Members of the local sea cadets corps were part of a keel laying ceremony for the Royal Canadian Navy recently.
The Maple Ridge Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps Invincible took part in the ceremony for the national navy’s first joint support ship on Jan. 16 in North Vancouver.
There were 13 cadets on stage for the ceremony in front of a hull segment of the new ship where a commemorative coin was laid in the ship’s keel.
The keel of a ship is the main structural element that runs the length of the boat, down the centre of the hull, connecting the stem and the stern.
The coin will be sealed into the hull of the ship and will remain there for the duration of the ship’s time in service, which is said to bring good luck to the shipbuilders and the future crews of the ship.
This ceremony traditionally marks the birth of a ship.
The Maple Ridge cadets also met with the Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy, Vice-Admiral Art McDonald and Navy Command Chief Petty Officer First Class David Steeves.
Following the keel laying ceremony, the cadets participated in a small ceremony in the Seaspan office, where Vice-Admiral McDonald performed a ceremonial ribbon cutting for a new operations office area.
“What a great opportunity this was for RCSCC Invincible cadets to participate in this amazing event,” said RCSCC Invincible Commanding Officer Lieutenant (Navy) Ron Juliusson.
“I have been with the Canadian cadet organizations for 45 years, and although the cadet Program is full of unique opportunities for youth, this was a first for me. It was a truly memorable moment,” Juliusson continued.
Sea cadets learn naval skills while sailing aboard Royal Canadian Naval vessels and they learn to sail both recreationally and competitively.
The RCSCC Invincible meets on Wednesday evenings at the Maple Ridge Royal Canadian Legion, from September to June.
More information about Sea Cadets in Maple Ridge can be found at www.354invincible.com, or by telephone at (604) 219-8049.