This Week in History
All Hail the Queen
For the week of Monday October 4, 1999
On October 7, 1922, Bluenose, "Queen of the North Atlantic fishing fleet," won the Canadian elimination race for the right to defend its 1921 Fisherman's title at the 3rd International Fisherman's Race.
With badly bruised pride, Nova Scotians set about to build a vessel that could bring the trophy home. Designed by William J. Roué and built of Nova Scotian materials by Smith & Rhuland at Lunenburg, the 143 foot long Bluenose was launched on March 26, 1921. The launch was well in time to complete a successful fishing season on the Atlantic Banks. Bluenose did not disappoint.
The Depression, modern diesel engines and the Second World War sealed the fate of the old fishing schooners. Although reduced to a showboat, Bluenose represented Canada at the Silver Jubilee celebration of King George V and Queen Mary in 1935, but nearly perished on the voyage home. Despite efforts to keep Bluenose in Canada, Walters was forced to sell the mighty schooner to the West Indies Trading Company in 1942. On January 28, 1946, tragedy struck. Bluenose, the symbol of Maritime spirit, had sunk off the Haitian coast.
In 1937, Bluenose was placed on the Canadian dime. In July 1963, Bluenose II was launched in honour of the racing schooner with Captain Angus Walters present for the maiden voyage. Bluenose is commemorated with a plaque at Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.
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