On Friday, October 13, 2023, the Member of Parliament for Calgary Skyview, paid tribute to Commodore (Ret’d) Laraine Orthlieb through Parks Canada’s Hometown Heroes program. The ceremony was held in Calgary at HMCS Tecumseh in the presence of dignitaries and family members.
Born in Saint John N.B., Laraine Orthlieb became the first female flag officer, the second woman at the helm of a ship’s company, and eventually retired with the rank of Commodore. When she was the Captain of HMCS Tecumseh, the naval establishment on land was named “Best Naval Reserve Division in Canada” in 1985. She also received considerable recognition in her community for her work in both the navy and private sector.
In addition to her work in the navy, Commodore (Ret’d) Orthlieb played an instrumental role in the creation of the Naval Museum of Alberta, the largest naval museum in Canada, where the history and traditions of Canada’s navy act as an inspiration to all who visit. Commodore (Ret’d) Orthlieb is a true leader who has opened doors for women in the navy and her actions have inspired many women sailors.
To mark the 100th anniversary of the Naval Reserve in 2023, Parks Canada is honored to add Commodore (Ret’d) Laraine Orthlieb to the Hometown Heroes program. Commodore (Ret’d) Orthlieb joins a growing list of Canadians who have been recognized for their contributions as strong community leaders who are in alignment with the Parks Canada mandate and its priorities and for their efforts to help preserve and promote Canada’s natural and cultural heritage as part of the Hometown Heroes program.