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Namesake ship's crew visits

Ben Morgan
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, June 19 2008

NNSL Photo/Graphic

Petty Officer 2nd Class Hugh O'neill, the ship's captain Lt.-Cmdr. Grant Bannister, Leading Seaman Jennifer Lawless and Master Seaman Kevin Andres examine photographs and the model of HMCS Yellowknife at City Hall.
A group of sailors visiting the city call Yellowknife home, even though most of them have never been here before. They are 19 members of the crew of the HMCS Yellowknife - a Canadian patrol frigate that is part of the Pacific fleet and which is docked now at its home port of Victoria, B.C.

"We come to Yellowknife to get involved with some of the activities at this time of year, and to meet Yellowknifers," said the commanding officer, Lt.-Cmdr. Grant Bannister. "It's an exciting relationship and it's a great time to be coming up here."

The crew's uniforms are distinctively black and white.

"If you see us walking around don't be shy -- say hello, we're happy to meet you," said Bannister.

Bannister has been captain of the vessel twice, and he was the executive officer of the ship when it was commissioned. This is his seventh visit to the city.

Leading Seaman Jennifer Lawless was born here, but hasn't lived here since she was four. She said she is looking forward to meeting family friends who still reside here.

Most of the crew arrived on Wednesday afternoon and between meetings with city officials for coffee and other organizations in town, they have a busy itinerary.

They were scheduled to have lunch with the Rotary Club, take tours of the legislative assembly and the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, and attend a meet and greet at the Legion. Some of the crew members plan to get in some golfing, too, while they're here.

The ship celebrated its 10th anniversary in April.

"Its the next best thing, you can't bring the ship so bring the crew, it shows a lot of effort on their part," said Yellowknifer Fred Collins.