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

Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive garnishes generous portions

Food donations will sustain the Prince Rupert Food Bank for three months.

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Haida hereditary chief is BC Liberal Candidate for North Coast Region

Roy Jones Jr. is named BC Liberal MLA candidate for the North Coast

$3.4 million childcare centre to be built in Lax Kw’alaams

Lax Kw’alaams funding has been approved through the provincial New Spaces Fund

COVID-19 cases grow to 13 at B.C. First Nation near Fort St. James

“This is very serious,” says Nak’azdli Whut’en Chief

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Most Read