In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar


Ernest Hubert (Rip) Irwin, C.D.


Chief Petty Officer 1st Class, RCN/ C.A.F.


Born: 16 Sep 1933, Simcoe, Ontario


Died: 23 Oct 2021, Truro, Nova Scotia


IRWIN, Ernest Hubert (Rip) - passed away peacefully on Saturday, October 23, 2021 in Colchester East Hants Health Centre, Truro. Born in Simcoe, Ont., Ernest was a son of the late Ivan and Gladys (Metcalfe) Irwin. He is survived by his faithful companion, Maxine Archibald; daughter, Catherine Kalyniuk (Calvin), Campbell River, B.C.; sons, David (Susan), Bible Hill; and James, Truro; grandchildren, Miranda, Ivan, Lindsay and Jennifer; brother, Robert, Carlsbad, Calif.; and sister, Lois (Rodgers), Simcoe, Ont., He was predeceased by his beloved wife, Anita (2005); and sister, Tresa (1999). Rip joined the Royal Canadian Navy in February, 1951 and served on ships HMCS QUEBEC, MAGNIFICENT, CAPE BRETON, LANARK UNGAVA, ALGONQUIN, SIOUX, YUKON, OTTAWA, and. He also served for three years at National Defense Headquarters in Ottawa as career manager for the Navy’s sea technical trades. He served on the aircraft carrier HMCS MAGNIFICENT in the Spithead Review by Queen Elizabeth II as part of her coronation ceremonies in 1953. He was part of the very first peacekeeping mission during the Suez Crisis (1956) and as such was one of the first to wear the United Nations blue beret. He served on HMCS SIOUX, taking part in the blockade during the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962). For two years, he trained and coached the Maritime Command Rifle team, winning many competitions including the Canadian Armed Forces Sniper Championship for long ranges (900 and 1000 yards) in Ottawa in 1967. In 1970 in Denmark, he led HMCS RESTIGOUCHE rifle team to victory over ships teams from the eight nations NATO Standing Naval Force. Rip retired from the navy in 1975 as Chief Petty Officer 1st Class. He then worked as a civilian for the Department of National Defense in the “Diefenbunker” at Camp Debert until ill health forced permanent retirement in 1988. A profound interest in lighthouses and an objective of visiting and photographing every one of Nova Scotia’s 165 lighthouses (68 on islands) led him on an eight year odyssey culminating in the writing of the book Lighthouses and Lights of Nova Scotia published by Nimbus in 2003. He was largely responsible for having Sambro Island Lighthouse recognized as the oldest lighthouse (1758) in North America and listed in the National Register of Historic Buildings. He was a founding member and first president of the Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society. Rip was a charter member of the Atlantic Chief & P.O.’s Association, a member of Admiral Desmond Piers Naval Association, the Royal Canadian Naval Association and HMCS UGANDA/QUEBEC Veterans Association. Also a member of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 26, Truro, since 1973. Cremation has taken place. No visitation, service or Legion Tribute Service by request. Private combined committal of ashes with beloved wife, Anita to be held at later date. Arrangements have been entrusted to Colchester Community Funeral Home, 512 Willow St., Truro. Donations may be made to the Colchester S.P.C.A. or charity of choice. (Saltwire Network 26 Oct 2021)


Ships served in:


HMCS MAGNIFICENT - Served in MAGNIFICENT for the Queen's Coronation Review in 1953





HMCS SIOUX - Served in SIOUX during the Cuban Missile Crisis

HMCS YUKON - Served in YUKON as a LS.ER, Commissioning crew





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