Robert Philip Welland
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WELLAND, Robert Philip Rear Admiral, RCN Died 28 May, 2010, in White Rock, B.C., after a brief illness. Born in Oxbow, Saskatchewan 7 March 1918. Father of Michael, Tony, Christopher and Gillian (Christauria). Stephanie their mother, predeceased him, as did his companion, Margot Hanington. He is survived by two sisters, Greta (Mrs. Allan Torrie) and Pamela (Mrs Alan Abercrombie), his grandchildren, his sister-in-law Helma Campbell, and by many nieces, nephews and step-children. He grew up in McCreary and Dauphin, Manitoba. He joined the Navy at age 18 as an officer cadet and spent the next 4 years at sea with the British Navy. In 1940 he joined the destroyer, HMCS St Laurent participating in the evacuations from Dunkerque. Always in destroyers during World War II he became captain of HMCS Assiniboine at age 25, and was captain of HMCS Haida (now a museum in Hamilton, ON) for the last year of the war. He commanded the destroyer HMCS Athabaskan in Korea for the first year of that war. In peacetime he commanded the cruiser HMCS Ontario, the Naval Air Station, HMCS Shearwater, founded the Officer training establishment HMCS Venture and commanded the Canadian sea-going fleet during the Cuban Missile crisis in 1962 from the aircraft carrier, HMCS Bonaventure. He became a specialist in anti-submarine warfare during World War II and was active in the development of new ships and equipment throughout his 30-year career. He retired in 1966 as a Rear Admiral, having become Vice Chief of Naval Staff. After his retirement from the Navy, he entered the aircraft related industry. He was a director of the Canadian Air Industry Association and president of his own air traffic control company for many years. He maintained naval connections serving as Honorary Chairman of the Navy League and participated in the Naval Officers Associations. Donations may be made to the Naval Benevolent Society. The funeral will be celebrated on Friday, June 4th at Victory Memorial Park Funeral Chapel, 14831 28 Avenue, Surrey, B.C. at 1 p.m. 591244

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Published in The Times Colonist on Jun. 1, 2010.
Memories & Condolences
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12 entries
November 30, 2010
I worked with Bob at ACI in Ottawa for more than 7 years and shared many hours of hysterical stories from his time in the Navy. I well remember his "ice-cream" golfing suits and his (or perhaps Audrey's) passion for cars. Most especially the great white shark that he drove for so many years. He was a wonderful, kind, and loving man. My condolences to his children and grand children. I am so glad I have a copy of his book to remember him by. He will be missed. Lori Dengler
Lori Dengler
June 9, 2010
Deepest condolences on Admiral Welland's passing. He was a credit to his country and to the Royal Canadian Navy. He will be missed.
Robert Davison
June 8, 2010
My 96 year old mother Joan Kearns (born Joan Welland) in Knebworth, Harts, UK (now living in Toronto)thinks that Robert may be the son of her uncle Albert who emigrated from England to Manitoba or Saskatchewan. She and her older sister Kathy (who died last year) remember receiving a visit from a handsome Canadian naval officer called Robert Welland during WW2. Joan's own brother, also Robert Welland, spent some time with his uncle Albert's family in Canada and worked for CP Rail before returning to the UK.
Does any of this ring a bell? If not I apologise for intruding - I saw the obituary notice in the National Post and shared it with Joan.
Best regards and my sincerest condolences on the passing of Robert.
Jonathan Kearns
June 7, 2010
HMCS Haida has lost yet another of her former Commanding Officers. We will miss him and his stories but his contributions to the ship will live on.
Carla Morse
June 4, 2010
A true privilege to have met you and Margot, Sir, and to have lifted a glass of wine and told lies together. I wish I'd had the opportunity to know you better, and for longer.

Fair winds and following seas, Bob.


Richard Fenner.
June 3, 2010
I fondly remember HGMS at Shearwater, while Michael and I attended school together.

People are great, not because they think that of themselves, but rather because others freely and honestly acknowledge their service.

Wishing Peace to all his family
Mark Cummings
June 2, 2010
Sorry to hear of the passing of a great Naval Officer. Deepest condolences to the family.
Gerry Coulter CD
June 2, 2010
Bob Welland was my 'proxy' godfather as my real godfather, my mother's youngest brother, was in the Fleet Air Arm and killed by 'friendly fire' on convoy to Malta 14th June 1942.

We were in the UK for the Coronation and 'Uncle' Bob led the RCN contingent. We watched the procession from a flat above a shop in St James's Street. His photograph was in the Times receiving his coronation medal from Queen Elizabeth in the grounds of Buckingham Palace. There were many photos of Bob in our albums with some very happy ones of him larking around as a naval cadet.

With my sympathy and love for your loss of such a fine man and great friend to many.

Lauretta Harris
June 1, 2010
Rick Austin CD RCN(retd)
Fair winds and following seas on this your next voyage Admiral.Thank you for our freedom.Deepest condolences to family and friends.
Rick Austin CD
June 1, 2010
Admiral Welland was my Dads Skipper on the Athabaskan when they went to Korea in 1950 i do believe.My dad ,Ralph Gaudry spoke very highly of him.Dad died in 1999,but i do have some of his pictures,of the ship and crew.I gave the Naden Museam many of them.I was sorry to hear of Admiral Wellands passing,my condolences to your family,take care,Doug Gaudry.
Doug Gaudry
June 1, 2010
One of the great Naval Officers of his era, Bob Welland will be remembered for his strong advocacy of the Naval ethos. His influence on a generation of Naval Officers through his leadership as the prime organizer and first commanding officer of the Naval College HMCS Venture was immense - sincere condolences.
Captain Ted Kelly RCN Ret'd
June 1, 2010
I am so sorry to learn of the passing of your father. May thoughts and prayers comfort you and your siblings at this difficult time.

classmate at Hampton Gray Memorial School
Sheila (Lambert) McCallum
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