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:
The sailors were a good bunch of guys and they made me feel at home; but, I cannot remember any of their names now. However, I won’t forget my time there! Come meal time we all ate in the area where the photographs were taken. I was still on standby to photograph part of one of the engines as soon as they were able to shut it down.
Lunch with a Punch
This was in the 60s and the Navy still had rum toddies. Along comes meal time and tot (grog) time and they hand me this large water glass full of rum! My god it was a big glass. The crew had all donated their share of their rum to me. I thanked him but said I couldn’t possibly accept this wonderful gift (I was on duty and still had work to do). Then this very big sailor looks down at me and says the worst insult you can give a sailor is to refuse a gift such as this.
One of the photos taken in 1966.
Well, what to do? There sure was not plant to dump it in. It really was quite smooth. Thankfully, I was able to lay down on the catwalk in the engine room to take the shots required when the time came. I hardly remember much else.
Looking aft through the Engine Room, HMCS Ojibwa