Every non-commissioned rank in the RCN was issued with a Station Card. This card was the sailor's ticket to shore leave, and was used by all HMC (Her Majesty's Canadian) ships and shore establishments.

Original cartoon by John ScratchleyWhen first "drafted" aboard a ship or establishment, the rating received his or her new station card, which served as a kind of passport.

To the sailor, this was an important document. Some cards were in booklet form, others (usually on ships) were merely two-fold cards and were color coded. Some examples are:

Red Card - Member of the Port Watch
Green Card - Member of the Starboard Watch
Blue Card - "Special Duty"

In addition, the card contained the individual's name, rank and official number. Religious denominations were also noted (as long as you were either Protestant or Catholic, that is, and no acknowledgment of non-believers). There was also the notation - important to a great many - "G" for Grog or "T" for Temperance. Those identified as "Temperence" (in other words non-drinkers), received a very modest pay increment in lieu of the daily allowance of 2 ½ oz. of ‘Pusser’ rum, which was issued daily to sailors in the Royal Canadian Navy up until the custom was discontinued in 1972.

An example of information shown on a station card might be: ~ Name/Rank/Official Number: DOE, John, ABEM1, 35224-E ~ Religion: UC (United Church); RC (Roman Catholic Church) ~ Grog or Temperance: ‘G’ or ‘T’

When granted shore leave, the sailor deposited the station card with the duty Quartermaster or Corporal of the Gangway. Failure to be back aboard ship by the time shore leave expired resulted in the card being "lifted" by the Cox'n and the sailor was then officially "adrift". If discipline was breached and leave stopped, the card was held by the Cox'n's Office until such time as all privileges were restored.

Cards were also used to track the punishment of sailors being disciplined for infractions like going "adrift". One station card presently on display at CFB Esquimalt Naval & Military Museum, for example, outlines the punishment for an unfortunate Wren (a member of the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service) paywriter in May 1945, for transgression(s) unknown. The card, which has a bright purple cover stamped 'Punishment', notes that for three days, she was required to report every hour on the hour while off duty, and was allowed no visitors and no dancing. She could however visit the library and hobby hut, and go to the canteen, but "for purchases only."

Rum tot issue aboard HMCS PRINCE ROBERT, 1946.<br/><br/>Photo Catalogue No. VRP993.399.176 In addition, the card contained the individual's name, rank and official number. Religious denominations were also noted1, plus the notation - important to a great many - "G" for Grog or "T" for Temperance. Those identified as "Temperence" (in other words non-drinkers), received a very modest pay increment in lieu of the daily allowance of 2 ½ oz. of ‘Pusser’ rum, which was issued daily to sailors in the Royal Canadian Navy up until the custom was discontinued in 1972.

An example of information shown on a station card might be:

~ Name/Rank/Official Number - DOE, John, ABEM1, 35224-E;

~ Religion: UC (United Church); RC (Roman Catholic Church);

~ Grog or Temperance: ‘G’ or ‘T’.

When granted shore leave, the sailor deposited the station card with the duty Quartermaster or Corporal of the Gangway. Failure to be back aboard ship by the time shore leave expired resulted in the card being "lifted" by the Cox'n and the sailor was then officially "adrift". If discipline was breached and leave stopped, the card was held by the Cox'n's Office until such time as all privileges were restored.

Cards were also used to track the punishment of sailors being disciplined for infractions like going "adrift". One station card presently on display at CFB Esquimalt Naval & Military Museum, for example, outlines the punishment meted out to an unfortunate paywriter in the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service in May 1945, for transgression(s) unknown. The card, which has a bright purple cover stamped 'Punishment', notes that for three days, she was required to report every hour on the hour while off duty, and was allowed no visitors and no dancing. She could however visit the library and hobby hut, and go to the canteen, but "for purchases only."