THUNDER BAY – Sailors from H.M.C.S. Griffon marched through Marina Park on Saturday to show their thanks to the city of Thunder Bay for giving them Freedom of the City.
Freedom of the City is an honour bestowed on military units to signify their importance to the community and provides units with the right to march and bear arms within the city.
Commander Nathanael Moulson of H.M.C.S. Griffon said that Freedom of the City is a message of trust and respect to the military that they were proud to receive from the city.
“Today we exercised what we call our Freedom of the City, and this is a kind of something that developed out of the 15th century, where the leader of the town or the village would let the military into the walls and kind of recognize them as a respected, responsible force to to be in the community,” he said.
The Sailors made their way through Marina Park from the boat launch to the Navy Anchorage where they were addressed by Mayor Ken Boshcoff and Thunder Bay Police Service Chief Darcy Fleury.
Moulson said that events like the Freedom of the City Parade are essential to continuing to build the relationship between the city and the military.
“I think it's very important. You know in Thunder Bay we have a a positive relationship with the community, with the city and the citizens. But I think that it's always great to show the community members that we are here, that we're present and that we are operating every day of the week, you know, 365 days a year,” said Moulson.
“The military is in this community and whether we're preparing to go somewhere else to fight for peace, to support Canadian interests abroad, or we are, doing some kind of training or even just helping out in the community. So, those are all, you know, ways that we, we participate with our fellow Thunder Bay citizens”
Following the parade personnel immediately made their way back to H.M.C.S. Griffon to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the naval reserves.
“We are conducting what's called a recommissioning ceremony and this is a really kind of cool ceremony where the commanding officer, having made their ship ready to go to sea, provisioned, you know, weapons on board and is now setting off to sail,” he said.
There are a few more events coming up this year organized by H.M.C.S. Griffon like operation waking giant and the naval ball in October.