For Posterity's Sake
A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project
Junior Officer Training Establishment
The fourth HMCS Venture was commissioned on 11 August 1954, as the RCN Junior Officer Training Establishment. It consisted of one parade square surrounded by several administration, accommodation and classroom buildings. It also included a chapel, a playing field, a gymnasium and a boat shed. Captain (later Rear Admiral) R. P. Welland was its first Commanding Officer. The first Venture class arrived on Sunday 12 September 1954, to commence training, and on 7 October 1954, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Mainguy, officially opened the new training establishment.
The role of HMCS Venture was to train junior naval officers of the Executive, Engineering, Fleet Air Arm and Naval Supply branches during a two-year term of Academic education. After that basic training the various branches received different professional and educational training appropriate to their branch. The Venture motto was: A New Undertaking, to Dare and Not to be Afraid.
The Short Service Officer Plan (SSOP) - which eventually evolved into the Officer Cadet Training Plan (OCTP) superseded the Venture Plan in September 1963. In 1968, with the advent of integration of the Canadian Forces, HMCS Venture was phased out and responsibility for training Naval Officer Cadets (and those commissioned from the ranks) shifted to the Officer Training Division at the Fleet School in Esquimalt. The Officer training Division, through the Fleet School, was responsible to, and reported directly to, the newly established "Training Command Headquarters" in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
In September 1976, Venture, the Naval Officer Training Centre (NOTC), was established in the Canadian Forces Fleet School in Naden and welcomed it's first students on 16 August 1977, under the command of Commander [later Rear Admiral] R. C. Waller (Class of ‘59).
On 16 September 1977, NOTC Venture was relocated on the old site of HMCS Givenchy (better known to Ventures as the site of HMCS Venture). In October of 1994, NOTC Venture moved to Work Point Barracks, in CFB Esquimalt, formerly the home of the 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.
Today, Venture is responsible for the initial training of all watchkeeping officers as well as advanced navigation training for the fleet's navigation officers. Venture encompasses all aspects of junior naval officer training and development. In addition to officer of the watch and navigation training, Venture also offers refresher and other training services to the fleet and to the navy.
The Vice Admiral A.L. Collier Building houses The Navigation and Bridge Simulator, a facility with a computer based training lab, two multimedia theatres and numerous classrooms. The Nixon Building, completed in late October 1999, houses the new Venture Gunroom and Administration Complex.
The NOTC Venture flag-staff, which now stands in front of the Vice Admiral A.L. Collier building, was originally the mainmast of the training schooner Venture.
During the eleven years that the Venture Plan and the three years that the Short Service Officer Plan existed, a total of 462 Officer-Cadets graduated from Venture.
In 1983, NOTC Venture adopted a new motto: To learn, To serve, To lead
This motto is appropriate to the present and more than adequately describes the past.
Ventures have indeed learned to serve and to lead. (Source: HMCS VENTURE 1954-1968)