Last night was an incredible milestone for me, as I spoke at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax.
This world class museum located on the waterfront of Halifax is considered one of the foremost maritime museums in the world and has earned this reputation from the quality of the work that the wonderful staff continues to produce.
Early last spring I was invited to speak by Richard MacMichael. I was surprised and honoured when he suggested that I speak at the opening night of the fall lecture series.
In the weeks ahead of the lecture, Jenny Nodelman from the museum’s public relations department posted many announcements on social media as did I. The traffic generated was incredible.
The day was very busy, with last minute fine tuning of the lecture and a stop at the local radio station, News 95.7 for a thirty minute interview with Tyler McLean on the Sheldon MacLeod Show.
I arrived at the museum with great anticipation of the lecture. I was not disappointed. The venue was the Small Craft Gallery located at the back of the museum with a full glass wall facing the Halifax waterfront, CSS ACADIA and HMCS SACKVILLE, Canada’s last corvette.
Very quickly the seats filled and additional chairs were added. Before the lecture I was able to speak to a few people and was surprised when one couple introduced themselves from Texas. While planning their vacation to Halifax, they had seen my lecture on the Internet and decided to attend. Several of the other attendees I recognized from the Canadian Naval Memorial Trust.
The lecture was the Veteran’s of the Battle of the Atlantic, The crew’s Stories from HMCS TRENTONIAN. The material was from my research on the ship and my book, White Ensign Flying.
Finally standing at the podium, I changed my opening to the lecture. With such an amazing venue and SACKVILLE only a few feet away. I was moved by the moment and surrounding.
I began with, “It is an honour to be standing here in Halifax on the waterfront, talking about The Battle of the Atlantic and the last corvette lost in the longest battle in the history of mankind, while on the other side of the glass is the last corvette to survive the same battle. Especially on 1 September, when in 1939, events were taking place that would lead to the opening shots several hours from now, that would begin the Second World War and the Battle of the Atlantic on 3 September.
Following the talk, many people stayed to chat, and have books signed. The conversations were wonderful and I was able to meet many new people and enjoy the company of some old friends.
I would like to thank the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Richard MacMichael, Jenny Nodelman and the staff at the museum, for the kind invitation and the generous support they have provided me.
I look forward to returning to Halifax for another lecture in the future.