Vic West resident and Merchant Navy veteran Bill Emberly is askiing Esquimalt council for permission to install a monument in Memorial Park in the township

On a quest to remember

Merchant navy veteran seeking installation of Battle of Atlantic marker in Esquimalt park

At night, the lights on Bill Emberly’s merchant navy cargo ship were blacked out, to ward off attack from German u-boats skulking in the ocean.

It took three harrowing weeks for convoys of ships to transport goods and personnel from Canada to Britain during the Second World War.

The sun is now setting on the aging veterans of Canada’s merchant navy fleet, as well as those military personnel who played a vital role in the Battle of the Atlantic during the war.

For that reason, Emberly, who joined the merchant navy as a teen, is on a quest to create a Battle of the Atlantic monument that would be unique to the Island.

It would pay homage to Canada’s civilian merchant navy, the Royal Canadian Navy vessels that escorted the merchant ships and Royal Canadian Air Force bomber planes that patrolled the skies above.

“It was a six-year campaign, night and day, chased by submarines and everything else,” Emberly recently told Esquimalt council, when he requested to place the monument in the township’s Memorial Park.

“Britain was starving to death. The war could not have been won without that convoy fleet.”

The black marble memorial, valued at $7,000, would not cost Esquimalt taxpayers anything, Emberly said. He said he has people lined up to pay for the cairn and the installation of the monument’s base.

“It’s almost too late for even thinking about this,” said Emberly, 84. “The average age of the merchant seaman is 87 years.”

Between 50 and 60 merchant seamen, on average, pass away every year, he said.

“This is a thing that we should never forget; there was 60,000 to 70,000 men who died (in the battle).”

The monument would feature engraved images of a Canadian merchant navy cargo tanker, a navy corvette ship and an air force bomber.

“I think that we should be honouring all those who have helped make our life what it is today,” said Coun. Tim Morrison.

Esquimalt municipal staff have been asked to bring back a report to council, as well as seek input from the township’s parks and recreation and heritage advisory committees.

“I think it’s a worthy thing for us to consider, and we need to figure out how we might be able to do that,” Coun. Lynda Hundleby said.

 

emccracken@vicnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Gate at Mount Douglas Park smashed on Wednesday night

It is suspected that a motorist drove through after being locked in after 11 p.m.

MISSING: Victoria police looking for ‘high-risk’ missing woman Clarissa Adamick

Adamick was last seen on July 12 and may be in the downtown Victoria area

Greater Victoria to see all 10 of the electric buses announced by federal-provincial governments

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $79 million in joint funding for 118 new buses across B.C.

Canadians may experience EpiPen shortage, says Health Canada

The EpiPen Jr is not affected by this shortage

New home in Saanich for adults with disabilities moves closer to fruition

Anonymous donor steps up with $1 million donation during fundraising campaign

Fashion Fridays: 5 casual summer dress styles

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

POLL: Do you carry reusable shopping bags?

While a court ruling determined the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Port Hardy RCMP cleared in arrest that left man with broken ribs, punctured lung: IIO

The IIO noted the matter will not be referred to crown counsel for consideration of charges.

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

B.C. man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

Prime minister says he knows B.C. residents are struggling and the federal government is open to ideas

Clock’s ticking to share how you feel about Daylight Saving Time in B.C.

Provincial public survey ends at 4 p.m. on Friday

Most Read