Sponsored by the Portland on the Rideau Historical Society, Rideau Lakes Legion Branch 231, the Big Rideau Lake Association, Portland Community Hall, Portland Outdoors and the Township of Rideau Lakes, the second annual Sailpast and Salute honoring Admiral Kingsmill will take place on Saturday, July 30, 2 pm at Hanna Park on the Big Rideau Lake shoreline of Portland village. Other demonstrations and events also from 11 am to 4pm on site.
The public is invited to participate either with their boat in the afternoon’s sail past event or by coming to Hanna Park before the event to enjoy the historical display, live music by the Grindstone Cowboys, artisan displays/demonstrations, and corn on the cob and soft drinks supplied by the Girl Guides. It is a great place to bring a picnic lunch or to follow up the boat parade on the lake with a chicken barbecue (eat in or take out) from the nearby Portland Community Hall. Barbecue begins at 4:30 pm sharp. Be early as they may sell out fast.
The sailpast event will focus on:
- Recognizing Admiral Kingsmill’s achievements in founding the Royal Canadian Navy in 1910, his naval leadership for many years resulting in the installation of his historic plaque near Portland during the naval centennial celebrations last year, and his summer residency on Big Rideau Lake;
- Recognizing Portland’s great local history;
- Recognizing Big Rideau Lake’s fabulous opportunities for boating;
- Encouraging family fun ashore and on Big Rideau Lake.
Admiral Kingsmill was the founder of the Royal Canadian Navy in 1910 and his family summer residence was on Grindstone Island near Portland. Last year as part of the Canadian Navy centennial celebrations, a historic plaque commemorating his deeds was unveiled at his gravesite in the Anglican Cemetery near Portland where he was honored with much fanfare and recognition of his achievements by the site being made an official Ontario Heritage Site. A naval cadet squadron at Dows Lake, Ottawa, is also named after him.
The Admiral Kingsmill Sailpast and Salute will consist of a long line of a variety of local boats sailing past a dock at Hanna Park in Portland village where a stand-in and costumed Admiral Kingsmill will take the salute from the ”Big Rideau Lake Fleet” as it passes. It is expected that many interesting antique, classic, power boats and sailboats from the area will take part in the sailpast. They will each dip their Canadian flag or salute in passing to commemorate Admiral Kingsmill’s efforts for Canada, the Royal Canadian Navy and his local link with Portland.
The Admiral Kingsmill Sailpast and Salute on July 30 will take place starting at 2pm from the green channel buoy off Tower Island in Big Rideau Lake led by a designated boat and proceeding together in a line to Hanna Park in Portland Village. This is a great opportunity for family fun on and off the water and to learn more about the exciting history of Admiral Kingsmill and Portland. All aspects of the sailpast on the lake are FREE (just bring your own boat!). The salute will be taken by Admiral Kingsmill from a dock at Hanna Park provided by Eastern Ontario Docks and Marine in Crosby.
Please note: the day’s events (except for the chicken barbecue) are on a weather permitting basis. The public may contact Buzz Boles at (613) 349-5435 or [email protected] with any inquiries prior to the event.