HMCS Oriole — a nearly century-old piece of Canadian naval history — has arrived in Kingston, Ont.
The Royal Canadian Navy ship sailed into town on Thursday night and is touring the Great Lakes as well as the St. Lawrence Seaway. Based out of Halifax, HMCS Oriole does some sail training but is primarily used for outreach, giving the public a better idea of what happens in this particular branch of the service.
Drew Foran, commanding officer of the Oriole, says the ship was built in 1921 and originally served as a yacht for a very prominent family from the Toronto area.
“They used it for a decade or so and then they loaned it to the Royal Canadian Navy to train junior officers during the wars, eventually donating it to the navy in 1949.”
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The vessel was commissioned in 1952 and is currently the longest-serving commissioned ship in the Royal Canadian Navy. Foran says it takes a full 21-person crew to sail the ship properly.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Monica Perry is with HMCS Cataraqui, Kingston’s naval reserve, where the Oriole is docked.
“A lot of people question us about how can we have a naval reserves here in Kingston without a ship. Well, now we have a ship, at least for a few days,” said Perry.
There will be tours of the Oriole on Aug. 18-19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Cataraqui. From there, the ship will move downtown to Crawford Wharf, where tours will also be available.