CFS St. John’s officially opened

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The massive new home for Canadian Forces Station St. John’s was officially opened Saturday afternoon.

The 35,000-square-metre Surgeon Lieutenant-Commander W. Anthony Paddon Building will serve as the working home for personnel previously stationed in 17 older buildings spread throughout the Pleasantville area.

“Certainly it’s dominating the landscape here in Pleasantville,” said Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy. “From a national perspective, there is no other building like this in Canada.”

Norman was in St. John’s along with federal Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford, who appeared on behalf of Defence Minister Rob Nicholson.

The new building cost $156 million to construct and has been seven years in the making. The Department of National Defence first announced in 2007 the purchase of 6.4 acres of land in Pleasantville for the eventual relocation of CFS St. John’s. At that time, the estimated cost of the building was projected to be $101 million.

It is named after William Anthony Paddon, a former lieutenant-governor of Newfoundland and Labrador who also worked as a physician. He served as a surgeon with the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War and moved back to Labrador once it ended.

His son David Paddon said the family was honoured to have the building named after his father.

For more on this story — including video — check back later at www.thetelegram.com.

Organizations: Royal Canadian Navy, Department of National Defence

Geographic location: Pleasantville, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

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