For Posterity's Sake
A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project
In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar
LEBLANC, Robert Joseph Ivan, LS, C.A.F. - MPK - 08 Feb 2005, HMCS MONTREAL - Son of Robert and Geraldine LeBlanc of Wildwood, AB. Partner of Charlene Morton.
LEBLANC, Robert Joseph Ivan - There was a memorial service on Tuesday, March 22 for the late Leading Seaman (LS) Robert LeBlanc. Flags hung at half mast in memory of LS LeBlanc, who was lost at sea on February 8, 2005 from HMCS MONTREAL while that ship was on operations in the Baltic Sea off Poland. Canadian Forces (CF) members turned out in large numbers for the memorial held at the Shearwater Military Chapel. Among the dignitaries attending were the Honourable Myra Freeman, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia; Vice- Admiral Bruce MacLean, Chief of Maritime Staff; Rear-Admiral Dan McNeil, Commander MARLANT; and Commodore Tyrone Pile, Commander Canadian Fleet Atlantic (CANFLTLANT). An honour guard and many members of LS LeBlanc’s family, friends, and shipmates from MONTREAL and IROQUOIS , the two ships in which he served, were present for the service. “We come together today to worship God and to give thanks for Robert Joseph Ivan LeBlanc,” Padre Lieutenant (Lt) (N) Jim Russell told the congregation. Thanking Navy personnel in particular for their strong turnout, Padre Russell stated “Your presence here today indicates the service to Canada of LS LeBlanc.” Padre Captain Bruce Murray spoke, recalling his friendship with LS LeBlanc, saying “I sailed with him a number of times,” including a deployment to the Persian Gulf. “During this trip, I began to know him as a unique and com- plex individual.” LS LeBlanc’s goals included furthering his education, but he had a strong work ethic about his Navy career, Padre Murray recalled. “Officers noted what a hard worker he was. If he was the night steward, you knew things would be ready in the morning.” Among those participating in the service were Lt (N) Helga Budden, who read from the book of Ecclesiastes, and LS Mike Dauphinee, who read the Twenty-third Psalm. In his sermon, Padre Russell referred to the way that tragedies such as LS LeBlanc’s death require great inner strength and determination to face these difficulties, and car- ry on. He referred to LS LeBlanc’s own tenacity and cited as an example, the aftermath of Hurricane Juan in the fall of 2003. “Rob walked to work the day after the storm, through all the mess and debris.” The base was stood down that day because there was no electricity, but Padre Russell noted, “He was determined to get there.” The service concluded with the recitation of the Naval Prayer and the congregation sang the Naval hymn, Eternal Father. On Wednesday, March 23, a plaque in LS LeBlanc’s memory was presented to the Fleet Club. Two of his friends, LS Mike Dauphinee and Able Seaman (AB) Roch Lafleur, gave the plaque to MS Dan Lundrigan, PMC of the Fleet Club. Petty Officer Second Class (PO2) Max Cranford was also on hand, as a representative of Formation Hospitality. The wooden plaque holds a small brass ship’s bell, the crests of IROQUOIS and MONTREAL, and a small plate. The engraved message on the plate dedicates the plaque to LS LeBlanc’s memory and its presentation to the Halifax Junior Ranks Mess “by all his fellow sailors.” Both LS Dauphinee and AB Lafleur sailed with LS LeBlanc. “We were friends of his and we wanted to do this for him,” said LS LeBlanc. Funds for the commemorative plaque, which will be on the wall at the Fleet Club, were raised from IROQUOIS and CFB Halifax. According to LS Dauphinee and AB Lafleur, LS LeBlanc’s family and girlfriend Charlene viewed the plaque after the memorial service. “They were very happy with it,” stated LS Dauphinee. (the Trident Magazine, 04 Apr 2005)
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