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Memorial at Victoria cathedral honours Sidney Second World War veteran

103-year-old Peter Godwin Chance served in the navy, rubbed shoulders with royalty
Well-known Saanich Peninsula resident and Navy veteran Cdr. Peter Godwin Chance died April 9 at the age of 103. The memorial service will be held at Christ Church Cathedral on Wed, June 5 at 1:30. (Photo courtesy Ryan Telford)

A memorial in Victoria Wednesday (June 5) honours a longtime Sidney resident and Second World War veteran.

Before joining the Royal Canadian Navy in 1938, Peter Godwin Chance was Canada’s junior figure skating champion. A year later, the Second World War broke out.

Chance began his military career in the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve, serving on the HMCS St. Laurent in 1939 as a midshipman. He would continue to serve for 30 years.

He died on April 9, and a service will be held in his honour at Christ Church Cathedral in Victoria on Wednesday, June 5, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. The internment ceremony will be at Holy Trinity North Saanich Anglican Church on June 6 at 11 a.m.

During his career, he rose through the ranks and ultimately attained the position of commander. He saw service in various ship class sizes, including destroyers, frigates, and battleships.

He witnessed landmark battles of World War Two, including the Battle of the Atlantic, the Dunkirk evacuation, and the D-Day landings. Upon leaving the Navy, he became the administrator at Osgoode Hall at York University’s Law School in Toronto.

At Osgoode Hall, Chance would rub shoulders with royalty, interacting with Prince Edward and Philip. He received an invite to meet Princess Anne in early May but could not attend.

Eventually, he would move his family to Vancouver Island, where he became a longtime volunteer for the ALS Society and the Saanich Peninsula Hospital.

At 102, he would still get behind the controls of a Cessna aircraft with the blessing and assistance from the Victoria Flying Club. He died at 103 years old.

READ MORE: Community pays tribute to military members at Esquimalt veterans cemetery

About the Author: Thomas Eley

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