The National Council of Veteran Associations in Canada (NCVA) is an umbrella organization of more than 60 distinct veterans associations formed to ensure a strong and independent voice on issues which are of significant interest to the veterans' community at large. NCVA has a diverse membership consisting of a range of member organizations that reflect the width and breadth of the veteran constituency. In addition to NCVA's ongoing and continuing efforts to ensure that the traditional veterans' community receives the most effective services and entitlements possible, in recent years, NCVA has been a leading voice and advocate in the cause of the modern-day veteran in furtherance of the enactment of an updated New Veterans Charter.
Made up of veterans of the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion, members of this Association were part of the D-Day invasion and the Battle of the Bulge. In March 1945, the unit parachuted across the Rhine into Germany. They fought their way 350 miles (560 kilometres) north and east to seize and hold Wismar on the Baltic Sea a week before VE day. En route, they came upon the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The battalion was the only Canadian entity to meet the Russian Army at Wismar, advancing from the east. The battalion never failed to complete a mission. While the Association held its final national reunion in 2006, regional reunions have continued in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta. In July 2012, the battalion marked the 70th anniversary of its formation. The Association has been a member of NCVA since 1990.
Members of this Association are Second World War veterans of D-Day, France, Belgium and Holland. The 14th Field Regiment was part of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division. President Okill Stuart is very active in this and other veterans groups. The Association meets on a regular basis and continues to hold a yearly reunion. It joined NCVA in 2009.
The 400 Squadron Historical Society consists of former members of the 400 Squadron and is based in Toronto, Ontario. The Society is involved in historical documentation and other heritage projects. In 2012, the Society designed and erected the 400 Squadron memorial monument and installed approximately 200 Ad Astra stones at the National Air Force Museum in Trenton, Ontario. Other projects include aircraft restoration, a search for a missing 400 Squadron pilot and aircraft, and building a comprehensive history of the squadron. The Society joined NCVA in 2018.
Formed in 1950, membership of this Association was initially restricted to those who had served in the two squadrons in Southeast Asia during the Second World War. This was eventually expanded to include all those who had served, or were still serving, in those squadrons. The Association joined NCVA in 1992.
Membership of the Air Force Association of Canada includes veterans as well as currently serving members of the RCAF. It is an active and well-respected organization in Canada. The Association is instrumental in the annual commemoration of the Battle of Britain, held each September. It has been part of NCVA since the 1960s. www.airforce.ca
The Aircrew Association exists to foster comradeship among those who, having been awarded an official flying badge, have qualified to operate military aircraft and are serving or have served in the Armed Forces of those nations allied to the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth countries and NATO. The Association provides the structure, facilities and conditions so that members can promote and enjoy camaraderie, as well as social, intelligent and cultural activities.
The following are members of this Association: Vancouver Island Aircrew Association, Greater Vancouver Aircrew Association, Southern Alberta Aircrew Association, Aircrew Association of Ontario, and Nova Scotia Aircrew Association. Since the dissolution of the United Kingdom Headquarters of the Aircrew Association, all the previously mentioned member associations operate independently, but with the same purpose. The Aircrew Association joined NCVA in 1992.
Members of the Airborne Regiment Association of Canada celebrated the Association's 30th anniversary in April 2016, and honoured their heritage from their forefathers in the Canadian Parachute Corps as well as the First Special Service Force. The Association is committed to promoting the general effectiveness and esprit de corps of the Canadian Airborne Regiment and its battle group. They also advocate for the interests of the retired veterans who served in the Canadian Airborne Regiment and its battle group from 1968 until 1995. The Association became a member of NCVA in 2016.
Formed right after the Second World War, The Algonquin Regiment Veterans' Association aims to bring together its members for the mutual benefit and support of Algonquin veterans; to encourage and maintain comradeship and friendly relationships that exist among members of the Association and members of The Algonquin Regiment; to give assistance, support and co-operation to The Algonquin Regiment and affiliated Algonquin Cadet Corps; and to promote, develop and care for suitable memorials to late comrades-in-arms in such areas where this has not been already accomplished. This Association joined NCVA in 2005.
This Association was founded in 1970 to advance, promote and protect the interests and well-being of members of the CAF (as well as their survivors and dependants) who are honourably released and in receipt of the Canadian Forces Superannuation. The Association has had significant participation in several submissions to government committees with regard to benefits to retired CAF members. The Association has been a member of NCVA since 1991.
Although its lineage dates back to 1862, this Association was officially formed as The Black Watch in 1930. During the First World War, 11,954 officers and enlisted men fought in the three battalions of the Royal Canadian Regiment, winning 26 battle honours. During the Second World War, the Royal Canadian Regiment joined with battalions of The Black Watch from all parts of the Commonwealth in the struggle to defeat the Axis powers. The regiment first saw action at Dieppe, where its C Company and mortar platoon were key components of the assault force. Landing in Normandy shortly after D-Day, The Black Watch participated in some 30 battle actions throughout France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. Members of the regiment won 211 honours and awards for the campaign. Today, The Black Watch is a modern infantry battalion providing trained soldiers to augment regular force units to aid civil authorities in times of crises. The Association has been a member of NCVA since 2002.
The Bomber Command Association Canada is a British-based association that was founded in 1986. It has hosted fundraisers for the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum and is a life member of that museum as well as the Lancaster Support Group, the RCAF Museum and the Nanton Lancaster Society. The members include those who served as air crew and as ground personnel in Bomber Command, as well as the British Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAFs) and the Women's Royal Air Force (WRAFs) of the RCAF, RAF and all Allied air forces who served between 1936 and 1967. The Association joined NCVA in 1992.
Initially formed in the United Kingdom in 1951, the Burma Star Association is made up of servicemen, servicewomen and nurses who were awarded the Burma Campaign Star or the Pacific Star with Burma Clasp. The Association aims to promote the comradeship of the members and to assist the members and widows in times of need. The Association joined NCVA in 1996.
The Canadian Airborne Forces Association is the umbrella for all airborne associations within the Canadian Airborne Brotherhood. Its members are extremely interested in all matters and concerns as they affect all veterans. A number of them make annual appearances at schools or service clubs to either educate or remind their audiences of Canada's many contributions and sacrifices in war and peacekeeping. The Association has been a member of NCVA since 1997.
Members of this Association are Russian-speaking veterans of the Second World War. The Association's mandate is to educate younger generations through lectures and written memoirs, collect and preserve artifacts from the war years, and care for veterans. The Association was founded in 2004 and joined NCVA in 2010.
The Canadian Corps Association was one of the original member associations of NCVA. It was formed in 1934 by the First World War veterans who wanted to "promote the welfare of the veteran and their dependants in particular, and Canada as a whole." Its name came from the front line soldiers who fought in the trenches during the First World War, but the Association has always been open to all ex-service men and women and, as of late, to their descendants.
The majority of the membership of the Canadian Fighter Pilots Association has always been fighter pilots with wartime service, but post-war pilots are also welcome. The Association consists of three wings: Western, Central and Eastern. It joined NCVA in 1990.
A connected, professional and social community, this Association comes together to support the CAF, the C&E Branch and its serving and veteran members. Its mission is to connect individual members and groups of the extended C&E community; contribute to the well-being of all past, present and future military C&E communicators; contribute to the enhancement of the effectiveness of the military C&E operational capability within the CAF; and preserve, celebrate and educate the public about the military C&E heritage. This Association joined NCVA in 2015.
Membership of the Canadian Infantry Association includes all who have served or are serving infanteers, from all Regular and Reserve Units as well as the Infantry School. The objective of the Association is to promote and improve the esprit de corps and operational effectiveness of the Infantry Arm of the CAF and to co-operate with all other arms of the service for promotion of general efficiency. The Association was founded in 1912 and joined NCVA in 2015.
The Canadian Military Intelligence Association (CMIA) was originally founded in 1947 to further the interests of Canadian Military Intelligence after World War II. Today, CMIA is the professional association of the Intelligence Branch of the Canadian Armed Forces. Membership is voluntary and not supported by public funds. The aim of the Association is to foster, maintain and promote the well being of Intelligence Branch serving and retired members, organize, facilitate and support professional development opportunities and advocate for defence and military intelligence.
A long-standing member of NCVA, the Canadian Paraplegic Association was founded in 1945 by Second World War veterans who returned home with spinal cord injuries. More than 65 years later, the Canadian Paraplegic Association's mission, "to assist persons with spinal cord injuries and other physical disabilities to achieve independence, self-reliance and full community participation," focuses on supporting the individual's physical and psycho-social work towards their improved physical and emotional well-being.
The Canadian Scottish Regimental Association was officially formed in 1944 to perpetuate the memories of fallen comrades with appropriate memorials and pilgrimages; to bring together its members for the mutual benefit and support of Canadian Scottish veterans, serving members, Cadet Corps and their next of kin as part of the Canadian Scottish Regimental family; and to encourage and maintain comradeship and friendly relations that exist among members of the Association and members of The Canadian Scottish Regiment. It has been a member of NCVA since 2002.
This Association joined NCVA in 2002 but officially disbanded in 2008. It consisted of members of the Navy who have served or are serving aboard a Tribal Class Destroyer (Iroquois, Haida, Mi'kmaq, Cayuga, Athabaskan, Huron and Nootka). The greater majority of these sailors served during the Second World War and the Korean War.
The Chief and Petty Officers' Association was formed in 1955 by 25 retired Chief and Petty Officers with the objective of maintaining Royal Canadian Navy traditions and identifying and fulfilling a number of support services for retired and serving Chief and Petty Officers. These services include, but are not limited to, visiting the sick, liaising with VAC and assisting members and their families with pensions and other benefits. The Association currently numbers more than 900 members nationally. It joined NCVA in 2012.
A long-standing member of NCVA, this Association represents those who fought and were captured at Dieppe. It also advocates successfully for increased pensions based on PTSD.
The RCAF and its rank structure became obsolete (as extinct as a dodo bird) when Canada's three services were united into one with the inauguration of the CAF. Founded in 1975, The Dodo Bird Club of Ex-RCAF Flight Sergeants honours and perpetuates the distinctive role of Flight Sergeants in promoting efficiency and camaraderie throughout the RCAF during its distinguished history. It joined NCVA in 1997.
The Ferry Command Association represents veterans who delivered over 10,000 warplanes and tonnes of supplies from Canada to combat theatres during the Second World War. Following the war, they were considered de facto veterans only. Ferry Command Association has worked tirelessly to gain recognition of full veteran status. It has been a member of NCVA since 1995.
The First Special Service Force (FSSF) Association was created to develop and maintain a program of activities which will serve the interests of its members. As the FSSF was uniquely made up of Canadians and Americans, the Association emphasizes the importance of maintaining and enriching the close bonds of friendship which were developed between the members while serving together during the Second World War. This Association joined NCVA in 1985.
The Hong Kong Veterans Association of Canada was originally formed as a series of regional entities in 1947. In 1949, they joined ranks under the leadership of a national council to ensure a common voice be received by government. Originally operating under a series of regional bylaws, it ratified its constitution in 1965. The mission of the Association is to assist all members in times of need; maintain and improve social welfare and friendship among members and their dependants; promote legislation for the physical well-being of all members of all CAF or Allied personnel who were imprisoned by Japan from 1941 to 1945; and educate all Canadians on the role of Canada's soldiers in the Battle of Hong Kong and on the effects of the internment of the battle's survivors on both the soldiers and their families. The Association's work is augmented by the Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association, established by the children of Hong Kong veterans. This Association is a long-standing member of NCVA.
The Jewish War Veterans of Canada was created in 1968 to assist veterans and their families in receiving any entitled benefits which may be due to them; to honour the memory of those Jewish servicemen and women who died in the service of their country; and to honour the memory of the Jews who perished in the Holocaust preceding and during the Second World War. This Association is a long-standing member of NCVA.
The KLB Club was formed in 1944 by the 168 Allied airmen who were held prisoner at Buchenwald concentration camp from August to October 1944. To address the constant stress, long roll calls, boredom, insecurity and apprehension, it was decided amongst the 168 airmen to hold formal meetings to give them a sense of purpose and order. Thus, the exclusive KLB Club came into existence with chapters in Canada, the United States, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand. The meetings at Buchenwald unified the airmen, forming a bond that brings them together more than 60 years after the liberation of Buchenwald. In total, 168 airmen survived Buchenwald, while two died at the camp. The Association joined NCVA in 2002.
The Korean Veterans Association of Canada (KVA) embodies the spirit of comradeship that was developed during the Korean War and the years that followed. KVA is comprised primarily of members who served in the CAF in Korea during the 1950-1953 war and on peacekeeping duties in Korea from 1953 to 1955. Encompassed in the objectives of KVA are the welfare and concerns of Korean War veterans and their families. Representation is frequently made to government departments and other groups either directly or in conjunction with The Royal Canadian Legion or the National Council of Veteran Associations to protect the interests of Association members. KVA has been a member of NCVA since 1982.
The Limber Gunners were formed in 1997 to assist with both the current and future acquisition, restoration, maintenance and display of the historic artillery and associated military equipment owned under the umbrella of the Toronto Artillery Foundation and on loan to the 7th Toronto Regiment, RCA. The Limber Gunners are affiliated with the Ontario Military Vehicle Association and The Ontario Regiment Museum (The Ferret Club). They joined NCVA in 2005.
A veterans advocacy organization, the Maritime Air Veterans Association is comprised of retired RCAF and RCN maritime aviators and technical and logistical personnel who participated in naval air and maritime patrol operations during their careers. Its role is to provide fraternal comradeship and support, and to advocate to VAC and others on issues that affect maritime air veterans. The Association joined NCVA in 2016.
This Association was established in 2001 and received their final charter in 2004. It was created to assist all Métis veterans. Since First Nations veterans had their own organizations, the Métis Nation was established to see that their needs were met. It is the mission of the Association to assist Métis veterans and their families with securing veterans' rights and equitable treatment from VAC and other government agencies. It joined NCVA in 2002.
Formed in 1997, The Military Vehicle Hobbyists Association is dedicated to the promotion of Canadian military heritage, with emphasis on the restoration of historic Canadian military vehicles. They are affiliated with The Limber Gunners. The Association joined NCVA in 2005.
This Association is a long-standing member of NCVA. It was formed in 1971 to fight for the pension rights of prisoner of war veterans from the European Theatre of the Second World War.
The Nursing Sisters' Association of Canada was established in 1920 to strengthen the bonds that had made them one mind and spirit, to continue a fellowship which was particular to those who served overseas during the Great War, and to help one another should the occasion arise. The restrictive "overseas" rule was eventually overturned and the Nursing Sisters declared that any nurse who had served in the armed service of Canada or her Allies was eligible for membership. The Association is a long-standing member of NCVA.
Operation Legacy began in 1991. Through Operation Legacy, members of The War Amps Child Amputee (CHAMP) Program teach younger generations the importance of remembering the sacrifice of our fallen soldiers and of our veterans. This independent and dedicated group of young Canadians is committed to commemorating and preserving Canada's military heritage. Members of Operation Legacy are well-versed in Canada's military history. Through Operation Legacy, members of CHAMP will continue The War Amps tradition of "amputees helping amputees" and will pass the torch of remembrance to future generations. The Association is a long-standing member of NCVA.
In 1945, four Corps members who had just returned home met for lunch in Toronto. They felt they should meet again the following year with a few more members and thus the Overseas Club was born. Over the years, this Association has focused on continuing and promoting the esprit de corps of the Overseas groups; maintaining contact with the Canadian Red Cross Society and co-operating with it at all times; promoting the interests of the members in relation to their overseas service and any issues arising therefrom; and establishing the Overseas Club National Project Charitable Trust to administer the Project and Memorial Fund. The Association joined NCVA in 1993.
The Polish Combatants' Association – SPK in its Polish acronym – is an international association of Polish ex-servicemen and women. It was formed in Italy after the end of the Second World War when Poland fell under Communist control. Since many Poles had already suffered under the Communist occupation of Poland, they could not return to their homeland. They began to immigrate to countries all over the world and formed their Association to keep their ties alive and continue their fight to free Poland from Communist oppression. Today SPK has chapters in 21 different countries. The first Canadian chapter of SPK was formed in Italy on October 3, 1946, before the veterans left Falconara camp near Ancona. The Association is a long-standing member of NCVA.
Originally the Second Battalion, Volunteer Militia Rifles of Canada, The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada was formed on April 26, 1860. The cap badge still bears the number "2" in recognition of its seniority among regiments in Canada. The present-day Association is comprised of serving and past members of the regiment as well as their family members and others deemed to be friends of the regiment. The Association began during the First World War (1916) and, unlike many patriotic organizations formed at that time, has continued its work and remains an important factor in the life of the regiment today. The Association has been a member of NCVA since 2002.
When the RCAF Prisoner of War Association was formed in 1949, the membership exceeded 1,000. It consists of those who served in the RCAF during the Second World War and became PoWs in all theatres of war. Representation includes members from all Canadian provinces, the United States, New Zealand, Australia and the Bahamas. The objectives of the Association are to provide assistance to the wives, widows, dependants or relatives for relief of poverty or for educational purposes, and to promote activities which assist the members and provide goodwill to the well-being of our country. Any Air Force prisoner of war is eligible for membership in the Association. Honorary members are approved for membership by the executive and voted on by members. The Association joined NCVA in 1982.
Founded in 1945, the Royal Air Forces Escaping Society is made up of aircrew who evaded capture or escaped from PoW camps during the Second World War. Many of these airmen were helped by local resistance. Their main objectives are to give financial assistance to surviving helpers and dependants of those who lost their lives assisting members of the Royal Air Forces to evade and escape; to make charitable donations in their countries to worthy causes as an expression of thanks; to encourage visits between the helpers and the helped; and to foster good relations and friendship between their countries. Regional chapters across Canada function to arrange gatherings of members, their families and friends. The Association has been a member of NCVA since 1995.
The Royal Canadian Air Force Pre-War Club of Canada was established in 1966 to draw together, as regular members, all ranks who had served in the Air Force prior to September 1939 and, as associate members, anyone who had worn the Air Force Blue prior to integration (1968). The main objectives of the club are to maintain the traditions and history of the RCAF, to assist RCAF veterans in any way possible, to support the Commander of the RCAF and Air Command, and to maintain and foster the bonds of fellowship developed during the service years. The Association joined NCVA in 1999.
The RCASC has origins dating back to 1901 as an active militia. As an association, they held annual meetings from 1927 to 1939, and then again after 1945. The dedicated purpose of this Association is to provide a paternal association for those persons who served in, or were directly employed by, units or motor vessels of the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps. The Association has been a member of NCVA since 1991.
The Royal Canadian Regiment (RCR) Association was formed in 1970 by the amalgamation of The RCR Association, The RCR Officers Association and The RCR Old Comrades Association. It exists to perpetuate the close bonds of comradeship and esprit de corps created by members of the Royal Canadian Regiment in order to preserve the memory of those who have died in service with the regiment; assist the sick, wounded and needy who have served in the regiment; assist widows and children of deceased members; maintain the regiment's memorials; assist in developing, for historical purposes, the regiment's history; and most importantly, foster comradeship. The Association has been a member of NCVA since 2004.
The Royal Winnipeg Rifles Association was created on December 28, 1946 to assist regimental members returning from service in the Second World War. To this day, assisting regimental members remains its chief objective, most recently in the form of supporting riflemen deployed overseas with items for care packages and other support. Over the years, the Royal Winnipeg Rifles Association has expanded its scope to include assisting the regiment in maintaining regimental traditions, and furthering the general interests of the regiment and its affiliated Cadet Corps. The Association strives to assist the regiment in serving Winnipeg, the province of Manitoba and Canada in the best means possible. The Association further promotes esprit de corps, friendship and good citizenship amongst past, present and future members of the regiment, encouraging Cadets to enroll when eligible to further sustain the regiment. The Association joined NCVA in 2000.
In 1918, some of the approximately 200 Canadian blinded servicemen from the First World War helped create the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB). In 1922 they formed SAPA, closely linked with CNIB, which effectively advocated for government pension entitlements, job retraining and other social programs that allowed blinded and other disabled veterans to regain a strong measure of independence. In 1943, SAPA played a leading role in creating, and became a charter member of, NCVA.
Since 2009, the SALHRA has provided a home for all those who wish to support the efforts of the South Alberta Light Horse and its processor units. In 2015, the SALHRA merged with the South Alberta Regiment Veterans Association (SARVA), retaining the former's designation.
The South Alberta Light Horse is a Primary Reserve army regiment in the CAF that perpetuates many regiments from Alberta, making it a truly pan-Albertan regiment. It has existed historically in various forms since the Northwest Rebellion of 1885 and members have served in both World Wars, as well as on many UN and NATO missions including those conducted in the Former Republic of Yugoslavia and Afghanistan.
Formed in 1996, the main objectives of the Submariners Association of Canada are to provide an opportunity for persons who share a unique background as submariners to meet in fellowship; to foster and build on that good friendship, goodwill and esprit de corps which members experienced during their service in the Navy; and to liaise with kindred organizations, both nationally and internationally. The Association has been a member of NCVA since 2001.
The Toronto Police Military Veterans Association was formed in 1922 by members of the force who returned after serving in the First World War. In 1968, the name was changed to the Metropolitan Toronto Police War Veterans Association, and in 2009, that name was surrendered and the Toronto Police Military Veterans Association was formed. The new Association recognized that while Second World War and Korean War veterans were passing on, a new group of serving and retired police officers are now veterans of armed conflicts either with past service in military units, International Peace Operations, United Nations peacekeeping operations or service in Reserve Units with postings to areas of conflict such as Afghanistan. The Association joined NCVA in 2002.
Formed in 1967, and continuing the good work of its ancestor, the 75th Battalion Association, the Toronto Scottish Regiment Association is dedicated to maintaining comradeship and mutual support for its members. It is an all-ranks organization, consisting of former and serving members of the Regiment, as well as their family and descendants. The 75th Battalion Association raised the Regiment in 1921 and provided its core cadre to perpetuate the spirit of the wartime battalion. The Regiment received the honour of the added title "Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother's Own" from Queen Elizabeth II on the Queen Mother's 100th birthday in 2002. The Regiment joined NCVA in 2005.
The War Amps played a leading role in creating NCVA, and became a charter member of the Association. Since 1918, The War Amps has met the needs of war amputees. Today, the Association continues to serve them, and all Canadian amputees, including children. The Child Amputee (CHAMP) Program provides financial assistance for artificial limbs, regional seminars, peer support and more. The War Amps is funded solely through public support of the Key Tag and Address Label Service and does not receive government grants. Through CHAMP, The War Amps tradition of "amputees helping amputees" will continue long into the future.
This Association is one of the original members of NCVA. They were established in 1922 to protect, serve and support the veterans of the First World War. In 1947, after the Second World War, the mandate of the WPC remained, but the focus included veterans of both World Wars. Today, the War Pensioners of Canada have expanded and now offer service to both military and emergency service veterans.
The War Veterans & Friends Club is made up veterans of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Merchant Marine or Allied forces of the Second World War, Korean War, UN peacekeeping or any veteran of the CAF, and friends of the aforementioned veterans. Its aims and objectives are to provide a pleasant venue where veterans and their friends can come together in a social setting, and enjoy a meal and an hour or so of mutual friendship and interest. The Association joined NCVA in 2004.
The Warriors' Day Parade Council, established in 1921, is an entirely volunteer-based organization, responsible for the overall planning, promotion and execution of The Warriors' Day Parade. The council is comprised of dedicated women and men with military backgrounds as well as individuals with experience in organization, planning and marketing. As one parade ends, planning begins almost immediately for the next year's parade.
Meeting year-round, The Warriors' Day Parade Council, with the support of dozens of other volunteers, deals with the many complex details required to ensure a successful event. The Association has been a member of NCVA since 2013.
The White Ensign Club Montreal was formed in 1982 as a non-profit association. Their mission is to inform and provide guidance to all serving and former members of naval and ex-naval personnel and merchant mariners, and also to their dependants, on finance and personal administration as well as employment and resettlement on an unbiased, confidential and free basis. The Association joined NCVA in 2003.
In January 1942, the Royal Canadian Navy sent a request to the British Admiralty for the loan of Women's Royal Naval Service (WRNS) personnel to help establish a Canadian women's naval service. The Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service (WRCNS) was established by order-in-council on July 31, 1942. The WRCNS was a full unit of the RCN; the Wrens were subject to the same rules, regulations and punishment as men. The officers carried the King's Commission. Virtually all of Canada's 6,783 wartime Wrens received basic training at HMCS Conestoga, in Galt (now Cambridge), Ontario, with its first trainees arriving in October 1942. The name "Wrens" was adopted from the British Force.
The Association, formed in 1946, consists of former members of WRCNS, WRNS, RCN and serving women, along with RCN Reservists, former or serving, and by 2012 included associate members – women from other arms of the forces. It is an ongoing tribute to those who served. It also promotes and maintains interest in the Royal Canadian Navy and naval affairs generally, as well as encourages new members to enhance the memory of the WRCNS and their affiliates. The Association joined NCVA in 2002.
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