Mr. Speaker, as we celebrate Black History Month I would like to acknowledge an African Nova Scotian hero from my very own riding of Kings—Hants, Petty Officer William Hall.
Born in Horton Bluff, Hall worked in the shipyards of Hantsport, building wooden ships during the golden age of sail. He enlisted in the Royal Navy in 1852. From there, the young Nova Scotian travelled the world with the Royal Navy, seeing the shores of England, Ireland, China, India and beyond. For his bravery during the siege of Lucknow, Hall became the first black person, first Nova Scotian and third Canadian to receive the Victoria Cross, the British Empire's highest award for bravery.
Now, William Hall's legacy is being commemorated as the namesake of the Royal Canadian Navy's fourth Arctic and offshore patrol ship being built at the Halifax shipyard. This is the first Royal Canadian Navy ship to be named after a black Canadian.
I hope that all members of the House will join me in celebrating our Canadian hero.