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Stettler Town and Country Library: Old age is always 15 years older than me

How the HMCS Stettler came to be

By Stettler Town and Country Museum

Nov. 11 marks a national day of remembrance, no less at Stettler Town and Country Museum.

We are proud to be part of a community so diligent in its memorials that eighty years later, Stettler’s monumental contribution to the war effort, civilian and military alike, grabbed national attention and left behind a legacy many have forgotten.

In 1944, the honour of naming the newest vessel in Canada’s fleet was given to the city of Edmonton. When they were unable to name it after their own city (owing to potential confusion with a pre-existing ship called Edmundsen), Edmontonians instead elected to honour a small town that had recently made a large contribution to the war effort, our own Stettler.

Two years previous, towns and cities across Canada set quotas for Victory Bond contributions, and Stettler, rallied after the August 17 Dieppe Raid and concerned with the 24 local men captured as POWs, was the first in the country to exceed its quota.

In total, citizens of Stettler raised over $200,000 (equivalent to $3 million today).

Thus, the ship was christened HMCS Stettler.

Parts from the ship, including the bell and emblem, as well as photos of it in action, can be viewed at the museum. You may have unwittingly walked beneath them during our Booseum haunts, as well!

Come spring, we welcome all visitors back through our war-focused exhibits, among which is the ship that bears the town’s name.

In the meantime, we await the lighting of the Main Street Christmas Tree, a festive custom dating well back into our town’s history. Does anyone know or remember what year first introduced the beloved tradition?