By: Malcolm Cooke

The Nanaimo Clippers will be unveiling a new third jersey this Remembrance Day. An ode to the Canadian Naval coastal defense vessel, HMCS Nanaimo. The Nanaimo has been in service with the Royal Canadian Navy since 1997. The ship has been undergoing repairs at Point Hope Shipyards in Victoria since last fall. As part of a tradition that dictates any time a Royal Canadian Navy ship goes into dry dock, the bell of the ship is brought to the ship’s namesake city. The bell has been residing in the office of Nanaimo mayor Leonard Krog. After a formal presentation former commander of the HMCS Nanaimo, Jason Bergen, presented the bell to Krog for safekeeping. Bergen stated in a press release, “The safeguarding of the ship’s bell at the city is symbolic of the trust and the strong relationship and support between the city and the HMCS Nanaimo,”

At the Nanaimo Clippers game against the Cowichan Valley Capitals on Friday, November 11, the bell will be returned to the HMCS Nanaimo’s commanding officer, Micheal Vanderveer along with other crew members, in anticipation of the ship’s re-activation. Once re-activated, the vessel will be based out of CFB Esquimalt at the southern tip of Vancouver Island. Nanaimo mayor Leonard Krog will present the bell back to the crew of the HMCS Nanaimo on November 11, as part of the Clippers’ salute to the Royal Canadian Military. 

“Knowing the long days that the ship’s crew puts in at sea, the work they do to patrol and protect our harbors, the rescue missions they perform, and the narcotics that they’ve helped to keep out of our country, it’s a true honor to safeguard the ship’s bell while it goes into dry dock. HMCS Nanaimo doesn’t just carry our city’s name, it holds our absolute respect.” Krog said when talking about keeping the ship’s bell safe at his office for the past year. 

Every ship commissioned in the Royal Canadian Navy is given a bell. Historically they were used to mark the passage of time at sea or to communicate to other ships on the open ocean. Made out of brass, the bell weighs up to 30 pounds. 

HMCS Nanaimo MM702 in Nanaimo for Canada Day 2009.

The HMCS Nanaimo is a Kingston-class coastal defence vessel and has been a part of the Royal Canadian Navy’s pacific fleet since 1997. In that time, it has participated in operations spanning the Pacific Ocean from Canada’s Arctic down to the Galápagos Islands. The HMCS Nanaimo has served in various capacities from search and rescue operations to US-led anti-narcotics operations in the Pacific.

To commemorate the history of the HMCS Nanaimo, the Nanaimo Clippers will be wearing a brand new third jersey honoring the HMCS Nanaimo K101. The HMCS Nanaimo K101 was a flower-class corvette which served in World War II. The jersey was designed by Lieutenant Tristan Robertson, who has served on the HMCS Nanaimo in various capacities. A member of the Royal Canadian Navy since 2005, Robertson was eager to assist in the design process. Now an instructor for the Navy’s pacific naval fleet, Lt. Robertson is an avid hockey fan. Growing up as a Vancouver Canucks fan living behind enemy lines in Calgary. After consulting with the Clippers, Lt. Robertson worked to incorporate coastal defense themes into the jersey. The jersey features admiralty camouflage, which is used by the Royal Canadian Navy to hide the ship’s movements by blurring the lines between the sea and the horizon. 

While the brave men and women of the military are defending the shores of Canada, coming into Friday’s game, the Nanaimo Clippers hold a 7-3 record when playing at the Frank Crane Arena. Join us the rest of the season as the Clippers continue to defend their home ice, and the Coastal division lead. At the time of writing the Clippers carry a 12-3 overall record, tied for first in the division with the Surrey Eagles.