The men who served in Canada's Navy were truly remarkable individuals, as naval life is a special calling and is reserved for those who can live up to its demands. It is a three dimensional world that complicates daily routine. What is simple to execute on land acquires a level of difficulty at sea. In wartime, these brave young men endured untold amounts of stress along with the loss of their beloved crew members. Their reward was in knowing that liberty and justice would be protected for future generations. In peacetime, they tolerated the long periods of absence from their loved ones. They suffered the hardships of the sea but their ultimate reward was the honour and the memory of being able to serve their country not to mention the camaraderie that developed as a result of being in the Service.
Since the end of World War II, the telegraphists of the Royal Canadian Navy have been transformed into one element of a three- element integrated force. Like men of the Army and Air Force elements, they associate in cliques. Despite this, and other adversities of unification and budget cutbacks, they have advanced with the changes in technology. They are known as Communicators and are professionally versed in all facets of communication. Some of these disciplines include radio teletype, esoteric on-line and off- line cryptographic systems, and satellite/computer oriented communications.
There is not much difference in ability between the space age communicator and the young telegraphist of the war years. Both could cope with their environment, but the onus was definitely on the telegraphist because of the hazards of battle. Many of these young men continued their service into peace time. They counselled, moulded, and inspired many of the modern young people into becoming the reputable, professional communicators of today. Let us pray that our navy never has to go into battle. May their presence help maintain the peace.
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