AC Navy Lady

The Wren Association of Toronto, along with Wren Associations across Canada, chose this rose developed by Agriculture Canada and grown exclusively by J.C. Bakker Nurseries to celebrate the Canadian Naval Centennial, 1910-2010. Ceremonial plantings will take place across Canada in the commemorative year 2010 and onward, in locations of naval significance. They will be attended by Wrens, other Naval Veterans, serving Naval personnel and local officials.

The AC™ Navy Lady rose has been named as a dedication to the thousands of Canadian women who served in the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service (WRCNS), known as Wrens, and the women who continue to serve today as members of the Canadian Navy.

Due to the serious wartime shortage of sailors for sea billets, the Navy decided to organize a women's division of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) "to release a man to go to sea." On July 31, 1942, the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service was established. The WRCNS, unlike other Allied female units, was not an auxiliary but rather a formed unit of the RCN and its officers held the King's Commission. At peak strength, more than 6,000 women fulfilled the various roles of coders, confidential clerks, messengers, telegraphists, cooks, stewards and some 35 other important duties. The WRCNS was disbanded in 1946. In 1951 a Wren section was reformed in the RCN, initially in the Reserve but becoming full-time regulars by 1955. Wrens continued to serve in the RCN and RCNR (Reserve) until unification of the Canadian Forces. Women in the navy were still known as Wrens until the late eighties. Today, no longer called Wrens, women serve in the Canadian Navy, both regular and Reserve, ashore and at sea.

The aim of the Canadian Naval Centennial is to build and strengthen in Canadians an appreciation for their navy and, as Canada is a maritime nation, to promote the role of the navy within the Canadian Forces. The focus is to honour the past, to showcase the current navy, and to reinforce the future.

Commemorate, Celebrate, Commit™