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

Criminal charges laid against Trail man arrested in Castlegar

Clayton Clarke was released from custody on Wednesday.

Rossland city council votes against giving tax exemption to The Josie Hotel

Council said it would be unfair to give exemption to one business and not another

Updated: Trailer stolen near Rossland recovered, motorbike still missing

A black Nissan Pathfinder was reported to be seen hitching up the trailer on July 10 at 6:45 p.m.

Indecent exposure at Trail’s Gyro Park

The incident occurred on Saturday afternoon just before 5 p.m.

Shots fired at a West Trail home

Police report that the victim, a 37-year old Trail man, was not injured

21 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in B.C. as virus ‘silently circulates’ in broader community

Health officials urge British Columbians to enjoy summer safely as surge continues

Tough time for tree fruits as some B.C. farm products soar

Province reports record 2019 sales, largely due to cannabis

‘Let’s all do a self-check’: Okanagan mayor reacts to racist vandalism targeting local family

Home of Indo-Canadian family in Summerland was targeted on evening of July 13

Province agrees to multimillion-dollar payout for alleged victims of Kelowna social worker

Robert Riley Saunders is accused of misappropriating funds of children — often Indigenous — in his care

B.C. businessman David Sidoo gets 3 months behind bars for college admissions scam

Sidoo was sentenced for hiring someone take the SATs in place of his two sons

PHOTOS: Inside a newly-listed $22M mega-mansion on ALR land in B.C.

The large home, located on ALR land, is one of the last new mansions to legally be built on ALR land

Thousands of dollars in stolen rice found in B.C. warehouse

Police raid seizes $75,000 in ‘commercial scale’ theft case

COVID-19 gives B.C. First Nation rare chance to examine tourism’s impact on grizzly bears

With 40 infrared cameras deployed in Kitasoo-Xai’Xais territory, research will help develop tourism plan with least impact on bears

NDP wants Lower Mainland MLA removed from BC Liberal caucus for alleged homophobia

BC Liberal leader, some MLAs apologize for Christian magazine ads but Laurie Throness doubles down

Most Read