Sub-Lieutenant Matthew Pyke


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Sub-Lieutenant Matthew Pyke, our beloved son of only 34, was lost in the Ionian Sea on the 29th of April 2020, in the crash of HMCS Fredericton’s CH-148 Cyclone.


He passed away doing what he felt he was born to do – serve others. Matthew was a proud member of the Royal Canadian Navy, and a patriotic Canadian. He fell in the line of duty for his nation, a finality which deeply aligned with his ethos of honour, and helping others before self.

Matthew was not just a son, brother and fiancé, he was a community leader, and a loyal Bluenoser. His roots in his Nova Scotia neighborhood ran deep, so deep, that Matthew, throughout his entire life, was pulled by his sense of duty which drove him to set his goals. Whether he was protecting his hometown in Rawdon, Nova Scotia, as a volunteer firefighter, or while in service in the Royal Canadian Navy, Matthew was happiest when he knew he was contributing to something greater than himself.

A true Maritimer, Matthew led with his heart on his sleeve, and was always ready to help. And as EastCoasters are known for, he loved a good time. His easy-going nature and happiness were his most infectious gifts. He had a laugh which could light up any room, and a sharp sense of humour. He was continually on the lookout for his friends and family, and could make the best of most any situation.

When we think of Matthew, we recall the poem Remember Me:

Don’t remember me with sadness,

Don’t remember me with tears, Remember all the laughter,

We’ve shared throughout the years.

Now I am contented That my life it was worthwhile,

Knowing that I passed along the way I made somebody smile.

When you are walking down the street,

And you’ve got me on your mind,

I’m walking in your footsteps Only half a step behind.

So please don’t be unhappy Just because I’m out of sight,

Remember that I’m with you Each morning, noon and night.

We would like to express our most sincere condolences to the families of Sub-Lieutenant Abbigail Cowbrough, Captain Brenden Ian MacDonald, Captain Kevin Hagen, Captain Maxime Miron-Morin, and Master Corporal Matthew Cousins. Our hearts are eternally tied to the families who share the scar we shall all forever carry.

Though we know he is not coming home, we will carry the light of his memory within us. Go lightly, fair son, and do not worry for us. We know we’ll hear your laughter from above. Fair winds and following seas, our beloved sailor.


We have the watch.

SLt Matthew Kendall Pyke 1986-2020

SLt Matthew Kendall Pyke – 34. It is with extreme sadness we announce the passing of a truly amazing man, SLt Matthew Kendall Pyke, who lost his life in a helicopter accident off the coast of Greece on April 29, 2020, while serving his country aboard HMCS Fredericton.

Matthew was the light force of so many. His contagious smile could light up any room, and you cannot forget that laugh! Matthew is survived by his fiancée, Helen Hines, Grand Lake; mother, Kelly May Custance, Bible Hill; father, David Pyke, Valley, Colchester County; brother, Michael (Tamara Hennigar) Custance, Valley, Colchester County; maternal grandmother, Betty Mackenzie, Bible Hill; paternal grandfather, Donald Pyke, Valley, Colchester County; aunts and uncles, Sonja (Rodney) Hart, Randy (Marlene) Custance, Danny Custance, William Custance, Sherry (Steve) Heron, Darrell (Susan) Pyke, Randy (Angie) Pyke, Doug Pyke; special cousin, Corey Toole and many others; best friends, Mason Power and Ruth Power.

Predeceased by his maternal grandfather, Fred Custance; paternal grandmother, Norma Pyke; aunt, Diane Pyke; other grandfather, Terry Mackenzie. Matthew was a volunteer fire fighter for 15 years at Rawdon District Volunteer Fire Department and Gore District Volunteer Fire Department. He enjoyed lots of time on his four wheeler also loved to hunt and fish. He lived his dream of joining the Royal Canadian Navy late in life where he was a proud naval warfare officer, bridge watch keeper, bull sub and assistant navigator. His sights were set on going to Navigator training in January 2021.

“Fair winds and following seas, we have the watch.”