Mess History

Mess History


In 1963, it had become quite apparent that a Club was needed for the junior ranks of the Canadian Navy. A meeting was held to discuss the organization of such a Club. At the time, the Chiefs and Petty Officers were in the process of moving into their new mess and the possibility arose to obtain their old quarters situated behind the Electrical School overlooking Barrington Street. After much discussion, it was decided to purchase the fittings and the building for the junior ranks.

The Advisory Council whose members were selected from each ship and Stadacona agreed that the Club should be named “Fleet Club” at their first meeting. The lockers that had been in existence for some time near the building would be amalgamated within the Club. The first manager of the Club was the late Frank Mackintosh, LCDR (ret.) known fondly as “Mr. Mac”. The organizing completed in May of 1963, and the junior ranks of the Navy finally had a place to come to socialize.

In 1965, after the Club had prospered for two years, a building fund was set up for the purpose of constructing a new Fleet Club. The new building, located near the corner of Russell and Barrington Streets, was realized from profits and memberships from the old Club as well as donations from Ships Welfare Funds and government grants.

In June of 1967, Vice Admiral J. C. O’Brien, then serving as Maritime Commander, “turned the sod” for the start of the new Club. On November 19, 1968, the opening ceremonies were held in the Club with Vice Admiral O’Brien officiating. Among the many guests were military officials and civic dignitaries, including Lieutenant Governor Victor Oland, and Mrs. M. Mackintosh, wife of the late “Mr. Mac”. Recording star Bobby Vinton starred in the opening floorshow.


No words can describe “Mr. Mac” and his devotion to the Leading Seamen and below of the Command while he was the Manager of the original Fleet Club.

He devoted all of his time and attention to the steady improvement of the recreational facilities for several thousand young seamen away from home for the first time. He was both a father and friend to the largest number of servicemen and women serving Canada in any one area.