Ojibwa in compound
April 10, 2014: There was an air of excitement at the Elgin Military Museum
in St. Thomas as well known Oshawa artist Eileen Myers and her husband Alan Smith
arrived to present her painting of HMCS Ojibwa to the Museum of Naval History.
The story of the painting began in the fall of 2012, when Smith first learned that
the Oberon submarine HMCS OJIBWA was in the final stage of her journey to Port Burwell
where she was to become a museum. As a submariner himself in the 1970's, Smith had
served on the British Royal Navy Oberon HMS Otter. In 1975, while based at HMS Neptune
in Scotland, he had even had occasion to meet some of Ojibwa's crew when she was
docked there on deployment.
"Fast forward nearly 40 years to a frigid December day in Canada when we arrive
in Port Burwell to see HMCS Ojibwa docked for the very last time," said Smith. "The
fresh coat of black paint belied its age as a Cold War submarine."
That trip was nostalgic. Smith asked his wife Eileen, an artist, if she could commemorate
HMCS Ojibwa's storied past with a painting. After six months of hard work and creativity,
the depiction came to life on canvas. "With such an achievement I was tempted to
keep it for myself. However, I remembered our original intent was that it should
be donated to the museum and shared with everyone," Smith admitted.
"To receive such a wonderful piece of art is a tribute not only to the Museum, but
also to the impact that Ojibwa and her sister vessels had on their crews," remarked
Executive Director Ian Raven.
Artist Eileen Myers attended Nottingham Art College in England, majoring in fashion
design, before immigrating to Toronto. In the early 1990's she began painting a
vast number of landscapes and lifestyle images. She now focuses on flowers using
her attention to light and shadow to create stunning floral images. She has exhibited
her work in the Whitby Station Gallery and Robert McLaughlin Gallery as well as
in Oshawa and Scarborough Art Guild shows. A number of her works have been selected
by jurors with special merit and honourable mention.
HMCS OJIBWA is open for tours at 3 Pitt St., Port Burwell. For more information,
visit the web site at www.projectojibwa.ca.