Richard Birchall has a history with Tall Ships started back in 1967 in the UK … he first came to TBI as a Deep Sea Exchange in 1972, but then immigrated to Canada in 1977 and is still involved with TBI today. He is now charing the TBI 50th Anniversary committee!
Here is his Tall Ships career.
Richard started in Sea Cadets in the UK in 1967 in TS Benbow at Mitcham in London
Then went to TS Eastbourne in Sussex and was there until he immigrated to Canada in 1977. At TS Eastbourne he became a National Sailing Champion and master Coxwain and getting his Gold Duke of Edinburgh award. Richard described the presentation of the Duke of Edinburgh Award, which was presented by HRH Prince Philip and HM the Queen at Buckingham Palace – with his Dad as his guest as “a proud moment”.
In 1972, Richard was the UK side of the Deep sea exchange. In 1973, Richard was asked to return, and he came back in 1974 and 1976. Mike Leigh remembers Richard as “a 14 years old exchange trainee from Englad when he came aboard as a seaman/po when Mike was XO of the Pathfinder.
In 1976, Richard joined Pathfinder and was aboard for the Bicentennial fleet review and Tall ship gathering in NY City NY. Click here to read about TBI at Op Sail 76.
Richard became skipper of Pathfinder @ 21 years of age (to relieve Maurice Smith) giving command of Trident II to the then XO Of Pathfinder , Bruce Hunter.
Officer P-Boat “Pilot”, Pathfinder, Playfair, Trident II
Skipper Pathfinder 1977 – 1983. Richard hosted an “open ship” for RCYC as one of the activities to start off his last season as Skipper of Pathfinder.
Executive Director 1983 Fall – June 1994
and then joined back up with TBI in 2002.
Richard is a treasure trove of Toronto Brigantine stories and we look forward to a great 50th Celebration! Thanks Richard for chairing the Celebration Committee. The kick off event for our 50th Annivesary has been scheduled for Nov 10, 2012. So HOLD THE DATE on your calendar and stay tuned for details.