of the content for this site comes from the book "Nene Lives",
published in 1993 by members of the Crew.
the book "Nene Lives")
is the story of a ship, H.M.C.S. NENE and its crew. It's not a story
of heroics, but a story of dedicated service and patriotism. It
traces the history of the NENE and its crew of young volunteers
during their wartime exploits. It is also the story of the crew
members coming together again after more than forty years and finding
fellowship and common bonds. The first reunion held in Belleville
(1985) brought together their families, wives, sons and daughters
and grew into an extended family of NENE members sharing the joys
and sorrows of life and a love of one another. It is the story of
the continued patriotism shown by each member and his family to
the growing and nurturing of this great country Canada, born in
wartime and continued for more than 45 years. While each
youth joined the navy unqualified for war, his service and maturing
experience qualified him in a unique way to pursue his life in peaceful
ways. The contribution of each member of the NENE has been
name of the book Nene Lives was chosen because it exemplifies two
aspects of the Nene . "Nene Lives "is the story of the
life of the ship and each of its crew members and families, and
"Nene Lives "because it is alive and a cherished part
of each and every member of the crew and although the ship has long
gone, broken up for scrap, it exists in the minds and souls of those
who served aboard her so long ago.
Lives" will live and grow in our memories, as descendants of
the crew of the Nene, as you, the reader, donate further stories
and pictures to this web site. - Dan Delong)
Editor's Note - Kenneth Riley
you read about each crew member and his career throughout life you
will be struck by the young age at which most members joined the
Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve (RCNVR). Many were under eighteen
years of age. Interspersed with the history of the Nene's exploits
you will find the very personal accounts of various crew members'
experiences while aboard the Nene.
was a fast maturing process to find oneself thrust into a vast war
machine not knowing what the future held.
recall vividly joining H.M.C.S. Nene in Londonderry. As I stood
my watch in the middle of the night I was impressed with the magnificence
of nature, the sky streaked with clouds, the moon partially hidden,
the vast ocean of undulating water, the expanse that seemed never
ending. It's an experience few of us feel, living in large metropolitan
cities, never to experience the magnificence of nature. Those who
have stood on the prairie stretching for mile upon mile or stood
on the mountain top, sharing the quiet and the solitude of nature
understand the great feeling that overcomes one in these circumstances.
couldn't help but reflect on why we were there, what had propelled
us into such a deadly game and the virtue of our mission. I was
sure there was a God looking upon us and supporting the right side.
Each of us in our own way shared that feeling, with the fervent
hope that we would return safe and sound to our loved ones and resume
our young lives that had only begun. For the crew of the Nene it
was a satisfying end to an experience none of us can ever forget.
There was no loss of lives of crew members and we returned to civilian
life stronger for having lived through it.
order to place the story of the Nene in its historical perspective,
the social and political conditions existing are described and supplemented
by descriptions of places and events, so that it is more than just
a chronology of events.
Editorial Board of NENE LIVES (the H.M.C.S. Nene Story) wishes to
acknowledge the contribution made by the New Horizons Program, Health
and Welfare Canada in providing a financial grant to assist in the
publication of this book.
Board also wishes to acknowledge the contribution of Alan and Margaret
Turner, Fern and Rita Poirier and Ross and Marion Newitt, in organizing
the first reunion and bringing us all together. Others that have
contributed generously of their time in organizing our reunions
have been Al and Ruth MacDonald (Winnipeg), Bill and Ruby Cameron
(Revelstoke) and Fred and Jackie Levesque (Ottawa). We are sincerely
grateful to Ron Graham, Doug Pye, Ralph Patterson and John O'Connor
for the work they are doing to organize the Reunion at Halifax in
the writers, a special word of thanks to all that have contributed
to the history of the NENE.
Riley - Editor
Shaw - Captain of H.M.C.S. Nene