Captain in traditional beaver top hat ceremony with Harbour Master,
President of Redpath Sugar, President of Toronto Port Authority
TORONTO, April 3 /CNW/ -
What: A sure sign of spring is back as the Port of Toronto welcomes the
Puffin, the first ocean-going cargo ship of the season. These
ships, also known as "salties" because of their time spent in the
ocean's salt water, are unable to make the trip down the St.
Lawrence River's icy waters in winter.
The Puffin, an Antigua-flagged ship, is delivering over
21,000 metric tonnes of sugar from Buenaventura, Colombia to the
Redpath Sugar refinery.
Captain Kompaniyets Oleksandr will be honored in a traditional
ceremony with Harbour Master Angus Armstrong which includes
having an historic silk and beaver top hat placed on his head.
This beautiful hat, made by Christies Hats of London, England,
originally belonged to Captain John Hooper Meade when he
emigrated from England in 1828. Meade first donated the hat for
the ceremony in 1861.
According to his grandson, Captain John Allen, who was the
Harbour Master from 1925-1930, Meade was a prosperous Toronto
merchant and landowner, owning part of the Toronto Islands known
as Meades Island, now Centre Island, a hotel and two steamers,
the "Prince of Wales" and the "Arlington". When the tradition
began, the captain was allowed to keep the hat for 24 hours,
wearing it like a crown. However, after several mishaps with the
hat -- it was once found full of beer in a waterfront pub and, on
another occasion, with an inebriated captain at a downtown police
station, the tradition changed. The irreplaceable hat is now
always quickly returned to the Toronto Port Authority.
The captain is also presented with a $100 cheque (the amount has
not changed in approximately 80 years) and a commemorative
Who: Angus Armstrong, Harbour Master, Port of Toronto
Kompaniyets Oleksandr, Captain, The Puffin
Jonathan Bamberger, President of Redpath Sugar
Lisa Raitt, President & CEO, Toronto Port Authority
When: Wednesday, April 4, 2007
10:30 a.m. - Media access
10:45 a.m. - Beaver hat ceremony
Where: Redpath Sugar, 95 Queen's Quay East, at the foot of Jarvis Street
For further information:
For further information: Deputy Harbour Master, Michael Riehl, (416)