Volume II Number 1
October 20, 1995

image The Ship That Voted No and Other Stories of Ships and the Sea.

Tony Keene.
Hantsport, Nova Scotia: Lancelot Press, 1995. 86pp, paper, $7.95.
ISBN 0-88999-588-5.

Subject Headings:
Canada. Royal Canadian Navy-Boats-History.

Grades 7 and up / Ages 12 and up.
Review by Neil V. Payne.


Mutiny. The word conjures up images from boyhood tales, of cutthroat pirates and high seas treachery. Ragged seadogs cheer as captain and mate are made to walk the plank. Retribution, when it comes, is a dangling noose from the yardarm.
But by the mid-twentieth century, mutiny was not that colorful or violent. The minor nature of these incidents in the Canadian fleet was out of all proportion to their effect on the future of a navy first formed in 1910, rooted in the Nelson tradition of the British senior service.
The mutinies, such as they were, mainly consisted of a refusal to work by crewmen aboard five different vessels in incidents spanning six years. The first two were quietly dealt with and then more or less forgotten. The latter three resulted in a report which shook the foundations of the service.

Most Canadians would be amazed to learn that the Canadian navy had five mutinies during the 1940s, or that a Canadian naval ship, H.M.C.S. Uganda, while serving in an active theatre of war during World War II, voted to not fight any more. image

The Ship That Voted No is a light-reading collection of twelve unrelated Canadian tales of the sea. Eight of the stories deal with naval events, while the other four concern civilian ships. They range from the rescue efforts to find survivors of the Titanic to tales of war at sea, a history of the Segwun (a tour boat on the Muskoka lakes), and the infamous refit of Canada's last aircraft carrier, Bonaventure.

These are all interesting, fast-paced stories presented with a minimum of detail, making this collection ideal for young readers, or as an introduction to Canada's maritime history. Since each story is told only briefly, the book is likely to raise many questions that the reader may want to pursue elsewhere in more detail

A useful addition to any Canadiana collection, The Ship That Voted No would be suitable as a source for short readings to promote interest in books or in Canadian maritime history.


Copyright © 1995 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364

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