A Message of Gratitude to the Republic of India on their National Maritime Day


April 5, 2016

Mr. Douglas Cardinal

(From left: Her Excellency Shyamala Cowsik and other diplomatic corps attendees at the 2005 Merchant Navy Veterans Day of Remembrance located at the National War Memorial in Ottawa)

Today – Mr. Stéphane Ouellette, President and Chief Executive Officer, Merchant Navy Commemorative Theme Project (MNCTP), publicly thanked the Republic of India for over a decade of support excellence in acknowledging and commemorating the sacrifices and contributions made by Canadian, Allied Merchant Navy, and American Merchant Marine Veterans. 

Mr. Ouellette also provided his best wishes for India’s National Maritime Day that took place April 5, 2016.

It was on the historic date of April 5, 1919, when the first Indian Vessel S.S. Loyalty sailed from Mumbai to London.

“I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude for over a decade of support excellence that the Republic of India has provided to our Canadian and Allied Merchant Navy.”

“It was on Friday, September 2, 2005, when Her Excellency Shyamala Cowsik, along with other world representatives, attended the Merchant Navy Veterans Day event, and participated in our sacred wreath laying ceremony, at the National War Memorial in Ottawa.”

Mr. Stéphane Ouellette, President and CEO, MNCTP

This was the first time in Canadian history that such levels of national and international recognition were achieved for our forgotten heroes of the Allied Merchant Navies, which has now grown to include the American Merchant Marine.  

Other notable attendees were:  the Apostolic Nunciature in Canada, the Australian High Commission, the British High Commission, the Embassy of the People's Republic of China, the Embassy of France, the Embassy of Iceland, the Embassy of Ireland, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the New Zealand High Commission, and the Embassy of the United States of America.

The Merchant Navy Commemorative Theme Project (MNCTP) is a "Canadian driven" initiative dedicated to educating Canadians and the international community about the sacrifices and contributions made by Allied Merchant Navies and the American Merchant Marine as the mainstay of the Allied Forces victories in both World War I and World War II.

Critical to preserving our national and international mosaics of heritage and culture, the MNCTP aims to bridge the gap between the present day shipping industry and its glorious and predominantly forgotten past.  In this way, one of the MNCTP’s strategic objectives is to educate Canadians and members of the international community on the vital contributions made by the modern trade-and-travel-by-sea to international security and to the global economy.

“Canada and India have longstanding bilateral relations that are built upon shared traditions of democracy, pluralism, and strong interpersonal connections. With an aim to empowering our two nations democratically, and with an Indian diaspora of more than one million across Canada, I am hoping that we will seize such opportunities to unite our people coast-to-coast, and overseas, through a common understanding of our history.”

Mr. Stéphane Ouellette, President and CEO, MNCTP

During World War II, over 6,835 American Merchant Marine were killed, in addition to over 11,000 being wounded, and the taking of 604 prisoners of war, of whom 61 died in POW camps, out of the more than 250,000 Merchant Marine that sailed.  Over 2,199 Canadian Merchant Navy Seaman were killed in both WWI and WWII.  The American and Canadian death statistics do not reflect global losses that were experienced by other Merchant Marine and Allied Merchant Navy countries.

For more information on the Canadian and Allied Merchant Navies, please visit:


Allied Merchant Navy Promotion and Commemorative Celebrations (AMNPCC)

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