Charlottetown reservist receives national Navy award

Published on January 24, 2015

Being a member of the Canadian Naval Reserve requires an immense amount teamwork and dedication.

However, one Charlottetown reservist was singled out for her personal determination and leadership during an award ceremony Wednesday night.

Leading Seaman Alecia Barlow received the Canadian Navy Centennial Award  during a ceremony at the HMCS Queen Charlotte.

"I've put a lot of work into my civilian career as a teacher and also into the Navy as well," said Barlow, who has been a leading force behind numerous exercises as well as volunteer events. "I'm very excited and really happy to win this."

Barlow won the award over a number of other reservists across Canada.

The award, sponsored by Lockheed Martin Canada and The Navy League of Canada, is given to a junior non-commissioned member who has made a significant contribution to the quality of life in the Royal Canadian Navy.

Representatives from both of those groups were present for Wednesday's ceremony.

Gary Fudge, program manager for the Halifax Class Modernization of Lockheed Martin Canada, said he is continually impressed with the caliber of award recipients.

"Its evident that this year the selection committee did a wonderful job," said Fudge. "I was especially impressed that she was able to take advantage of her teaching opportunity in London (England) and at the same time maintain her naval career."

While teaching in London, Barlow had volunteered to continue her Naval career on the HMS President, a stone frigate for the Royal Navy Reserves.

While there she also received the Bell Memorial Cup, which is the equivalent of Sailor of the Year.

Rear-Admiral John Newton, Commander of Maritime Forces Atlantic in Halifax, presented the award and said it reflected not just on Barlow, but the entire Charlottetown unit.

"Reserve units are a family," Newton said. "I know Alecia doesn't serve all by herself... you're doing it with a unit, so the most important people in this award are all the people Alecia works with."

However, Newton also commended Barlow, who was a familiar name after winning the Bell Memorial Cup and being recognized on Parliament Hill as part of Navy Appreciation Day last November.

"It's pretty impressive to be asked to come here and, having known your name from previous years, I wouldn't have hesitated at all," he said. "It really does reflect on you, who you are and all your leadership."

Having been a member of the HMCS Queen Charlotte since 2005, Barlow said she has no plans of ending her career with the unit.

"It's the friendships, the teamwork that's involved, constantly learning new skills that can always be put towards another job," she said. "There's a lot of really nice perks about it."

Barlow also received $1,500 with the award, which will be formally donated to a charity of her choice.