PEI

Royal Canadian Navy's oldest commissioned ship docks in Summerside

The Royal Canadian Navy's oldest serving ship docked in Summerside on Friday evening and will be there for people to visit throughout the weekend.

'We're very happy to be here'

HMCS Oriole was built in 1921 as the flag ship for the Royal Canadian Yacht Club in Toronto and was later commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy.  (CBC News: Compass)

The Royal Canadian Navy's oldest serving ship docked in Summerside on Friday evening where it will be spending the weekend so Islanders can come to see it and meet its crew.

Built in 1921, HMCS Oriole is the oldest commissioned vessel in the navy and also the longest serving commissioned ship.

It was built as the flag ship for the Royal Canadian Yacht Club in Toronto and was later commissioned into the navy, where it has served as a training vessel ever since.

'I always say I won the lottery of navy jobs, really,' says Lieutenant Commander Drew Foran, a Summerside native. (CBC News: Compass)

HMCS Oriole began its naval career during World War II, where it was used as a training vessel. In 1951, the navy moved the ship to Halifax, N.S. and again put it into service as a vessel used to train new recruits.

The ship was officially commissioned HMCS Oriole in June 1952, and two years later was moved to become a training vessel to the Naval Officer Training Centre.

The Oriole is now used to train junior and non-commissioned officers to help familiarize them with life at sea. (CBC News: Compass)

Training ship

The ship docked at the marine terminal on Friday, under the command of Summerside native Lieutenant Commander Drew Foran. 

"We're very happy to be here," Lt.-Cmdr. Foran said, "I always say I won the lottery of navy jobs, really."

The Oriole is now used to train junior and non-commissioned officers to help familiarize them with life at sea.

About 50 per cent of Lt.-Cmdr. Foran's crew is made up of sea cadets, some of whom are also from P.E.I. 

About 50 per cent of Lt.-Cmdr. Foran's crew is made up of sea cadets, some of whom are from P.E.I. (CBC News: Compass)

"It's amazing how quickly they become a cohesive unit and work the ship, there's a lot of manual labour. They're very impressive youth," he said. 

The Oriole will be docked at the Summerside Marine Terminal on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. and again from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. On Sunday the ship will be docked and open for people to view from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. 

More P.E.I. news 

With files from CBC News: Compass

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