PORTLAND, Ontario, May 15, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - Today, the Ontario Heritage Trust and the Canadian Navy unveiled a provincial plaque to commemorate Canadian Navy founder Admiral Sir Charles Edmund Kingsmill.
"Throughout his long and distinguished career, Admiral Kingsmill was well respected for his technical expertise and outstanding service," said Dr. Thomas H.B. Symons, Chairman of the Ontario Heritage Trust. "We are delighted to honour his contribution to our military history with this plaque."
The plaque reads as follows:
Admiral Sir Charles Edmund Kingsmill was the founder of the Canadian Navy. Born in Guelph, Ontario, he attended Upper Canada College and in 1869, entered the Royal Navy in Britain. In 1908, he returned to Canada to advise Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier on the creation of a Canadian navy. He served as the first director of the naval service from 1910-1920 and saw the new navy safely through a period of limited
resources and political controversy, and the demands of the First World War. During the War, Kingsmill strengthened the command and intelligence gathering organizations, essential foundations for the future growth of the Canadian Navy. Throughout his service he encouraged and supported the training of young Canadian officers who would eventually lead Canada's great naval efforts of the Second World War and early Cold War.
Kingsmill was knighted by King George V in 1918. He died at his summer home near Portland and is buried here in Emmanuel Anglican Cemetery.
"Admiral Sir Charles Edmund Kingsmill's early vision led to greater maritime presence and security during a critical period in Canada's history," said Minister of Tourism and Culture Michael Chan. "His legacy is a Canadian Navy that continues to grow and thrive to this day."
The unveiling ceremony took place at the Emmanuel Anglican Cemetery, where the provincial plaque will be permanently installed. The Ontario Heritage Trust's Provincial Plaque Program commemorates significant people, places and events in Ontario's history.
"It is fitting that as we celebrate the Canadian Naval Centennial, the tremendous contributions of Admiral Kingsmill are honoured by the Ontario Heritage Trust. As the first director of the naval service in Canada, Admiral Kingsmill worked to develop and strengthen training for Canadian officers that paved the way for those who followed," said Vice-Admiral Dean McFadden, Chief of the Maritime Staff. "As we commemorate 100 years of naval history in Canada, it is important to recognize Admiral Kingsmill and all those who proudly serve for making the Canadian Navy the outstanding institution it is today."
The Ontario Heritage Trust is an agency of the Government of Ontario, dedicated to identifying, preserving, protecting and promoting Ontario's heritage.
- Since 1953, over 1,200 provincial plaques have been unveiled.
- There are 212 provincial plaques across Ontario that commemorate military history.
For more information on the Provincial Plaque Program, visit www.heritagetrust.on.ca.