What Does Accent Inns and the Royal Canadian Navy Have in Common?
The answer is Mandy Farmer, CEO of Accent Inns and also Honorary Captain for Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt. Both Accent Inns and the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) have a long history in Victoria; of course the Royal Navy’s is a little longer as they’ve been around since the 1840’s.
Seeing as Ms. Farmer recently received this great honour, I thought it might be a good idea to take a quick look at the history of Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC) in Esquimalt, BC.
Although it had a presence on Vancouver Island several years earlier, the Esquimalt naval base wasn’t established until 1855. It was some 21-years later that the graving dock was built; and it’s was as crucial to naval operations then as it is today. However, it wasn’t until 1910 when the The RCN inherited the Royal Navy Dockyard. Around 6,000 military and civilian personnel work at the base, which covers 12,000 acres and has 1,500 buildings.
According to the Maritime Forces Pacific website, “Today, Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC) is the Pacific formation of the RCN. MARPAC is headquartered at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Esquimalt and provides maritime security in the North Pacific region.” MARPAC is home to 13 ships and two submarines.
I was also interested in what an honorary Captain does and how one becomes one. It sounds really cool, and quite an honour. Apparently, people are nominated by the Minister of National Defence and are chosen because they are leaders in their respective fields. Well that figures, I’ve known Mandy for more than a decade and she is without doubt a leader in so many different ways.
So what the heck do they do? Actually, I know this because Mandy’s predecessor was Cedric Steele who I’ve know for probably 20-years; he’s and amazingly well-respected local businessman and philanthropist – and all round great guy! Honorary Captains have to commit to building the relationship between the navy and all Canadians – they are in essence ambassadors.
Appointing honoraries to military units has only occurred for a little over 100-years, but has been very well received by both military personnel and the general public.
As Mandy travels both locally on Vancouver Island, and throughout the province visiting Accent Inns locations in Victoria, Vancouver, Kamloops and Kelowna, I know she will also be taking her role as an Honorary captain seriously; building a solid relationship between our amazing military personnel and the Canadians they serve so well.
I’ll leave the final word to our newest Honorary Captain, “I’m looking forward to working closely with Captain(Navy) Waddell (Base Commander) to promote the remarkable work of CFB Esquimalt and the Royal Canadian Navy to communities throughout British Columbia.”