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

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

APRIL 1: Surrey’s two largest hotels close, BC Hydro offers bill credit

Claiming she has COVID-19, stranger coughs in Cloverdale woman’s face

Clayton Heights woman will now self-isolate for the next two weeks

White Rock/South Surrey experts launch website of mental-health resources

Together White Rock/South Surrey aims to help ease the search for supports

Surrey’s two largest hotels are now closed due to COVID-19; room bookings plummet elsewhere

Guildford’s 77-room Four Points property remains open with ‘minimum amount of business,’ GM says

B.C. couple celebrates 61st anniversary through seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

VIDEO: Dog missing in Lower Mainland since winter sees his family again for the first time

Aldergrove helped find Buster, says dad, who has now witnessed ‘the power of social media’

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Most Read

l -->