Basic Training

I just can’t imagine that anyone who has gone through the place has fond memories of HMCS Cornwallis. This nondescript base, with rows of white two-story buildings sloping down to the Annapolis Basin, was situated halfway between Digby and Annapolis Royal. It was where every Canadian sailor who joined the Navy, in the years between 1942 and 1994, went through his or her 16-week ritual humiliation the Navy called New Entry Training.   

My basic training was in Gatineau Division from the 12th of August to October 24. Then, because of the Cuban Crisis, they weren't sure what to do with us and they kept us there doing "make work projects"  until December when we were sent on leave before we had to report to Stadacona in the New Year. 

Cornwallis Main Gate

Try as we might. There was no escaping it. Everyone got wet
The thing about passing the course was that everyone had to complete it. We had to work as a team to make sure everyone made it through.

That is me, second row, left side with the cigarette. Happy to say I quit in 1966

That is me, second row from the front. Right hand side with the big ears and the grin
And we were done. The last time I ever marched in that formation. Hated marching.

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