Aldergroves legion president Doug Hadley witnessed the offloading at CNs Thorton Yard. (Special to the Aldergrove Star)

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

Aldergrove is now home to the last surviving Centurion tank with proven combat experience in the Korean War.

“Tina the tank,” as coined by a CN Rail employee, lived on the opposite coast at Nova Scotia’s Cornwallis Military Museum from 1988 until its recent closure in 2019, due to a lack of volunteers.

On Oct. 30, the nearly 50-ton tank was loaded onto a CN Railway car in Dartmouth, N.S.

It arrived in Surrey on Sunday morning to a host of eager witnesses from Langley, just in time for Remembrance Day. CN’s Thorton Yard saw the tank arrive after a more than 4,500- kilometre journey due to generous multimodal supply chain providers.

Initially, the tank was offered through the Organization of Military Museums of Canada to any member museum that was able to transport it, explained CN public affairs manager Josyln Young.

Aldergrove’s Museum of the Armed Forces director retired Major CF Ian Newby jumped at the chance to bring her “home” after almost 40 years.

“It has always been my passion to conserve and save as much of Canada’s military as humanly possible, so I appealed to save at least one for the future,” he said.

Newby, along with Langley Township Coun. Bob Long, made a request in September for the tank that served on the front lines of battle for the Commonwealth.

In 1979, Newby was stationed at an Alberta training base for deployment to Europe later that summer. He found himself enamoured by several Centurions that were parked along the range road, ultimately destined for destruction.

“Canada fielded Centurions as our main battle tank well into the 1970s,” explained retired Major Ken Hynes, curator of the Army Museum Halifax Citadel.

“In Korea, Canadians fought from 1950 to 1953. Their service and sacrifice is an honoured chapter of our country’s military heritage.”

The conflict, originally between North and South Korea, saw more than 26,000 Canadian soldiers battle on land, at sea, and in the air and cost 516 of them their lives.

Aldergrove-based Quiring Towing and Heavy Duty Recovery hauled the tank its final leg of its journey on Nov. 11. The hefty piece of history will be stationed in front of the Aldergrove’s Royal Canadian Legion before its Remembrance Day service at 10:50 a.m.

Others involved in the coast-to-coast tank transfer include A.W. Liel Cranes, Brent Hill from Lumpy’s Lowbed Service in Surrey, John Hunter Trucking Co., and Total Transport and Rigging.

Newby emphasized “his dream has now become a reality” due to the help of Long, the Canadian National Railway, and other devoted truckers and tradespeople.

The tank was welcomed to B.C. by Newby, Coun. Bob Long, Coun. Steve Ferguson, legion president Doug Hadley, and vice president Karen Hobbis.

“This project epitomizes what we Canadians can accomplish if we all pull together,” Newby said.

“Perhaps one hundred years from now this will be remembered as our finest hour?”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

What is thought to be the last surviving Centurion tank from the Korean War made it to B.C. in time for Remembrance Day this year. (Special to the Aldergrove Star)

The tank was welcomed by (from left) Coun. Bob Long, CN’s Joslyn Young, and Major CF Ian Newby. (Special to the Aldergrove Star)

Just Posted

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

Six additional COVID-19 cases overnight in Interior Health region

The total number of cases within the region is now at 486

Controversy in Fraser-Nicola riding as NDP names their candidate

Entire riding association executive resigns after Aaron Sumexheltza wins NDP nomination

New physician unexpectedly leaves Ashcroft clinic

Dr. Stephen Akinkuni started work at the Ashcroft Family Medical Practice in March 2020

Quirky Canadian comedy ‘Schitt’s Creek’ takes Emmys by storm with comedy sweep

Toronto-raised Daniel Levy and Ottawa-born Annie Murphy both got supporting actor nods

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

B.C. unveils new cannabis sales programs to help small, Indigenous growers

Government did not say how it will define small producers, but says nurseries will be included in the policy

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Most Read