Sunday, 1 March 2015

Same ship. Different day.

Note - My father recently passed away after 83 years on this earth. I'd like to commemorate his life for a while by featuring a milestone event from each year he lived.

My father's first birthday was Oct 13, 1932. Only a few weeks earlier the Grain Carrier S.S. Lemoyne navigated into Lock 8, and thereby opened the 4th Welland Ship Canal. This canal was second only to Panama in allowing low-cost transportation of goods in North America. Typically known only to those who live on the Great Lakes, the Welland Canals are part of the economic engine that fueled an economic boom that has held for two centuries now. In many ways Great Lakes shipping drove the first wave of globalization. Sugar from the Caribbean was shipped to Toronto Refineries. Wheat was shipped from the Prairies to Russia. Coal and iron ore went from the hard granite of the Canadian Shield to Korea and points further east.

1932 - the World's largest Grain Carrier S.S. Lemoyne makes the maiden voyage on the Fourth Welland Ship Canal. (courtesy British Pathe)

Here's the news story from the Granby Leader-Mail Aug 5, 1932

A coming-of-age ritual for teens growing up along the Welland Canal was for a couple to go parking and have a make-out session along those dark shores. Although there was no guarantee able seamen would make an appearance, local wits described this as "watching the submarine races". Imagine my delight when I located this clip of the submarine HMCS Ojibwa being transported on Welland Canal headed for display at a museum.

Here's the website.

Bonus - One of my best friends served in the Navy and did at least one tour on an Oberon Class vessel.

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