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Trawlers out to the horizon

Heroes Remember

Trawlers out to the horizon

I always found fisheries patrols real. It was, it was, it was real. It was tangible. And when you had been out there in the 1970s with, you know, large factory trawlers just out to the horizon in every direction, it's clear that something had to be, had to be done. I found that real, and that's . . . in many cases, in bad weather you get into the search and rescue and that kind of thing, so, I, I liked that. The kind of operation that I talked about where you're actually tracking submarine, tremendous. I loved, I loved that. When I was a navigator, an Ops officer of the west coast supply ship, that was very tangible and real, as well, because we carried doctors, we carried dentists, we . . . what you did was, was quite measurable in terms of fuel, the number of, of fuellings that you would do, the amount of, of ammunition or provisions, or whatever, that you would transfer. So, for me, I guess it would be the doing real things that matter. And, as opposed to, I mean I, I think everybody would say that being involved in a search and rescue operation is pretty, pretty exciting, pretty real, pretty significant and, and that, and that, and that kind of thing. But any of those kind of things really do matter. There was always something about the ocean, the beauty of it, but the, the force of it as well. And it doesn't matter how much gadgetry you've got, at the end of the day you're still dealing with, with forces that are much more significant than you and your ship, and all that. You know, you feel pretty small. But it's really the people. It's the atmosphere, it's sailors. It's, it's a very special group of pretty dedicated Canadians, and there's something special in that, in the nature of a ship's company and what, what kind of brings it together. But there's something special just in the navy and the Canadian forces. You're part of a, of a pretty special family and, and I wouldn't, you know . . . not to say that there weren't challenges and, and all that kind of thing, but I wouldn't, I wouldn't trade trade it, ever. No, it was, it was, it was pretty special and pretty wonderful, and I'm lucky that after I left, I was in Veterans Affairs for a, for a number of years and maintained some of the, some of the, those contacts. And in Fisheries and Oceans, we were, again, pretty closely with the navy and, and elements of the, of the air force and the search and rescue community. And that's always, that's always terrific because it's a very . . . it remains a very special and a very professional organization.

Mr. Murray discusses the tangible pleasures of commanding a vessel and being part of a ship’s family.

Lawrence Edward Murray

Mr. Murray was born in Stratford, Ontario, on June 6, 1947. Strongly influenced by family and friends who had joined the Navy, he entered officer training at HMCS Carleton base in Ottawa. Following that, he began his progression through the rank echelon, starting on the west coast aboard the HMCS Fraser as the Navigation Officer. Once on the east coast, he joined the crew of HMCS Algonquin as her Combat Officer, then became Executive Officer or Second in Command aboard HMCS Athabascan. Mr. Murray then moved to HMCS Iroquois as her Commanding Officer. He then rose to the position of Squadron Commander, 1st Canadian Destroyer Squadron. During his service, the Canadian Navy was actively involved in both NATO / Cold War ( primarily surveillance of Soviet submarines ) and Fisheries Patrol activities. He also led a rescue mission off the Grand Banks, saving the entire crew of a disabled merchant ship during a hurricane. After leaving the Navy, Mr. Murray pursued a career in the Canadian Public service, and is currently the Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. He resides in Ottawa, Ontario.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Lawrence Edward Murray
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
North Atlantic Ocean
NATO and Fisheries Patrol
HMCS Iroquois
Squadron Commander
2nd Vice Admiral

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