A poster and replica of the “Bonnie”, a flag which flew on Canada’s last aircraft carrier. The original flag has gone missing. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

A poster and replica of the “Bonnie”, a flag which flew on Canada’s last aircraft carrier. The original flag has gone missing. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Canadian history goes missing from Fernie legion

A flag that once flew on Canada’s last aircraft carrier has been taken

A prized piece of Canadian history has gone missing from the Fernie Legion.

The ‘Bonnie’, a Canadian flag that once flew on the HMCS Bonaventure – Canada’s last serving aircraft carrier – has disappeared.

Legion president, Jeannie Watson said that while the flag night have not been worth any money, it had a place in the heart of the legion.

“Sentimentally, it has huge value in navy history, and we really would like to have it back,” she said, explaining that legion members had turned the place upside down looking.

“We’ve torn the basement apart four times looking for it,” said Watson.”All the other flags are there.”

The flag went missing in the last month or so, having previously been on display alongside a 1980’s original poster of the carrier it flew on.

‘Bonnie’ was taking down along with all other flags in the Legion Hall for events and to clean up, but when the flags were due to go back up, it was nowhere to be found, and the legion suspects it was taken.

The flag is a small but significant piece of Canadian naval history for it’s connections to the Bonaventure. Originally commissioned for the Royal Navy during World War II, the HMCS Bonaventure was a Majestic Class aircraft carrier that was in service with the Royal Canadian Navy between 1957 and 1970.

The flag itself is very large – twice as large as the other standard nylon flags on display. It also bears all the hallmarks of authenticity, being made of cloth rather than nylon and having original brass snap hooks.

So, the legion are asking for anyone that knows anything to come forward.

“We don’t believe that someone came it and took it without someone noticing,” said Watson.

For the ship it flew on, the Bonaventure ended its life in Taiwan, where it was broken up for scrap. Parts of the Bonaventure were used to rebuild components on the Royal Australian Navy ship, HMAS Melbourne, which was also a Majestic Class Carrier. The Melbourne was itself sold for scrap in 1982.

READ MORE: Young Fernie cadet recognised for exemplary service



scott.tibballs@thefreepress.ca
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

historyWorld War II