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Alexander Henry receives national designation

By Adam Riley Oct 18, 2023 | 2:39 PM

A national historic site is now moored in the Pool Six area, the former Canadian Coast Guard Ship Alexander Henry.

The ship, which now houses the Transportation Museum of Thunder Bay, received the designation Wednesday from the Minister responsible for Parks Canada Steven Guilbeault.

Museum chair Wally Peterson says they are overjoyed with the recognition and note it validates their efforts to preserve the city’s history.

“These Ships, trains, planes and unique vehicles tell the story of not only who we are but what we’ve built, simply and effectively.”

Peterson adds the designation comes with some benefits which lets them use for promotional ideas and gives the organization access to new funding streams.

A sentiment echoed by Vice Chair Rob Kilgour, adding the profile brings acknowledgement.

“It’s like that snowball, and when people start to see that snowball rolling they go ‘You know what this is a good thing.’  We know what it’s about we know the people who are doing it and we are all volunteers that are really striving to tell the stories of our past.”

The Alexander Henry served on the Great Lakes from 1959 to 1985 as a light ice breaker, buoy tender and navigational aid ship before being retired and saved from the scrap yard by the then Lakehead Transportation Museum, who purchased the ship which arrived in Thunder Bay in June of 2017.

It joins a list of more than 2,200 other national historic sites in Canada.