Thursday, May 26, 2011

HMCS Cornwallis

A curatorial friend of mine recently sent me a collection of photographs that he purchased when he was attending a Boatswain course for the sea cadets at HMCS Cornwallis during the summer of 1961. For those of you not familiar with our local geography, the former HMCS Cornwallis Naval Training Base was located down the Annapolis Basin from Annapolis Royal between the communities of Clementsport and Deep Brook. Officially commissioned in 1943, the site quickly grew. At its peak, HMCS Cornwallis had more than 11 000 officers, enlisted and recruits. This volume of people made the base the largest Commonwealth naval training facility. Sadly HMCS Cornwallis was decommissioned in 1995 but, many of the buildings have found new life as the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre, the Annapolis Basin Conference Centre, HMCS Acadia (Sea cadet training) and an industrial park.

As I was flipping through the images, a number of them caught my eye. Indeed there were images of a few facilities that I never realized existed at the base. This particular image drew my attention because it seemed to be such a quintessential room from the early 1960s. The photo is labeled as the "main hall recreation area / dance hall". From the decore, I could not imagine this room being anything else. The checkerboard shadows are really very interesting.

As time moves along I will share more of these interesting archival images. I would also welcome any stories about HMCS Cornwallis from those who lived at the base.

All for now,
RGS

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