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FALL 1999


At the executive meeting of the UNTD Association on July 13, 1999, a web page manager was invited by Doug Haine to provide information about putting the UNTD Association on the Internet. It was felt that with the Year 2000 Reunion coming up, the association needs a web page to improve its communication system. Recently released statistics show that 22.6 % of all Canadian households are on the Internet and that "connectedness" appears to increase substantially with education and affluence. In the near future a proposed merger between Rogers Communications Inc. and Microsoft Corporation, will make interactive cable TV with e-mail and Net surfing, available to almost anyone.

Although the cost of getting a web page on the Internet is gradually decreasing, it is still too expensive for the UNTD Association to undertake on a stand-alone basis. To create, serve and maintain a web page would cost about $1,700 for the first year. Each year thereafter would require a smaller user & maintenance fee. However, as an alternative, Executive members, Rev. Canon Bill Thomas & Cdr. Bob Williamson have been investigating piggyback scenarios with established web sites such as the Naval Reserve.

In the meantime, to see exactly where we stand, with the membership in relation to the Internet, the executive has asked that we conduct a survey. If you are on or have access to the Internet, view the work on the UNTD web site under construction at

Then send an e-mail message to Rev. Bill Thomas stating:

your interest in the UNTD web site,

your name and Internet address. Rev. Bill Thomas can be found at:


Part III

June 9, Wednesday, 1948: Only twenty more days to go until we reach Naden. My watch, Blue Watch, had the morning watch from 0400 to 0800. The sea was slightly restless but otherwise quiet. After breakfast, communication classes almost put me to sleep.

I was lifebuoy sentry from 1600 to 1700 when we exercised emergency stations. The sea was calm enough to look at but was plenty choppy from the vantagepoint of our 20 foot, six man lifeboat. We rescued the kisbie floats that had been thrown overboard. One joy about raising a seaboat on a destroyer is that we had a power winch and did not have to use the coulee method as employed on the frigates.

Up again at 2330 to stand the middle watch. Boy was I tired! My eyes were so heavy that I had to force them to stay open. If I closed them for a moment, everything began fading away and I was asleep - even standing up. Below decks at 0400, I crashed on the leather cushions on the lockers, which serve as storage for clothes and as benches at the mess table. I vowed that I would never sleep there but have done so often.

June 10, Thursday, 1948: Off the coast of Honduras. This was our first sunny day in the last several days. It is the rainy season now and cloudy most of the time. The sea is as calm as a millpond and a dark blue - green colour as compared to the azure1e of the Atlantic.

Black smoke coming out of the stacks yesterday resulted in E.R.A.s and stokers getting loss of pay, as well as stoppage of leave and grog (rum). They are pretty mad at the captain, an old merchant navy type who is a mean old bugger. (Editor's note: several cadets reported that the captain was a modern Captain Bligh. They described his relationship with the crew as similar to that of the captain in the film, "Mr Roberts". It was at this time that incidents aboard the Athabaskan, Crescent and Magnificent triggered a much-needed investigation called the Mainguy Report. "It moulded a Canadian navy, apart from the Royal Navy, to better fit our social values, traditions and character" [Cdr. Tony German]. It was a watershed in the navy's history and the UNTD were there).

During the afternoon watch we saw a huge school of porpoises. They swam under the ship and playfully jumped out of the water, stood on their tails or did flips. They certainly were a sight well worth watching. Played bridge after supper and worked on my journal, which has to be assessed by Lt. Cook.

June 11-12, Friday/Saturday, 1948: Lucky me! After standing the second dog watch, I got to see the movie, "Stallion Road" which I quite enjoyed. Slept on the lockers until 0330 when I went to the bridge to stand third officer of the watch. Filled in the log every hour and answered 293 radar reports from the radar room. In the forenoon, I worked on one of the cutters doing as little as possible, soaking up the sun.

Arrived in Acapulco this afternoon. Mail call! Got a letter from Parker. Acapulco is a flashy place with ultra-modern round buildings and many yachts in the large, sheltered bay. A tourist centre - it is the Riviera of the West Coast.

June 13, Sunday, 1948: Answered Parker's letter and went ashore with Verne this afternoon. Exchanged money at the Las Marinas Hotel (45 pesos for $10.00, should have been 48). Sat on the cool, hotel veranda screened by palms and tropical plants. We acted just like tourists. Later we rented bicycles at 40 cents an hour and cycled about the city taking pictures. Then we went swimming on a very smooth sandy beach with large rollers sweeping up the sand. Back aboard ship, after a shower, we saw a movie, "That Way With Women".

June 14, Monday, 1948: After the first full night's sleep in a long time, we were up at 0600 for P.T. on the jetty just as the sun was peeking over the mountains. Chuck Miller and I spent the morning painting the funnel from a swinging stage with not too much to hang on to. Boy was it hot! We couldn't take our shirts off because there were guests on board.

I took ten packs of cigarettes ashore with me because they are a great medium of exchange here. I bought a wild-looking flowered shirt for 15 pesos after a lot of dickering. We saw a terrific looking girl in one store. She reminded us of how long we have been away from home. Brought back lemons, coconuts and bananas to the ship. After supper, Verne, Brittain and I played horseshoes and beat the Coxswain and Chief Gunner's Mate, three games to none.

June 15, Tuesday, 1948: We left Acapulco today amidst cheering and arm waving from VIPs and pretty ladies decked out in large hats. This was the best port of call so far with none of the squalor of Panama or Montego Bay. After supper I hung washing on the foc'sle to dry in the fresh breeze. Just as it was about dry, it rained like the devil and now I have to go back on watch.

June 16/17, Wednesday/Thursday, 1948: We anchored in Manzanillo harbour this morning. No resort town here - just a small jetty, an oil depot, rail yard and board or straw hovels that look like something out of "Three Little Pigs". We stopped in this little backwater for only two reasons: to oil and paint the ship. Spent all morning painting the side of the ship from a whaler, then in the afternoon Verne and I painted the bow from a bosun's chair, nothing more than a glorified rope swing, twenty feet above the water. After dinner, about fifty of us went by bus to an isolated beach. It was really lovely although the six-foot high breakers were really powerful. (Bob Morris from OAC in Guelph also remembers the six-foot breakers on the beach. An ex-sea cadet, he sailed in the ship's whaler to an isolated beach. As they came ashore the whaler broached in the pounding surf. As Bob attempted to cut some of the tangled rigging free, he was almost crushed as the whaler was lifted and thrown onto the beach. The ship's cutter had to come to float a line ashore so that they could tow the whaler back to the ship. The crew returned in a beat-up old truck.)

June 18, Friday, 1948: Left Manzanillo at 1000. Verne and half the crew are quite sick this morning with diarrhoea and cramps - Montezuma's revenge.

June 19, Saturday, 1948: Another lovely warm day spent painting the superstructure of the ship. We are hurrying to get everything painted before we reach San Pedro where there are expected to be a number of receptions and parties. Classes today were held in gun drill.

June 20, Sunday, 1948: I slept with a blanket on me all night for the first time in four weeks. The sea temperature has dropped 15 degrees in one day. What a change! We are now taking heavy swells and salt spray across the foc'sle.

June 22, Tuesday, 1948: Arrived in Los Angeles Naval Base, Long Beach at 0700. Red Watch left at 1030 for a tour of Warner Brothers Studio and dinner at the Brown Derby. Verne and I went ashore in the afternoon and planned to catch a train to Los Angeles but were picked up by a guy named Moe in a new Ford coupe. He said he was going to Pasadena and that was fine with us. We drove through Long Beach and Los Angeles. In Pasadena we saw the famous Rose Bowl and visited Bullock's Department Store - the most modern and expensive store that I have ever seen. Articles had no prices on them. If you had to ask, you couldn't afford them. Moe took us home for dinner and then dropped us off at the Pasadena Auditorium where we saw the great musical "Oklahoma". After the show, we took a bus back to Los Angeles and got off at the corner of Hollywood and Vine (doesn't that sound grand). It was there that we bumped into two guys from the ship, Jim Roberts and Gus Higuchi. We had a few drinks in the posh Hollywood Knickerbocker Hotel, where they thought we were Limeys and then began the two-hour trek back to Long Beach and the ship.

June 24/25, Thursday/Friday, 1948: After standing duty yesterday, to-day is our day for 36 hour leave. Through a mix-up, our watch was done out of a tour of R.K.O Studios and supper at the Brown Derby, so Verne and I headed for the YMCA in Hollywood. We visited NBC and CBS studios and managed to get tickets for a show with Hayvan MacQuarrie in "Noah Webster Says". At 8.00 am next morning, we went to the Tom Brenneman's show, "Breakfast in Hollywood", a very popular program with Gary Moore as Master of Ceremonies. We sat with two girls from Oregon. It was a most enjoyable breakfast and we enjoyed their company and the show very much. After window shopping, we returned to the ship.


31 May, 1999

Dear Editor,

Many thanks for your letter and the UNTiDy Tales extract about Captain Budge taken from Hal Lawrence's memoirs. I was most interested in Hal's story as he and I were V.R. Mids together in Halifax and friends until he died. I will pass on the story about Budge to the editor of Starshell and for the Budgie Booklet currently being assembled.

Peter Chance,

Sydney, B.C.

20 July, 1999

Dear Editor,

I have enjoyed your excellent series on the "Dream Cruise of 1948" but I wonder if you are aware of the shocking and shameful events which transpired at Royal Roads in the summer of "59?

That glorious summer began in the most promising manner. Rather than the usual crowded, fetid barracks we had so "enjoyed" at Stad and Naden, we were assigned private rooms in the dormitory at Royal Roads. Little did we realize that the forces of darkness, the agents of chaos were amongst us.

A certain training officer; a UNTD grad, whose name must remain confidential (although he was named by Stevie Cameron in her book "On The Take", in her list of the patronage appointees of the Mulroney government), managed to alienate so many cadets that, late one night, a ruthless band of revolutionary cadets conspired to irrigate him with a fire hose while he slept in the room next to mine. I heard the commotion and to my everlasting shame and regret, taking my role as Cadet Captain far too seriously, forced the rebels to cease and desist.

On the same night, the same or other seditious members of our organization removed, by stealth, the caps of dozens of sleeping cadets, in anticipation of admiral's inspection at 0900 the next morning. The hours between 0700 and 0900 were, as might be imagined, fraught with alarums and excursions. The headgear miraculously reappeared only a scant ten minutes before the admiral's arrival.

Perhaps the most shocking, the most prejudicial to good order and discipline, act of the summer was perpetrated by a cabal of apostates led by a prominent member of this alumni, who has since gone on to become a professor, a priest and a psychotherapist. They somehow enticed a rustled cow to ascend to the third floor of the dormitory (see pp. 163-66 UNTiDy Tales). As any farm boy knows, cows will not go down stairs. For all we know, it may still be there. Perhaps we will find out when we stay at Royal Roads for the Great 2000 Reunion.

And finally, I must be honest now, of all the many hundreds of cadets I had occasion to inspect that summer, the most pusser, the most impeccably turned out, the most promising officer material on the parade square, was definitely not the editor of this newsletter.

C.C. John Heighton,

HMCS York, 56-59,

4845 Escarpment Sideroad,

RR# 2, Caledon East, ON.

L0N 1E0

Editor's Note. John Heighton was a fine Cadet Captain. Little did he realize as he monitored my defaulter's laps around the circular driveway at Royal Roads, that he was honing the leadership skills of the future C.O. of HMCS Star, during whose appointment the Naval Division was awarded the Mainguy Trophy as the Most Improved Naval Division in Canada. Not too shabby eh John!


The UNTD ASSOC. of Upper Canada publishes this newsletter twice a year. Send Letters, anecdotes, suggestions to: Newsletter Editor: Cdr Robert Williamson, 1 Clonmore Ave. Hamilton, Ont. L9A 4R2,

Or: e-mail