The Government of Canada Honours Commander (Ret’d) Rowland Marshall and Lieutenant-Commander (Ret’d) Sherry Richardson as Hometown Heroes
From: Parks Canada
November 30, 2023
The Government of Canada is committed to sharing the stories of the people, places, and events who have contributed to our country’s rich and diverse heritage.
Today, Andy Fillmore, Member of Parliament for Halifax, paid tribute to Commander (Ret’d) Rowland Marshall and Lieutenant-Commander (Ret’d) Sherry Richardson through Parks Canada’s Hometown Heroes program on behalf of the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada. The ceremony was held in Halifax, Nova Scotia at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in the presence of dignitaries and family members.
Commander (Ret’d) Rowland Marshall
Inspired by his father’s service in the First World War and determined to follow in his footsteps, Rowland Marshall joined the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve in 1944 at the age of 16. While on convoy duty on HMCS St. Pierre (K680) in May 1945, Marshall’s squadron took the surrender of 15 German U-boats and escorted them to Northern Scotland. Following the war, he served on several ships and establishments in Canada and the United Kingdom, including HMC Ships Ontario, Magnificent, Toronto, Lauzon Athabasca and Saguenay. In 1962, he transferred to the Naval Reserve and joined HMCS Scotian. He remained in the Reserves and later the supplementary reserve list for a total of over 40 years. He holds a doctoral degree from the University of Ottawa and was an associate professor of philosophy at St. Mary’s University, and twice served as chairman of the department.
Lieutenant-Commander (Ret’d) Sherry Richardson
With an eye for adventure on sea and land, Sherry Richardson has contributed to her country and community for decades. She first joined the Naval Reserve Division HMCS Donnacona in Montreal in 1954. She served the Royal Canadian Navy in VU 32 Air Squadron as an air electronics technician before being commissioned in the Canadian Intelligence Corps, with part of her training being a three-year Russian language course. She participated in Arctic operations as part of Bedford Institute of Oceanography, served at National Defence headquarters, and then returned to Halifax to MARCOM headquarters. From 1994 to 1999, Richardson served as the first female Commanding Officer of HMCS Sackville, Canada’s naval memorial. Throughout her lifetime, she has been an active volunteer in the military and in her community.
To mark the 100th anniversary of the Naval Reserve in 2023, Parks Canada is honoured to add Commander (Ret’d) Rowland Marshall and Lieutenant-Commander (Ret’d) Sherry Richardson to the Hometown Heroes program. These individuals join a growing list of Canadians who have been recognized for their contributions as strong community leaders who are in alignment with the Parks Canada mandate and its priorities, and for their efforts to help protect and promote natural and cultural heritage in Canada as part of the Hometown Heroes program.
“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I’m honoured to recognize Commander (Ret’d) Rowland Marshall and Lieutenant-Commander (Ret’d) Sherry Richardson as Parks Canada Hometown Heroes for their dedication to their community and their contributions to Canada. By sharing the exemplary stories of Hometown Heroes with Canadians, we express gratitude for their service, and create a proud legacy that Canadians will remember and learn from for generations to come.”
Member of Parliament for Halifax
“Parks Canada’s Hometown Heroes program sheds a light on the valuable contributions of community leaders who add to the ongoing story of Canada. Commander (Ret’d) Rowland Marshall and Lieutenant-Commander (Ret’d) Sherry Richardson had remarkable experiences throughout their careers and continue to inspire others. I encourage everyone to learn more about our newest Parks Canada Hometown Heroes and the many other Canadians who have been honoured through this commemorative program.”
President and Chief Executive Officer, Parks Canada
“In LCdr (Ret’d) Sherry Richardson, we find a trailblazing leader who is one of the few people to have served and donned all three uniforms of the Canada Armed Forces. She also held the honour of being the first female Commanding Officer of the Canadian Naval Memorial Trust, HMCS Sackville. Cdr (Ret’d) Rowland Marshall joined the Royal Canadian Navy in a time of war, leaving his family and friends at such a young age to serve Canada during the Second World War. His time spent in HMCS Sackville is cherished by many. It is my honour to join with Parks Canada to recognize both as true Hometown Heros whose unwavering dedication to our nation continues to inspire.”
Vice-Admiral Angus Topshee
Commander, Royal Canadian Navy
- As the retiring Commanding Officer of HMCS Scotian, Commander (Ret’d) Rowland Marshall’s division was awarded the 1977 Award of Excellence, the No. 1 reserve of the 18 across Canada at that time.
- Lieutenant-Commander (Ret’d) Sherry Richardson was recognized by the Historic Naval Ships Association’s William Diffley Award and the International Leadership Award. At 86 years young, Richardson also holds her recreational and private pilot’s licence and spends her days flying, spotting fires for the province of Nova Scotia and giving back to her community.
- Launched by Parks Canada in 2015 as a community-based initiative, the Hometown Heroes program originally honoured and told the stories of ordinary citizens, both military and civilian, who contributed to Allied efforts during the First and Second World Wars. Today, the program is evolving to also recognize exceptional individuals from diverse backgrounds who have a connection or association to places administered by Parks Canada or to the Parks Canada mandate; to protect and present Canada’s history and natural heritage. To date, more than 140 Canadians from across the country have been recognized.
Department of National Defence