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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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"Piping the Side"
"Piping the Side"

Canadian officers and sailors "pipe the side" to honour the admiral boarding their ship.

"Piping the side" is a long-standing naval tradition used to honour important persons as they board or leave ships. The arriving admiral (right) is saluting, as are the officers and petty officers assembled to greet him (left), including the ship's captain. A six-member "side party" (centre) uses bosun's calls to "pipe the side" as the admiral arrives.

George Metcalf Archival Collection
CWM 20000031-061





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