Fonds MC 894 - St. Andrews Navy League Fonds

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St. Andrews Navy League Fonds

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  • Textual record

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  • 1943-1997 ; Predominant 1986-1995 (Creation)
    St. Andrews Navy League

Physical description

18.2cm of Textual Records

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Administrative history

The St. Andrews Navy League is a branch of the New Brunswick Navy League, itself a part of the larger Navy League of Canada. The Canadian Navy League was formed in December 16 1895, as part of a response to a growing concern within Britain and its colonies over the readiness of the Royal Navy to defend the widely separated British colonies and the trade routes they had come to depend on. The primary focus of the Canadian Navy League during this time was to draw in support from ordinary people to ensure a strong naval defense for Canada and its trade routes. This was done by promoting the need for naval reserve training programs within the Canadian government, and by supporting youth training programs meant to encourage and prepare young men to join the navy.

During the first and second World Wars, the Canadian Navy League primarily concerned itself with recruitment and support for naval personnel through hostels, welfare services for dependents, and the rehabilitation of naval veterans. The Navy League Sea Cadets were also formed around 1923 with the goal of training young men to join the navy or merchant marine. After World War II the Canadian Navy League shifted its focus almost entirely to youth training through the Sea Cadet program, as well as the Navy League Cadet program aimed at children under 12.

The history of the St. Andrews branch of the Navy League begins in early 1986, when a committee sponsored by the Royal Canadian Legion Passamaquoddy Branch 8 was formed in St. Andrews with the goal of establishing a cadet corps. In the fall of 1986, the decision was made to form a branch of the New Brunswick Navy League in St. Andrews, with the goal of sponsoring a local Sea Cadet corps. During the winter of 1986 and 1987 recruitment of trained officers and cadet trainees began, and by February 1987 a group of 11 female and 21 male cadets had been formed. They soon began attending their weekly drill and classroom sessions.

Traditionally, Sea Cadet corps are named after a naval vessel or an Admiral. The St. Andrews Sea Cadets were given the name #303 “St. Andrew”, they were named after a four cannon gun boat which patrolled the St. Lawrence and Lake Ontario during the local Fenian Raids of 1866. This corps name was changed in the early 1990s to #303 “St. Croix”, in reference to a U.S. ship that was turned over to the Canadian Navy during World War II. The H.M.C.S. St. Croix was a destroyer which was torpedoed by a German U-Boat and sunk southeast of Greenland on September 20 1943. All of its 147 crew of Canadian seamen were killed, many of whom were from Atlantic Canada, with the exception of W. A. Fisher of Black Diamond, Alta.

The #303 St. Croix Sea Cadets were disbanded around 1996, while the St. Andrews branch of the Navy League still exists today. They currently maintain the #352 Fundy Sea Cadet corps in St. Andrews.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The items in this collection belonged to the St. Andrews branch of the New Brunswick Navy League, itself part of the larger Canadian Navy League. The purpose of the St. Andrews Navy League was to organize, manage, promote, and provide funding for a local Sea Cadet corps which they were a sponsor of, the #303 Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps “St. Croix”, formerly “St. Andrew” when it was first formed in 1987. The items in this collection provide information on how the St. Andrews Navy League would support their cadet corps and the different kinds of activities their Sea Cadet corps would participate in.

The different types of items include correspondence, either with people or organizations outside the Navy League or within the Navy League, programs and pamphlets meant to promote the Sea Cadet movement or specific Sea Cadet and Navy League events, documents related to St. Andrews Navy League meetings, including minutes, agendas, and supplementary notes, blank awards or certificates to recognize the contributions of Navy League members or Sea Cadets, documents on the history of the Navy League, documents which outline the internal policies of the Navy League organization, news items and announcements published for promotional purposes which were circulated in public newspapers or within the Navy League and Sea Cadets, documents related to training cadets, financial information, and documents which outline how the Navy League and the different events it would organize were structured.

Physical condition

Good. Nearly all of the documents are typed or written on modern paper and are perfectly legible with no tears or folds. Some of the older newspaper articles in this collection are becoming brittle.

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  • English

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Originally contained in a box of unprocessed material found in the Charlotte County Archives' vault.

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