History

In his " A Record of Achievement - 1919 - 1959" , Lieutenant-Commander Norman Hacking, RCN(R) (Ret'd), a former newspaper columnist and former member of NOABC, described how the Naval Officers Association of British Columbia was formed in 1919 by a group of young Canadian naval officers returning from service with the Royal Navy during the Great War.

"In Vancouver a group of enthusiastic young yachtsmen from the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, determined to see naval service, banded together to take night school courses in navigation and allied subjects, and formed elementary drill classes.
In l9l6 the Canadian government, somewhat reluctantly, agreed to create an overseas division of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, for service with the Royal Navy.  Early recruits from Vancouver included the RVYC group, and the first contingent of 15 to go to England for training, still in civilian dress, was headed by Jack McCarter, later a president of the Naval Officers' Association of B.C."
...........................................................

"The origins of the Naval Officers' Association of British Columbia may be said to date back to the eager team spirit and comradeship of those young men who served together in 1916-1918 in the overseas division of the R.N.V.R., most of them in dangerous service afloat in M.L.'s and M.T.B.'s."

...........................................................

"In February l9l8 an informal meeting was held by Canadian naval officers at H.M.S. Hermione, the depot ship at Southampton,
at which it was decided that a Naval Officers' Association of Canada should be established, but formal action was to be postponed until after the war. During the year 1919, as naval officers returned to Canada, the project was frequently discussed, but only in Vancouver was any definite action taken."
.........................................................

"Several preliminary meetings were held, at which the project of a Naval Officers' Association of B. C. was discussed in detail."
.........................................................

"As a result of their efforts the Naval Officers' Association of B. C. was officially incorporated late in 1919, and a constitution registered."

.........................................................



"Included in the membership roll of the Naval Officers Association of B. C. for many years was the late Lieut.-Crndr. Rowland Bourke, V.C., D.S.O., described by Lord Keyes as "the bravest of all holders of the Victoria Cross."  He was one of those who entered the overseas division of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve as a sub-lieutenant in November 1916.  He was appointed in command of M.L. 276, and volunteered for rescue work at Ostend.  He followed H.M.S. Vindictive into Ostend, engaging enemy machine guns on both piers with Lewis guns. He laid his ship alongside Vindictive for a last search, and when about to withdraw heard  cries in the water and detected six men clinging to a skiff. Under heavy fire, he rescued them sustaining 55 hits to the M.L., one by a six inch shell.  Lieut.-Cmdr. Bourke was gazetted on Aug. 28, 1918, for his valour. The previous month he had won the D.S.O. for valour in attacks on Zeebrugge. He was also made a Chevalier of the Iegion of Honour.  He died at his home in Victoria on August 29, 1958, having served in the R.C.N.V.R. in the Second World War."

...........................................................

Ċ
Bob McIlwaine,
Oct 6, 2008, 5:37 PM