Veteran pushes Esquimalt for memorial

Merchant Navy remembrance project slowly working through channels

A merchant navy veteran is not giving up on his mission to create the Island’s first Battle of the Atlantic memorial in Esquimalt.

Bill Emberly, who presented his case to the township’s heritage advisory committee again last week, said the memorial is long overdue.

“I feel pretty sure (the committee) will go for it. There’s a lot of people there who are sympathetic, but they’re worried about money,” he said.

Emberly spent six years making the harrowing three-week crossings from Canada to the United Kingdom, the longest single battle of the Second World War.

“Any time you get an opportunity to more formally and officially create a memorial to recognize (people), it’s a good thing to do,” said Coun. Dave Hodgins, a council liaison on the heritage advisory committee.

“The issue that I did hear was where it should be.”

Approximately 1,600 Canadian merchant seamen lost their lives providing crucial supplies to Europe during the

Second World War, but they faced discrimination for more than a half-century from the Canadian government.

“We fought like the devil for 25 years just to get recognition and it was 63 years before they gave me a pension,” Emberly said.

It was only in 2000 that then federal veterans affairs minister George Baker made merchant mariners eligible to receive benefits and pensions, and only in 2003 did Canada formally designate Sept. 3 as Merchant Navy Veterans Day.

Hodgins said the committee will speak with Esquimalt parks and recreation about the placement of the memorial, and will look at any existing regulations before moving forward.

Emberly said the delay is frustrating, but expected.

“That’s normal for me, I’ve been going through that for 67 years,” he said.

dpalmer@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

Sun on its way after Greater Victoria sees wettest July in six years

Environment Canada meteorologists say the drizzle is likely to end soon

Mayor’s charity tournament sells out both Bear Mountain courses

23rd annual event raises funds to make ‘a positive difference in Langford’

After Victoria dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

VIDEO: 1,400 classic cars roll into Victoria for Deuce Days

The four-day festival highlights classic hot rods, with a special emphasis on cars built in 1932

POLL: Do you carry reusable shopping bags?

While a court ruling determined the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been sold

Victoria company has purchased BCHL team, but will keep it in Port Alberni

“Does Kirby care?” B.C. First Nation’s group using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Most Read