrance Day service at the Haldimand Legion.
Left: Jasmine DeBoer at her local Heritage Fair in January 2020.
During our 2019 season, Larry Belzac, a former photographer with the Royal Canadian Air Force, visited HMCS Ojibwa. We were able to fill in some memories that had been lost to the demon rum during a previous visit in 1966. Here is the story in his own words:
Benefit of Integration
Thanks to the integration of the Armed Forces, I was posted to the Navy Photo Section in Halifax, NS. I had the honour of being one of the first pigeons (Air Force guy) to grace the halls of any Navy Photo Section if not the Navy itself.
Duty Photo Assignment:
Long referred to as the ‘demon’ rum it has nevertheless been used for hundreds of years to discourage the ravages of cold, wet, lack of sleep and depression along with most other maladies faced by serving men. Rum rose to prominence because it did not ‘turn’ or ‘go off’ as beer and wine did. Our Facebook entry regarding the location of the rum stores aboard HMCS Ojibwa jogged the memory of Jim ‘Lucky’ Gordon – and helps us understand the nickname ‘Lucky’.
The Cox'n's Stores located on the deck between the gash ejector and the Chiefs &Petty Officers Wash Space.
HMCS Ojibwa Bell
It has been tradition, for centuries, to baptize children using the ship’s bell as the baptismal font. The child’s name was usually engraved somewhere on the bell, usually inside the mouth. Canadian submarines have maintained that tradition.
During the baptismal ceremony, the bell is inverted in its box and filled with water used for the blessing. On completion of the baptism, the water is ceremoniously poured over the side. That ritual is marked by piping the still and the carry on with a bos’n’s call.
Our original website included a Photo of the Day feature. On Wednesday, March 11, 2015, the Photo of the Day was a picture of a torpedo being loaded aboard HMCS OJIBWA.
Alongside in the background was a large ship. This took former submariner Jim 'Lucky' Gordon on a trip down memory lane. Before you follow him there, it will help to know that a 'target' to a submariner is any surface ship and a 'skimmer' is someone who sails on a surface ship.
Thoughts on Argentinian Submarine
Pulley Chain (Belly Belt) in Forward Torpedo Room
To the average person, the chain dangling from the top looks like just any ordinary chain, but you will notice that every second link is enclosed in a rubber ball. A normal chain used for a chain block arrangement is extremely noisy, but by having a rubber “ball” at every second link, it makes the chain block totally quiet, therefore allowing you to carry on with the shifting of torpedoes even in a “quiet” state.
Messman on HMCS Ojibwa
One of the assigned tasks aboard HMCS Ojibwa was that of Messman. Unlike her siblings, Onondaga and Okanagan, there was no dedicated cafeteria-like space on Ojibwa. Submariners ate in their Mess where they also slept or spent their spare time. To complicate things further, the galley was located in a very small space just aft of the Control Room removed from the Mess areas of the boat. To accommodate the restricted space of the galley, each Mess area had a sink where the dishes could be washed before returning the plates to the galley and the utensils to a drawer near the sink. The only dishes washed in the Galley were those used to produce the meals.
Retired Chief Engine Room Artificer, Gilles Poirier, answered some of our questions about the role of the Messman and meal time on a submarine.
Jim 'Lucky' Gordon
Sea Daddy Observations
The Elgin Military Museum
Trades & Tasking
Under The Weather
Victoria Class Subs
What Does This Do?