Eastview Legion

294 Cyr Avenue. Artist: John Ellenberger (2001)

The citizens of Vanier did not escape from the consequences of the two World Wars. In battle as on the home front, they contributed to the Canadian war effort.

The five veterans depicted in this mural lived in Vanier and are members of this branch of the Legion. The ship shown in the background is H.M.C.S. Eastview, named after the city as it was called between 1909 and 1969.

H.M.C.S. Eastview
During World War II, the Canadian navy contributed greatly to the victory won in the Battle of the Atlantic. Between 1942 and 1943, three frigates were built and named after three Canadian cities. One of them was called H.M.C.S. Eastview. It was designed to escort convoys in the North Atlantic destined to provide fresh supplies to Canadian and allied troops.

The construction of H.M.C.S. Eastview (K665) began on August 26, 1943 at the Canadian Vickers shipyard in Montreal. The frigate measured 301 feet and 6 inches and had a displacement of 1,445 tons. Its maximum speed was 19 knots (nautical miles). It was equipped with 4-inch double-barrelled cannons on the port side and 12-pound cannons abaft. The vessel was launched in Montreal on November 17, 1943. Many prominent citizens from Eastview, including Father Edmond Ducharme of Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes parish and Mayor Donat Grandmaître, were present at the launch of the frigate. Lt Archibald Miller Kirkpatrick took the first command from the 3rd of June until the 16th of September 1944.

H.M.C.S. Eastview was commissioned on June 3rd, 1944. She reached the Bermudas on August 19, 1944 only to be called back to Halifax in Nova Scotia. From then on, she escorted various convoys across the Atlantic. From September 18, 1944 until April 28, 1945, the frigate escorted nine convoys through treacherous Atlantic waters infested with German U-boats.

After the Battle of the Atlantic, H.M.C.S. Eastview was sent to Esquimalt, British Columbia, where it was to serve in the offensive against Japan. However, Japan capitulated only three weeks after the vessel’s arrival in British-Columbia.

On January 18, 1946, the War Assets Corporation decided that H.M.C.S. Eastview, along with 38 other frigates, were surplus to the Canadian Navy’s needs and should be offered for sale. A decision was reached on January 22 to dismantle and sink the vessel offshore in Comox Bay near Vancouver Island. The carcass was used as a breakwater on the Pacific coast.

However, the ship’s bell was kept and was given after the war to the City of Eastview, in recognition of the residents’ support during the war. Mayor Gordon Lavergne later transferred the ship’s bell to the Eastview Legion, where it remains to this day.