Main
Nene K270 - Reunion 1991

Kelowna 1991 (Fourth Reunion)

The fourth reunion was held in Kelowna, British Columbia. This was a reunion of the Escort Group 9 (EG 9) and brought together crews from the ships that had served as part of EG 9 at various times. It was made up of ten ships including H.M.C.S. NENE, MONNOW, LOCH ALVIE, PORT COLBORNE, MATANE, SWANSEA, ST JOHN, MEON AND STORMONT ( there were usually never more than five ships at a time in the group). Approximately 200 crew members with their wives celebrated the first reunion of the EG 9 group.

Three messages were received at the Kelowna reunion. The first message was from His Royal Highness, Prince Phillip which read as follows:

"Everyone involved in the Battle of the Atlantic appreciated the tactical problems of protecting the convoys from enemy U-boat attack and were well aware of the risks that the Merchant Navy crews had to face from day to day, but it was only after that we all began to understand the vital importance of these convoys for survival of the people of the British Isles and to their ability to sustain the war against the enemy.

Escort Group 9 had its fair share of action in this important work and those who served with it have every reason to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of one of the most critical years of the war. You can all look back with pride at a job very well done under extremely difficult conditions and I hope you all enjoy this first reunion in so many years".

The second message was received from the Ambassador of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Richard Ovinnokov. It read as follows:

"It is a great honor to address the participants of the first reunion of Escort Group 9. It is a great pleasure to send all of you a message of congratulations, sincere and cordial wishes.

For every Soviet the Second World War is something we just cannot forget. The war has brought tremendous devastation to my country. Twenty-six million Soviet people have been killed or died of wounds or hunger in that war.

This is why we do remember. We will remember. We will remember Soviet soldiers who fought to defend our country and together with other allied countries to save the world from nazism. We will remember numerous citizens of foreign countries who offered to us their helping hand at a difficult time.

The sea convoys which came to Murmansk and other Soviet ports brought to us a very needed material and moral support. We know how dangerous and next to impossible the voyages of that sort were for people on board the ship in convoy. And we value the effort and risk the Canadian and other sailors have taken upon themselves to support us in a fateful struggle.

Our history, world experience urge us to do utmost to avert the very possibility of a new war. I am glad that the USSR together with world community makes all what is possible to ensure for humanity the possibility of living and working under conditions of endurng peace.

I wish to the participants of the Reunion and their families good health, happy and prosperous future".

A letter was also received from the Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney extending best wishes to the EG 9 Group. It read as follows:


I would like to extend my warmest greetings and sincere best wishes to the participants of the Escort Group No. 9 reunion.

Canadians remain indebted to the brave sailors who joined in the fight for freedom in World War II. The many contributions of our Canadian Forces, including those involved in escort duties on the "Murmansk Run", will be commemorated again by Canadians every November 11.

On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to express my appreciation to the members of the escort group for your service and sacrifices on behalf of our country.


Signed Brian Mulroney

Postscript

A Reunion is planned for Halifax in July 1993. It will bring together all the Nene family once again. At the Kelowna reunion plans were made to create a lasting memorial to the ship and its company. Crew members and others have contributed money toward the creation of a work of art, a bas-relief carving of HMCS NENE, by the renown carver John Meyer. The carving will be presented to the Naval Museum in Halifax in July 1993.

Nene wood carving by John Meyer - Naval Museum of Halifax
Nene wood carving by John Meyer - Naval Museum of Halifax

Bill Cameron's wood sculptured bear at the entrance to Revlestoke, B.B. Daughter Virginia and granddaughter are shown.


Webmaster: Dan Delong - Updated: December 12, 2002