What does November 11th mean to you? For Eric, 86, a resident at Chartwell Hampton House in Chilliwack, B.C., the day brings back fond memories of his time spent at sea while part of the Royal Canadian Navy.
Eric was in the Navy from 1951-1959 where after a year and a half of trade training, became a radio operator and cryptographer. “I still remember morse code and procedures used in naval communications,” he says. After his time in the Navy, Eric worked as a claims investigator and eventually ran life skills programs at the Walkerton Jail. He even helped train cadets at the South Weymouth Air Station in Massachusetts! He now lives at Chartwell Hampton House with his wife, Christine, where they regularly take part in the programs that are available.
Eric loves reminiscing about his time spent at sea and wanted to share those meaningful memories with his family. With no current connections to the Navy Base and limited mobility, Eric thought his dream of boarding a ship had sailed away.
But on November 11th, Remembrance Day, The Chartwell Foundation was honoured to make Eric’s dream a reality. Eric, along with his wife and daughter, attended a special ceremony aboard the HMCS Edmonton, as well as a personal tour of the ship. “This is meaningful to me because it might be my last time on a military ship,” Eric said, “I would like to thank Chartwell very much for this opportunity, I really enjoyed it. It took me right back to my youth and remembering the days when I was in the Navy. My wife and I thank you very much.”