naval affairs

Mr. Peter Ward is the 2021 Recipient of the Admirals’ Medal

Mr. Peter Ward is the 2021 Recipient of the Admirals’ Medal

2021 – Lieutenant Peter Ward, CD, RCN (ret’d)

Lieutenant Peter Ward is an acclaimed retired journalist, military editor, war correspondent, broadcaster, author and wine columnist who served as a Public Information Officer with the Naval Reserve Division HMCS York (1962-1978). Recipient of the Peacekeeping Medal for deployments to Cyprus and the Vietnam Decoration for seeing action as an embedded journalist and side gunner with a US Army helicopter unit, his poignant photography and objective reporting from the front lines were published in major newspapers worldwide. As one of the original five founding members of HAIDA Inc, he is being recognized inter alia for his critical role in the acquisition and the preservation of HMCS Haida, a famous Second World War Tribal-class destroyer, now a National Historical Site and the ceremonial Flagship for the Royal Canadian Navy, berthed in Hamilton, Ontario.

At the Naval Association of Canada’s Monthly Speaker’s Evening on 4 October 2021 we were very fortunate to have this distinguished guest as our speaker. Peter regaled Naval Association members and other invited guests with his story of how he and four other colleagues developed and executed a cunning plan in 1964 to save Canada’s Ceremonial Flagship HMCS HAIDA from the scrapheap. His presentation was both touching and inspirational. Those in virtual attendance that evening included Commander RCN, Vice Admiral Craig Baines, Senator Dianne Griffin of Prince Edward Island and Mr Ron Hallman, President and CEO of Parks Canada as well as members of Peter’s family and that of WWII naval hero, Vice Admiral Harry DeWolf. There were just shy of 100 on board for a very special evening which culminated with Peter being presented the Admirals’ Medal for 2021 for his foresight and heroic efforts.

Established in 1985, in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of the Naval Service of Canada, the Admirals’ Medal is bestowed upon individual Canadians in recognition of their outstanding achievements in the advancement of maritime affairs in Canada.  Named for Rear-Admirals George Stephens and Victor Brodeur and Vice-Admiral Rollo Mainguy, the silver medal is awarded annually for outstanding achievement in the areas of maritime related science, technology and academic studies or for the application of practical maritime skills warranting special recognition.

Responsibility for the Admirals’ Medal Foundation was transferred from the RCN to the Naval Association earlier this summer. Peter is the first to be recognized since the transfer.  Other recipients for 2018, 2019 and 2020 will be announced in the coming weeks once all arrangements for presentations have been finalized.