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Naval Traditions and Culture

Naval traditions and culture encompass a wide range of activities, events, and objects, often unique to naval service. Some, like the ?crossing the line? (meaning, the equator) ceremony, are old and well-established, while others, such as gun shield art, related directly to Second World War experiences. Many reflect companionship, commemoration, recreation, or esprit de corps.

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HMCS Westaskiwin's Gun Shield Art
HMCS Westaskiwin's Gun Shield Art

A sailor, holding a cigar and a bottle of beer, points to HMCS Wetaskiwin's famous unofficial crest.

A crude pun based on the ship's nickname ("Wet Ass Queen"), the crest features a playing card with the queen of hearts sitting in a pool of water. Repainted on more than one occasion, this version appeared on the front of the corvette's ASDIC (sonar) hut, since the side of the gun shield had been covered by rails for launching rockets. Crests like this were popular with many corvette sailors, but were often frowned upon by senior officers who saw them as offensive or irreverent.

George Metcalf Archival Collection
CWM 20070003-052

Dawn Gun Stations in HMCS Pictou
Daisy Mae, HMCS Mayflower
HMCS Westaskiwin's Gun Shield Art
HMCS Shawinigan's Gun Shield Art
HMCS Rosthern Insignia
Ship's Badge, HMCS Inch Arran
Concert Party, HMS Canada
Jam Session at Sea, Seamen's Mess
"Crossing the Line" Ceremony
Boxing, HMCS Swansea
Naval Wedding, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Royal Canadian Navy Rum
"Beatty" Toby Jug
"Jellicoe" Toby Jug
Jewellery Box
Christmas Trees, HMCS Border Cities
Dining in the Wardroom, HMS Puncher
Model 6-inch Naval Gun
Model Cannon
Royal Naval College of Canada Rugby Game
Shearwater Flyers National Football Championship, 1957
Sunset Ceremony
Anniversary Celebrations, Quebec City
Dockside Religious Service
"Piping the Side"
Bosun's Call
Ship's Bell, HMCS Swansea
Ship's Bell, HMCS Inch Arran