and then Fraser lost her mast."
by Shipmate Jim Robertson
"I am turning downwind to retrieve my mast" came the flashing light signal from HMCS Fraser to the senior ship in the 2nd Canadian Destroyer Squadron at 0700 on an early February morning in 1959. HMCS Crescent, a WWII designed and built "C" class destroyer was that senior ship with Captain Pratt commanding the ship and squadron. I was the junior signalman on watch that quiet morning somewhere in the Central Pacific enroute from Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, to San Diego, California. The sea was very calm, the weather slightly overcast but expected to be bright and sunny into the forenoon watch and the squadron was lolling along minding its own business and then Fraser lost her mast. On Crescent the junior sig's watchkeeping station was on the open, or "flying" bridge, in all kinds of weather and for the usual four-hour watch save for the dog watches. The lookouts, often enough only one, spent but an hour in the elements before being relieved to slouch around somewhere below decks, warm and cozy and able to get a cup of "kye" or coffee at will. Not so the brave signalman on watch: that poor wretch had to endure the entire watch subject to the vagaries of the weather.
Fraser Squadron received several awards at the Pacific Mainland District AGM for their Chinese Boating Basics Manual and for having the largest % increase in membership by a Squadron in the PMD district.
This would not have been posible if it had not been for Commander Rick's initiative in recognizing that there was a opportunity to work with Jack and the Asian community to develop courses in Chinese. Also Rick's ideas were supported by our bridge and especially our training officers Paul & Kathleen and Bob E. who worked with Jack on our website so that it is now in Chinese/English (I think that we probably are the only Squadron that has it in both these languages in Canada/USA)! These folks put 100's of hours into this project!
With the other awards that Rick and Jack have received it certainly has been a banner year for Fraser Squadron. More to come!
Congratulation are in order as Fraser Squadron along with Port Moody cleaned up on the awards this year!
Each year the Canadian Safe Boating Council awards mariners who go the furthest to promote safe boating. The 2012 CASBA's (Canadian Safe Boating Awards) were presented in Toronto on January 13, 2013.
It's been written that the CASBA's are the golden globes of boating, and the spotlight was on two members of Fraser Squadron who were recognized for their efforts toward making boating safer and more enjoyable.
The Best Boating Safety Initiative, was presented to Rick Easthom and Jack Tang for helping Chinese-speaking boaters in their community enjoy the waters more safely.
The CASBAs honour the people, programs, organizations and marinas that are helping to make boating in Canada safer and better for all of us, and to keep the environment clean.
Read more on the CPS National website
Commander Rick Easthom and multi-cultural liason Jack Tang were interviewed on the BC Early Edition on Tuesday June 5.
The Podcast can be listened to here. To listen to the boating interview skip ahead to 9:10.
Commander Rick, multi-cultural liason Jack Tang, Rockie and Ann attended the Mosquito Creek Boat Show promoting CPS, Fraser Squadron and boating safety.
DFO cutbacks and layoffs have lead to the decsion to close the Kitsilano Coast Guard station. This will no doubt have an effect on local boating.
There has been a lot of discussion about this decision. Follow the story through these articles:
The treasure has not been lost YET!, but if business interests have their way coastal boaters will suffer the loss of use of most of Squirrel Cove.
The Council of BC Yacht Clubs has setup a website with information about the potential loss of this popular destination.
Find out more at the Save Squirrel Cove website.
Viewers of this website may have noticed the Fraser Squadron website is now bilingual - English and Chinese.
What not French?
The lower mainland of British Columbia has a large Asian presence. A demographic that is increasingly turning to the water and the lifestyle that boating has to offer to residents of Coastal BC. Fraser Squadron was challenged to bring our Basic Boating class to to our Chinese immigrants - in Chinese. And we have risen to the challenge.
There are people who question "why". Why teach in Chinese? Why aren't these people learning in English?