PBYC’s 2019 Opening Day ceremony is Saturday, April 6th. At Opening Day ceremonies, you can toast the crew of HMS Blazer, whose uniform of blue jacket and white pants we still wear today.
Where did this tradition come from? It turns out that in the British Royal Navy days of wooden ships and iron men, there was no fixed uniform for the Navy as a whole. Instead, ships’ captains or crews chose their own uniforms – based perhaps on their preferences, the fashion of the day, or something that would reflect the name of the ship. And when they were out in a group, they would be called by the name of their ship. For example, the crew of HMS Harlequin, the Harlequins, would wear a multi-colored uniform, and the Tulips would wear a flower in their hat.
These uniforms weren’t their everyday clothing, as khaki or dungaree might be in today’s navy. It was what they would wear on special occasions – shipboard inspections, shore leave, soirees, and so forth. It was their way of showing pride in their ship and in their persons. When they went ashore, it made them easily identifiable to other ships’ crews and the residents of the town.