Crowds cheered on parading sailors and gave them a few “hip-hoorays” for good measure.

Rear-Admiral Paul Maddison, commander of Maritime Forces Atlantic, led 1,000 sailors from the dockyards to Grand Parade yesterday to mark the 100th birthday of the Canadian Navy.

He was challenged by Halifax Regional Police Chief Frank Beazley on the steps of city hall before he banged on the doors with the hilt of a sword.

Mayor Peter Kelly emerged and formally granted the sailors Freedom of the City.

“It means a great deal to know that we are appreciated by all Canadians,” Maddison told the crowd.

“Support and goodwill like this fuels our determination to continue giving 100 per cent when we’re deployed far from home or operating off the Atlantic coast.”

General Walter Natynczyk, chief of the defence staff, thanked veterans “who showed us what right looks like” and thanked Haligonians for packing into Grand Parade for the ceremony.

“Your very presence is a tremendous honour to Canada’s navy,” he said.

In a town where almost everyone knows someone connected with the navy, Harvey Stevens is no different. His grandfather and uncle served in the navy.

He turned out for the ceremony yesterday because of his family connections and also because he’s one of the thousands of civilians employed by the navy.

“There wouldn’t be a city without the navy. This city is the navy.”

Cpl. Lindsey Robichaud arrived home on the HMCS Fredericton yesterday. While she planned to spend the day with her family instead of attending the parade, she said it was incredible to be a part of history.

“This won’t happen again for another 100 years and it’s actually an honour,” she said.

“Everyone was anxious to get here and see their families and just be a part of this day.”

19 sworn in
Nineteen new sailors were sworn into the navy on board the HMCS Toronto. The ship was docked outside the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic yesterday as part of the celebrations for the navy’s 100th birthday.

Latest From ...