(SARNIA, ON) – The Memorial Cup embarked on the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Constable Carrière in Sarnia and departed for Windsor around 2:30pm yesterday. The Constable Carrière is a mid-shore shore patrol vessel used in a joint maritime security program with the RCMP in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system.
The ship carrying the Memorial Cup yesterday afternoon is named after RCMP Constable JL Francois Carrière, who drowned while on duty. The ship is one of nine Hero-Class patrol vessels.
— Canadian Coast Guard (@CCG_GCC) May 18, 2017
Commanding Officer Alan Morris and his crew ensured the trophy’s safe transit down the St Clair River, across Lake St Clair, and down the Detroit River to Windsor’s Dieppe Gardens, arriving shortly before 6:00pm.
It was the first time that the Memorial Cup arrived in a host city after traversing international waters, according to the chair of the 2017 Memorial Cup and member of the Windsor Spitfires ownership group, John Savage.
“The reason we have all gathered in Windsor is to celebrate the Memorial Cup,” said Mike Akpata, Military Liason for the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup Host Committee. “The Memorial Cup, one of the most prestigious and coveted trophies in North American sport, has a rich tradition that has shaped the way junior hockey is played in North America. The trophy originated in 1919, in remembrance of the many soldiers who paid the supreme sacrifice for Canada in The First World War. In 2010 the Memorial Cup was rededicated to the memory of all fallen Canadian Military Personnel.”
Members of the Royal Canadian Navy assisted in bringing the Memorial Cup to shore, emphasizing the originating military aspect of the tournament. The Windsor Regiment Band then lead a parade down Ouellette Avenue to University Avenue and then to the Cenotaph at City Hall Square.
The program at the Cenotaph included First Nations Drummers, the singing of the Canadian and American national anthems, the playing of The Last Post, a wreath laying by WWII veteran Ralph Mayville, a Feu de Joie by members of the RCNA, a presentation of the Colours, and the singing of God Save the Queen.