Home » Outreach » HMCS Summerside
HMCS Summerside
The announcement that a Royal Canadian Navy vessel was being named for the town was made in February 1941. The Flower Class Corvette was launched 7 May 1941 having been built by Morton Engineering and Dry Dock Co. in Quebec City. The vessel was 205 feet in length and could carry 5 officers and 90 men. She was commissioned on 11 September 1941 and became engaged in the convoying of merchant ships in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and later in the Atlantic and Mediterranean.

The people of Summerside were proud of the ship and over the years sent gifts to the men that served on her. Ralph Arsenault, a telegraphist, was the only Summerside native to be a member of her crew. Right after she was launched the local Red Cross forwarded knitted sweaters, socks, and mitts. In December 1941 the public donated money to present a Christmas stocking to the crew. The Journal noted at the time, "This will be a timely gesture on the part of the people of Summerside and will show our appreciation of having a ship on active service named after the town."

In April 1942, Mayor Lidstone on behalf of the town accepted a portrait of the corvette form Hon. Angus MacDonald, Minister of Naval Affairs. The photograph was placed on the wall of the Town Council chamber.

The students and teachers of Summerside High School donated a radio to the ship in May 1942. The Board of Trade raised money for sheepskin coats for the crew and the town council contributed $185 to the cause. In July 1943 the town also purchased 14 depth charges of $90 each for the HMCS Summerside. It was a gesture on behalf of the citizens to show "a dedication of continual support from this loyal province."

The ship was in the naval service until July 6, 1945. Several months later she was among 50 decommissioned vessels to be sold by the Canadian Navy at that time. Her namesake, a Maritime Coastal Defence Vessel, was launched in 1998 and commissioned in July 1999.