What's your story

The first thing our crew did when we disembarked at the North Pole — played hockey

In August 2014, the crews of the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent and Terry Fox were on a scientific mission to the North Pole, with an added Canadian element: hockey.
August 27, 2014, was the first time two Canadian icebreakers made it together to the North Pole. (David Mosher)

In August 2014, David Mosher was the chief scientist aboard the icebreaker CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent headed for the North Pole. The crew on the scientific mission brought with them some important Canadian equipment: hockey sticks.

Throughout 2017, we're asking Canadians, "What's your story?" Mosher, of Halifax, N.S., shares his.


Mosher aboard the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent and the crews of the St-Laurent and the CCGS Terry Fox upon arrival at the North Pole. (David Mosher)

In 2014, Prime Minister Stephen Harper sent us north to map the area around the North Pole as part of a program to map Canada's extended continental shelf in the North and eventually establish Canada's last frontier — its outer maritime boundaries.

I was chief scientist on the mission, aboard the [Canadian Coast Guard] icebreaker CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent, which was accompanied by the CCGS Terry Fox.

Knowing we might reach the North Pole, I asked for donations of hockey sticks from the guys I played with in Halifax, and I loaded 20-plus sticks onto the Louis before we sailed.

The crew made regulation-sized hockey nets out of materials on board while we sailed north.

Ice conditions were tough in 2014, but we reached the North Pole on August 27 — the first time two Canadian icebreakers made it together to the pole.

The first thing we did was place two hockey nets on the ice. Then, once all appeared safe, we were allowed to disembark, and we played a game of hockey! If this isn't Canadian enough, I found out later that one of our summer students had melted a loonie into centre ice!

The crew's North Pole game of hockey. (Kai Boggild)

What's your story? What defines Canada for you? Is there a time that you were proud to be Canadian, or perhaps a time you felt disappointed? Is there a place, person, or event in your life that sums up what being Canadian is to you? Tell us at cbc.ca/ whatsyourstory

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