On 30th August 2013, Parks Canada organized a formal ceremony to mark the 70th year of the commissioning of HMCS HAIDA. The Reverend Cannon William Thomas SLt (N) Ret'd opened the ceremony with a prayer and the singing of O Canada. Emcee Jarred Picher of Parks Canada did a great job of introducing the guest speakers and narrating the program.
The highlight of the ceremony was the the presentation of an HAIDA print by artist William McDowell. It was accepted on behalf of HMCS HAIDA by Vi Connolly. After the ceremony, cake and refreshments were served.
Jarred Picher is the Acting Field Unit Superintendent for the South Western Ontario district of Parks Canada and was also the emcee for the ceremony. It was noted that HAIDA was the largest and most unique artifact in the Parks Canada system. Ken Lloyd - Executive Director of Friends of HMCS HAIDA. It was also mentioned that it was the 10th anniversary of HAIDA's arrival in Hamilton. Bob Bratina, Mayor of Hamilton, noted the many veterans from Hamilton and vicinity who served in the RCN during WWII. David Sweet. Member of Parliament for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale. LCdr Bill Dziadyk (ret’d), Heritage Officer HMCS BYTOWN Wardroom, provides some historical details of the loss of ATHABASKAN and the related limited edition print “Canadian Destroyer HAIDA stops to pick up survivors from the ATHABASKAN” before print #2/300 was presented to HMCS HAIDA.”. This painting, by artist William McDowell (print 2/300), depicts the rescue of HMCS ATHABASKAN survivors by HMCS HAIDA. It was presented to HAIDA on her 70th birthday by HMCS BYTOWN Wardroom. A closer view of the painting. Dawn is fast approaching and HAIDA needs to be underway before she is spotted by the Luftwaffe. She embarked as many survivors as she could before leaving the area. Image is Copyright 2013 HMCS Bytown Incorporated and is reproduced herein with the permission of HMCS Bytown. Prints can be obtained at: http://www.barrytate.com/pages_painting/Athabaskan_Haida.html Accepting the print on behalf of HMCS HAIDA is Vi Connolly, wife of the late Bill Connolly, an ATHABASKAN sinking survivor. HAIDA's volunteers at the break in the foc'sle. All photos in this table by Jerry Proc