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by Doug Harvey
HMCS Oriole in Port Stanley

July 20, 2018 - Her Majesty's Canadian Ship HMCS Oriole is in Port Stanley to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Navy League Cadet Core, and to support the Canadian Forces Liaison Council as part of the 2018 Great Lakes Deployment.

Dave Phillips, a Town Crier from Dutton was on hand to make the official announcement that the ship was visiting Port Stanley and was available for inspection and tours to the VIP crowd that included MP Karen Vecchio, Central Elgin Mayor David Marr, and selected local business people. Severe weather, that included high winds, and heavy precipitation cut short the last part of the ship tour giving way to an earlier reception at the Port Stanley Legion.

The HMCS Oriole is the oldest ship in the Royal Canadian Navy. It was designed by George Owen, and built by George Lawley & Son, a shipbuilding firm that operated in Neponset, Massachusetts, in 1921 for Mr. G.H. Gooderham, Commodore of Toronto’s Royal Canadian Yacht Club. The ship served from 1921- 1928 as the flag ship for the Royal Canadian Yacht Club and was commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy in 1952. The HMCS Oriole weighs in at approximately 92 tonnes, has a length of 102 feet, a height of 105 feet, a beam of 19.5 feet, a draft of 10 feet, and sleeping accommodations for 22. Ketch-rigged, Oriole is a near relative to a schooner, but differs in that its mizzen mast is smaller than its mainmast and is steeped further aft.

When fully rigged, HMCS Oriole set 13,133 square feet of Dacron sail. These tremendous sails are all manhandled; there is not a winch on the ship. Oriole's hull is steel, however its decks, cabin house, skylights and hatches are all made of teak. Oriole is a sturdy ocean cruiser and valuable for team work and seamanship training. Its participation in racing is primarily to give inexperienced crews further opportunities for training.

LCdr Drew Foran is the current Commanding Officer of the HMCS Oriole who took over that role in April, 2018. He has extensive sailing experience that began when he was 14 years old sailing on tall ships on the Great Lakes. He grew up in a military family in Summerside, PEI, and joined the Royal Canadian Navy in Ottawa at HMCS Carleton in 2003. After completing training in 2006, LCdr Foran served as Deck Officer in HMC Ships Moncton and Shawinigan. On achieving his Fleet Navigating Officer qualification, he served as Navigator in HMC Ships Glace Bay and Moncton.

In 2011, LCdr Foran served as a Fleet Navigating Instructor at the Naval Officer Training center where he also taught the inaugural Arctic Operations Course. He served as Operations Officer in HMCS Summerside, and Executive Officer in HMCS Moncton deploying to the Arctic, Caribbean, Mediterranean and West African theatres of Operation.

His land based tours include the United Nations Mission in Sudan (Op SAFARI), and Combined Task Force 150 in Bahrain, for which he received a Command Commendation. Prior to assuming command of HMCS Oriole, LCdr Foran worked as Coastal Warfare Officer in Maritime Operations Group Five. He currently resides in Dartmouth with his wife Lesley, where they enjoy sailing and walking his dog Brisbane.

Tours of the HMCS Oriole will be available Saturday and Sunday from 12:00-6:00.

Last Updated: Saturday, 21 July 2018 09:33:01 AM EST

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