“Our purpose is to serve.”
Those words are the motto for a military maintenance ship and now adorn a wall on the military base along Halifax’s waterfront. They’re scrawled across a gold emblem lovingly painted on a mural commemorating the 250th anniversary of Halifax’s Royal Naval Dockyard and the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Navy.
Rear Admiral Paul Maddison, commander of Maritime Forces Atlantic, and naval Capt. Gilles Hainse, commanding officer of Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Scott, unveiled the large piece of artwork yesterday morning inside the an HMC Dockyard building.
“This represents 250 years of service to Queen and country here in Halifax,” Maddison said of colourful mural that measures three metres high and 12 metres long. “(It) signifies to me that the dockyard, the naval service of Canada and the city of Halifax … we have grown up together.”
Maddison said most folks “think of sailors and … ships going to sea” when the dockyard comes to mind, but “what they often don’t stop to think about is how important the civilian component has always been and will always be.”
In fact, civilian James Penny was one of three volunteers who created the mural, along with Cpl. Aaron Evans and Petty Officer 1st Class Ken Rees. The amateur artists said it took them more than three months to complete the work, although they may add more to it later.
“It’s a lasting contribution that we all got to make to the rich history that is the Navy in Halifax,” Penny said.