When news came out from the federal government last week that the Royal Canadian Navy was going to christen their sixth AOPs vessel (Arctic and Offshore Patrol ship), after Trail-born Lt. Robert Hampton Gray, the story sparked a memory in a longtime Trail Times reader and former city resident. (See the story “Arctic vessel named after Trail-born war hero” on Page 10 in our Aug. 13 edition)
Watch here: Lt. Robert Hampton Gray
Walter Siemens, who now lives on the coast, called the Times after the name Lt. Robert Hampton Gray was splashed across his television screen.
That’s because Hampton Gray, a Trail born aviator who died heroically fighting the Japanese in the Second World War, is the reason the City of Trail has its own flag.
Walter was a Trail councillor back in the 1970s, which was when the Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton called the city to inform municipal leaders that it was putting up an exhibit in honour of Hampton Gray.
As a final touch for the showcase, the museum requested a City of Trail flag.
The problem was the city didn’t have its own flag – yet.
That’s when Walter recalls council jumping into action and settling on the flag that the City of Trail still flies today.
While the Trail Museum and Archives searched for a story on the City of Trail flag and came up empty-handed, manager Sarah Benson-Lord did find a photo dated Oct. 31, 1977 of then-Mayor Chuck Lakes gifting one to a visiting dignitary.