Sidon Memorial 16th June Each year.

janner

MIA
Book Reviewer
We will be laying a wreath at the Memorial at 1100 today (160620) Very informal this year because of the partial lockdown. Spare a thought for those who died or were injured.
 

PedlarP

Lantern Swinger
We will be laying a wreath at the Memorial at 1100 today (160620) Very informal this year because of the partial lockdown. Spare a thought for those who died or were injured.
RIP Petty Officer Vern McLeod, RCN and your 12 shipmates who also lost their lives on 16 June 1955

We shall remember them.
 

janner

MIA
Book Reviewer
RIP Petty Officer Vern McLeod, RCN and your 12 shipmates who also lost their lives on 16 June 1955

We shall remember them.
I was looking at Geoff Dykes page on the Memorial Day (My website has been wiped out) it brought to mind Verns cousin Paul Gordon ex CPO RCN and now a Vicar, the night before the Ceremony we had a reception, I was talking to Paul and said words to effect of "I've got you down to do a brief service on the quayside in the morning, here's a few notes, as your a Colonial I've kept it fairly simple." I got a fairly un Vicar like reply, but He did very well the next morning. There's a picture in the link below.

http://www.godfreydykes.info/HM SUBMARINE SIDON MEMORIAL SERVICE.htm
 
Last edited:

PedlarP

Lantern Swinger
I was looking at Geoff Dykes page on the Memorial Day (My website has been wiped out) it brought to mind Verns cousin Paul Gordon ex CPO RCN and now a Vicar, the night before the Ceremony we had a reception, I was talking to Paul and said words to effect of "I've got you down to do a brief service on the quayside in the morning, here's a few notes, as your a Colonial I've kept it fairly simple." I got a fairly un Vicar like reply, but He did very well the next morning. There's a picture in the link below.

http://www.godfreydykes.info/HM SUBMARINE SIDON MEMORIAL SERVICE.htm
Janner, I had the honour of meeting Paul Gordon, and the rest of Vern's family in 1985. I was a member of the SOCA in Halifax, NS. and they were seeking a serving submariner to speak at the 30th anniversary of the Sidon accident. I immediately volunteered for that esteemed privilege. Little did I realize at the time that Vern's family, the Commander RCN, Commander East Coast Fleet and several other dignitaries from Vern's hometown and beyond would be in attendance.

As the 16th June loomed on the horizon I was diligently working on my speech, scribbling out lines, hastily adding new ones. I had done my research on Petty Officer Vern McLeod and it stuck me how much my career had in a sense mirrored his career.

I recalled my first venture to HMS Dolphin for submarine course. It was February 1974, I was 18 years old and nervously reporting to Alecto Colonnade among a myriad LRegs and RPOs shouting at everyone. After a couple of hours wandering around with my In-Routine card half stamped, me and another 'candidate' went for a pint at the Rosario Club. It was full of smelly submariners in dirty woolly pullys. Oh god, what am I doing here, I asked myself. I guess I didn't worry too much because I retired in 2005 after 34 years service to the RN and RCN, 31 of those years in submarines.

During the delivery of my speech I used my 'experiences' and wondered how Vern McLeod must have felt on his first venture to Dolphin. I was from South London, but Vern was from Ontario, Canada...he couldn't just jump on a train and go up the line to see his family and friends when things got rough!

Anyways, the 16th June 1985 was a glorious day, the Navy Band was playing, bunting was fluttering in the warm breeze, family and friends, high ranking officers, dignitaries and guests took their seats to the backdrop of HMCS Okanagan. After introductions and a service presided over by Paul Gordon, it was my turn. I stepped up on the dais and walked to the lectern. After a nervous moment I relaxed and delivered my eulogy to Petty Officer Vern McLeod, RCN.

Thirty five years later it remains today as much an honour and a privilege to have spoken about Vern as it did in 1985. RIP Shipmate.
 
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