November 20, 2019 – When HMCS Ottawa departed Esquimalt for Operations NEON and PROJECTION August 6, it carried the ashes of seven veterans – two who served in the Second World War – that had been entrusted into the care of Ottawa’s crew by their families.
“When we departed, along with our own families, present among the crowd were the loved ones of the ashes we carried, saying a final farewell knowing their loved one’s remains would be committed to sea during the deployment,” says Lieutenant Andrew Klinger, Ottawa’s padre.
Committal of Ashes to Sea are coordinated through Esquimalt’s Chaplain Office and are conducted an average of two to three times a year. The ashes are always those of former Canadian Armed Forces members, and families provide the container, as well as a short biography, that is read during the ceremony as Words of Remembrance.
“I am humbled to be able to honor the wishes of these veterans and their families,” said Padre Klinger.
In keeping with the spirit of Remembrance Day, the ceremony will take place on Ottawa during a pause in its deployment in the Asia-Pacific region.
“I cannot think of a more fitting way to offer a final farewell to deceased navy veterans than to commit their ashes to sea from a vessel conducting operations similar to those that represented a significant and dedicated period in their lives,” says Padre Klinger. “As I read through the Words of Remembrance for each set of ashes, I am struck by the commitment each made to their country through their service – just as I am serving now.”
The ashes to be committed to sea are those of John Gilbert Lundy, William Gillison, Frank Charles Moore, Ursala Dorothy Vondette, Norman Allan Ridout, Stanley Raynham and Sherwood Fredrick Charles.