MS Peter Nemeth

HMCS Oriole seas the way in annual sail past

HMCS Oriole will sail between Cattle Point and Gyro beach and will be lit up in festive lights, making it very easy to spot

The Royal Canadian Navy’s oldest and longest serving commissioned ship will lead the way during Oak Bay’s annual Sea of Lights parade on Friday, Dec. 6.

HMCS Oriole will sail between Cattle Point and Gyro beach park and will be lit up in festive lights, making it very easy to spot from the shore, said Lt. Cmdr Jeff Kibble, captain of the 92-year-old vessel.

“It’s easy to locate the ship because it’s the biggest, making it easy to see,” Kibble said. “It looks fantastic from ashore. A lot of people honk their horns and flash their lights at us.”

The sail boat was launched in 1921, but didn’t become a navy ship until 1952. The ship acts as an ambassador for the navy, showcased at various events within Canada and internationally. Oriole also serves as a training vessel for junior officers and is used to promote what the navy does and has become a regular fixture at the parade.

“We’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember,” Kibble said. “It’s a pretty exciting event that fundraises for (charities).”

The nighttime event is a fundraiser for the Salvation Army Christmas Fund and Oak Bay Kiwanis, attracting almost 2,000 spectators to watch more than 30 decorated boats. The largest community gathering will be at Willows beach, where a bonfire should keep spectators toasty.

“It’s a party,” said Sea Of Lights organizer Brian Shorter, about the main event at Willows beach. “It’s very large bonfire. This kind of fire you can almost feel the heat from on the boats.

“It’s a social and community event for Oak Bay and Cadboro Bay. The ethic of it is to work toward (supporting) the charities as much as possible.”

Best viewing times are 7 p.m. at Cattle Point, 7:15 p.m. at Willows beach, where the bonfire will be, and 7:45 p.m. at Gyro park beach.

Kiwanis members will serve hot chocolate and cookies by donation at Willows beach and the 12th Garry Oak Sea Scouts will serve the same goodies at Gyro Park beach. Non-perishable food items and cash donations will be collected at both locations, and at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club.

Prizes for best-lit boat will be presented at 8 p.m. at the yacht club. Boat participants are encouraged to register no later than Dec. 3.

To register your boat and for information on how to light-up your boat, visit rvyc.bc.ca.

Just Posted

Two popular Oak Bay art pieces to be installed permanently

Bodhi Frog and The Hunt stay thanks to public support and Oak Bay arts laureate Barbara Adams

Deadline looms for second annual Acorn Arts Award

Nominations for Oak Bay award must be in by Jan. 19

VIDEO: Murdoch to run for mayor

Two-term councillor Kevin Murdoch announces his intent to run for mayor’s chair in fall election

Langford loses bid to host Amazon HQ2

Mayor hopes to attract more tech jobs to city

Woodwynn Farms to be shut down and sold

The rehabilitation program at Woodwynn Farms is being shut down. According to… Continue reading

VIDEO: Murdoch to run for mayor

Two-term councillor Kevin Murdoch announces his intent to run for mayor’s chair in fall election

Jury convicts spear-wielding Duncan man in 2015 Ladysmith RV park murder

Trever George Meers used a handmade spear to stab Rayna Johnson at the Campers Corners RV Park

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Late charge in Portland sees Victoria collect third straight WHL win

Matthew Phillips leads the way with three-point night in 4-2 win, Giants up next

UPDATE: Police release new footage, launch website in hunt for 13-year-old’s killer

IHIT say no one has been arrested or charged in connection with Marrisa Shen’s death

No crackdown, just education as BC Ferries enacts smoking ban

Fines and extra patrols not happening at this time as ban begins Monday

Suspected Toronto serial killer targeting gay community arrested

A 66-year-old man is charged with first-degree murder in disappearance of two Toronto men

‘Sing Me a Song’ about B.C. for a chance at $1,000 contest prize

Entries due by March 30 for lieutenant-governor’s British Columbia-themed competition

Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

Most Read