THIS WEEK AT THE CROW’S NEST
As always, lunch is available this Friday from noon until 2 pm. Dress is casual and guests are welcome. Reservations are recommended but not required. A table can be booked by email to [email protected] or by phone call to the bar (709) 753-6927. Please include your arrival time when you book. Walk-ins will be accommodated if space allows.
We are entering the Christmas season and Club hours may be adjusted to accommodate private bookings. We appreciate your co-operation. Club hours this week are Thursday, 4:30-8 pm and Friday noon until 7 pm. We are closed on Saturday but re-open on Sunday from 1 pm to 5 pm. As everyone has probably heard, the city’s Christmas parade is rescheduled for this Sunday 3rd December. The Club will be open after the parade and families are welcome to drop in. The Club is now decorated and there will be complimentary hot chocolate for the kids.
Members’ Christmas Dinner:
Our traditional Christmas dinner for members & guests will be held on Saturday 9th December. This is a three-course dinner with soup, main course and dessert. A vegetarian option (aloo gobi/potato cauliflower curry) is available. A clarification to my email from last week: the cost is $60 plus a gratuity of 18% which is automatically added. With tax, the final cost is $82 per person. Reservations are required for Club dinners. Please book your seat(s)s by email to the Club [email protected] or by calling the bar (709 753-6729). Again, if you leave a voice mail, could you include your preferred telephone number so Ian can confirm the reservation?
Dr. Bill Eaton’s Comedy Show:
Bill will have his “Foolish Yuleish” show on Friday 15th December from 7:30-8:30 pm. There is no cost for this show and we are not taking reservations. As with Weepers, seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please limit guests to one per member.
Tibbs’ Eve will replace December Weepers. Sherry Ryan will provide the music from 5:30-7:30 pm. As with Weepers, this is a popular event so guests are limited to one per member. We do not take reservations for this event. Seating is again on a first-come, first-serve basis.
See you at the Nest
On the night of June 21, 1942, an incident took place in the inshore waters of the Avalon Peninsula. It was a case of the fog of war combined with the prevailing foggy conditions in the area and the result was the loss of the entire crew of RCN submarine P514. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the hapless vessel was rammed by minesweeper HMCS Georgian after it did not return an identification challenge.
The whereabouts of the wreck have been generally known since the sinking but were recently pinpointed by a team from the Marine Institute using the very latest in undersea mapping technology.
On November 12th, 2023 Adam Templeton and Neil Burgess gave a presentation. They provided a fascinating look at the field of undersea mapping, as well as the location of P514.
The Crows Nest Spell is a tribute song by Dr. Chris and Urban Williams. It is a historical tale of the Battle of the Atlantic and the founding of the Crows Nest as a marine Officers’ Club in WW2. It acknowledges Sir Leonard Outerbridge and Captain Mainguy as the founders of the Club “ in the winter of 42.”
It starts as a narrative about the trials that these “ heroes of WW2” faced and explains how the Crows Nest was a respite for these officers under life threatening stress. “ A place of rest and refuge to forget war’s awful grind.” The song also portrays the Club as a strategic venue where officers “ get to know their convoy mates and share knowledge of their craft.”
It also sadly recalls that “ many a man who visited told a joke and had a beer were lost in the North Atlantic, lost to all that they held dear.” Today the Crows Nest is a “ shrine to officers long dead and gone” where we “ raise a toast to those mythical men, up in the Crows Nest.”
The title, Crows Nest Spell , tells of how anyone who visits the Club is truly emotionally moved by it’s history, it’s artifacts, it’s gun shields and ship crests , it’s periscope and the sacred ambiance of the Crows Nest. The Crows Nest is a shrine that still “ sings out the song of sacrifice and courage, the deeds of the very best.” A single visit and you are forever “ under The Crows Nest Spell.”
The Crows Nest Officers’ Club is a National Historic Site of Canada where “ we honor and remember those men their noble quest. Their sacred spirit still lives on up in the Crows Nest.”
The inspiration for this song came when a Memorial University classmate, Dr. Larry Cohen, donated his father’s logbook he kept as a navigator on a Air Force submarine hunter during the war. Lt. Robert Martin Cohen was from Bell Island and flew over 120 missions in Newfoundland and in England. Urban wrote a song called Heroes in Blue and it was played at the ceremony at the Crows Nest where the presentation occurred. After our first visit we were both “ under the Crows Nest Spell. “
Dr. Chris Williams grew up in Bay Bulls and Torbay and recently retired after thirty five years as an emergency physician. He lives in Virginia. Urban lives in Shoe Cove, Newfoundland, and has been a scientist in the offshore oil business for over thirty years. Urban had a studio in his garage where this song and hundreds of others have been recorded. No hits yet but we keep trying.