Courtenay museum to commemorate 78th anniversary of the sinking of HMCS Alberni

The HMCS Alberni Museum and Memorial (HAMM) is located at 625 Cliffe Ave. in Courtenay. Photo supplied.The HMCS Alberni Museum and Memorial (HAMM) is located at 625 Cliffe Ave. in Courtenay. Photo supplied.
Hunter Grant visited the HMCS Alberni Museum and Memorial in 2020 to see the plaque dedicated to his father, Malcolm Seafield Grant. Malcolm was one of the 59 men who died when the HMCS Alberni was struck by a torpedo on Aug. 21, 1944. The Grant family contributed some of the first artifacts to be inducted into the HMCS Alberni Museum and Memorial. Hunter, who was visiting Victoria from Ontario, made a special trip to Courtenay, along with other family members, to see the memorial. Photo by Terry FarrellHunter Grant visited the HMCS Alberni Museum and Memorial in 2020 to see the plaque dedicated to his father, Malcolm Seafield Grant. Malcolm was one of the 59 men who died when the HMCS Alberni was struck by a torpedo on Aug. 21, 1944. The Grant family contributed some of the first artifacts to be inducted into the HMCS Alberni Museum and Memorial. Hunter, who was visiting Victoria from Ontario, made a special trip to Courtenay, along with other family members, to see the memorial. Photo by Terry Farrell

The HMCS Alberni Museum and Memorial (HAMM) will observe the 78th anniversary of the sinking of HMCS Alberni on Sunday, Aug. 21, with a special public opening of the museum.

A Remembrance Bell Ceremony will be held at noon for the 59 Canadian crewmen of the Alberni who lost their lives when the flower class corvette was torpedoed and sunk off the Isle of Wight in 1944. The public is invited to join in ringing the bell during the ceremony as well as ringing the bell after the ceremony for any passed loved ones who have served with the Canadian military during times of war or peace.

HAMM will be open to the public on Aug. 21 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. with free admission. Visitors will also be able to visit the summer exhibit: INNOCENT EYES-War From A Different Perspective in the TAP Education Centre next to the main museum facility.

Of particular interest on this anniversary is the completion of the names on the Memorial Wall. With recent assistance from Library and Archives Canada and the National Archives of Germany, we now have the definitive listing of all crewmen who served on both HMCS Alberni and U480 during the war. This complete list is the culmination of more than 20 years of research and community involvement.

After the past three challenging years, HAMM is back in full operation with active plans to install more interactive modules, digital tours, and archival access. The parent organization, The Alberni Project Society (TAPS), has given the go-ahead for the redesign of the mobile memorial unit and other travelling exhibits, which will help increase the exposure of the memorial outside of the Comox Valley.

The museum is located in the Courtenay Mall at 625 Cliffe Avenue in Downtown Courtenay. Regular visiting hours are Tuesday – Saturday 10-4. Admission is $10 for family, $5 for adult, $2 for youth. Free admission to TAPS members, special needs with guardian, students with school ID.

Visit www.alberniproject.org or www.facebook.com/thealberniproject for more details.

CourtenayMuseumSecond World War

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