Eight bells and all's well. HMCS Nanaimo's bell comes home for safe-keeping

Summary

On the afternoon of Tuesday, November 2, 2021, City of Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog received the ship bell from HMCS Nanaimo for safe keeping. HMCS Nanaimo, a Kingston-class maritime coastal defense vessel in the Royal Canadian Navy, is about to go into dry dock for maintenance. Keeping with tradition, any time a Royal Canadian naval ship goes into dry dock, the bell is returned to the ship's namesake city for safe-guarding.

Since it's commissioning on May 10, 1997, HMCS Nanaimo has operated from Canada's north down to the Galapagos Islands, and has provided coastal defense, search and rescue operations, and training opportunities as well as protection during the 2010 Winter Olympics. The vessel has also been an integral part of US-led anti-narcotics missions.

The ship is currently in Esquimalt Harbour until mid-November, then will go to the Point Hope Shipyards in Victoria Harbour. HMCS Nanaimo is scheduled to return back to Esquimalt Harbour sometime in the spring of 2022. The ship and their crew will then go through trials and readiness training in the summer/fall of 2022. Until then, the ship's bell will be securely vaulted away, awaiting HMCS Nanaimo's return to the waters.

Link to Strategic Plan: Maintaining a friendship and partnership with the Royal Canadian Navy supports Council's strategic goal of Governance Excellence.

Key Points

  • The City of Nanaimo will be safe-guarding the bell from the HMCS Nanaimo while the ship undergoes maintenance and a retrofit in dry-dock.
  • The HMCS Nanaimo is currently in Esquimalt Harbour until mid-November, then will go to the Point Hope Shipyards in Victoria Harbour. The ship is scheduled to return back to Esquimalt Harbour approximately spring 2022, and the bell will be returned. The ship and its crew will then go through trials and readiness training in the summer/fall of 2022.

Quotes

"The safe-guarding of the ship's bell at the City is symbolic of the trust and the strong relationship and support between the City and the HMCS Nanaimo."

Former Commander of the HMCS Nanaimo
Canadian Armed Forces / Government of Canada

"Knowing the long days that the ship's crew puts in at sea, the work they do to patrol and protect our harbours, the rescue missions they perform, and the narcotics that they've helped to keep out of our country, it's a true honour to safe-guard the ship's bell while it goes into dry dock. HMCS Nanaimo doesn't just carry our city's name, it holds our absolute respect."

Mayor
City of Nanaimo

Quick Facts

  • Traditionally, a ship's bell was used to mark the passing of time during a four shift. Since time was kept with a half-hour hour glass, the bell would be rung incrementally every half hour until the end of four hours, when 8 bells would ring out, signalling a shift change. "8 bells and all's well" marked an uneventful shift's end.
  • Today, a ship's bell is used ceremonially and can also be used to mark a ship's position in the fog.

Images

Mayor Leonard Krog accepts HMCS Nanaimo's bell from Commander Jason Bergen
Mayor Leonard Krog accepts HMCS Nanaimo's bell from Commander Jason Bergen

Videos

HMCS Nanaimo - A Bell Story
HMCS Nanaimo - A Bell Story
A look at the HMCS Nanaimo and the tradition of bringing the bell home.
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Contact:

For media enquiries, please contact
Communications
City of Nanaimo
250-754-4251

Print News Release

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