Rear-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie and his career on the high seas will be honoured in the Comox Valley this Saturday.
The Cumberland native will be the latest person to receive a star on the Comox Valley Walk of Achievement. The Walk celebrates individuals from the area who have excelled in their chosen field. It is also to inspire young people and instill a sense of civic pride.
“Once we get all the logistics done, we set up the day,” says committee member Erik Eriksson. “We do the ceremony and unveil the plaque on 5th Street.”
The event is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. at the Sid Williams Theatre, before moving over to 5th Street for the unveiling.
Auchterlonie’s family has strong ties to the Comox Valley, and the family bakery was a fixture in Cumberland for decades. He attended Cumberland Elementary, Cumberland Junior and George P. Vanier Secondary. He later graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada in 1991 with a BA in economics. He also served as captain of the varsity hockey team.
Auchterlonie has had an esteemed career in the military, commanding ships and formations at every senior rank. He was commander of the HMCS Fredericton from 2007 to 2009, captain at CFB Esquimalt from 2012 to 2103, commodore of the Canadian Pacific Fleet from 2013 to 2015 and rear admiral of the Maritime Pacific Forces / Joint Task Force Pacific starting in 2018.
He has also served four tours at the National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa. His educational background includes being a graduate of Canadian Forces Command and Staff College, the Naval Command College at the U.S. Naval War College, a master’s degree in defence studies at the Royal Military College of Canada, a graduate of the Senior Executives in National and International Security program at Harvard and a fellow of the U.S. GOFO Capstone and Pinnacle programs.
“When he got appointed admiral and then when he became head of the Pacific fleet, it just rang huge bells for us,” says Eriksson. “We checked him and we found out his history and where he’s from and what he’s done, and it all came together and we figured this is totally the kind of person that should be honoured on the Walk of Achievement.”
The Walk of Achievement started in 2006. Over the years, it had added a number of esteemed people from the Comox Valley community.
“We got the support from all the municipalities, and in it’s been going really well ever since,” says Eriksson.
The list on honourees includes Red Robinson, Dr. Fred Leung, Stan Hagen, Jack Hodgins, Kim Cattrall, Iona Campagnolo, Stocky Edwards and Jock Finlayson. For more information, see walkofachievement.com