At a recent meeting of the Board of Directors of Saint John Port Authority, Allen Bodechon was elected Chair of the Board by his peers for a two-year term. Allen Bodechon has over 36 years of law enforcement experience at all levels of government and is the recipient of numerous professional awards and recognitions including the Order of Merit for the Police Forces—Officer Level (2008). In addition to his professional career, Allen has a wealth of governance experience in public and non-government organization Boards and a dedication to community volunteerism.
M/V New Explorer, a Liberian registered vessel sailing from Egypt, was the first ship to arrive in Sept-Îles this year at 8 a.m. on January 5, 2018. The vessel arrived in ballast and set sail again on January 6, 2018 with 77,000 tons of iron ore from IOC Rio Tinto destined for Ghent, Belgium.
During a short ceremony, Pierre D. Gagnon (right), President & CEO of Sept-Îles Port Authority presented Captain Ioannis Kantounias with the prestigious cane bearing the Port of Sept-Îles insignia. In addition, several gifts were offered to the Captain by Jean Masse, Deputy Mayor of Sept-Îles, as well as by Benoit Méthot, General Manager, Rail & Port of IOC Rio Tinto.
This tradition, now in its 31st year, marks the arrival of the first ship of the year to call the port. To be eligible, the vessel must come directly from a foreign port and be bound for a destination outside the country without making any other calls at a Canadian port.
Lowlands Opal is the first ocean-going vessel from an overseas port to reach the port of Trois-Rivières in 2018, docking on January 4, at 1:10 p.m., following a 16-day non-stop Atlantic voyage. The vessel, with its crew of 20 Indian and Filipino seafarers, had left the port of Sao Luis in Brazil on December 19, 2017 with a cargo of 42,500 tonnes of alumina for the Alcoa aluminum smelter in Deschambault.
Luc Arvisais, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Trois-Rivières Port Authority, explained: “To receive the title, the vessel must arrive in Trois-Rivières from an overseas port without making a stopover and perform a loading or unloading operation at the port.”
During the 52nd ceremony marking the arrival of the first vessel of the year at the Port, the captain and chief engineer of Lowlands Opal, Capt. Sanjay Pharasi and Pardeep Singh, were presented with a giclée reproduction of the painting À bon port, produced by Mauricie artist Caroline St-Pierre. Gaétan Boivin, President and CEO of the Port Authority, pointed out that 2017 marks 25 years of partnership between G3 Canada Ltd., which operates the terminal, the Port and Alcoa, for supplying the Deschambault plant. As Mr. Boivin explained, “Today’s ceremony is a great opportunity to highlight that Lowlands Opal has completed its 22nd crossing with alumina. This is also the second time the vessel has achieved the feat of being the first vessel at the Port of Trois-Rivières, when in 2009 it arrived on January 7th.”
The bulk carrier Lowlands Opal was built in 2007 and is currently sailing under the Singapore flag. It has an overall length of 190 m and a width of 32 metres (Panamax). The vessel was moored at the port for four days. During its stay in Trois-Rivières, it was represented by Lower St. Lawrence Ocean Agencies Ltd. and G3 Canada Ltd. was responsible for unloading the cargo for its client, Alcoa.
Montreal Port Authority President and CEO Sylvie Vachon awarded Port of Montreal’s Gold-headed Cane to Captain Rakesh Kumar, Master of Ottawa Express, the first ocean-going vessel to reach the port of Montreal without a stopover in 2018. Ottawa Express left Liverpool, England, on December 21, 2017, and entered the port of Montreal on January 1.
“I want to congratulate Captain Rakesh Kumar and the entire crew of Ottawa Express, who braved the ice and cold on the St. Lawrence River to make it safely to their destination. The arrival of Captain Kumar and his container ship is a great reminder at the start of this new year that container handling is part of the Port’s DNA and has been growing here for over 50 years,” said Ms. Vachon.
Flying the flag of Bermuda, Ottawa Express is 245 metres long. Chartered by Hapag-Lloyd, it was commissioned in 1998.
The Gold-Headed Cane Ceremony, a tradition for 179 years, kicks off a new year of activity at the port. Long ago, the first ship did not arrive at the port until the early spring, after the break-up and thawing of ice on the St. Lawrence River. In present times, awarding the Gold-Headed Cane is a reminder that the port has been open year round since 1964.
This event allowed the recognition of the work of members of the Corporation of Mid St. Lawrence Pilots, Alain Aubé and Gabriel Ross, who steered the ship safely to port. In addition, Port of Montreal recognized the work of one of the artisans of the Gold-Headed Cane. In addition, Ms. Vachon congratulated Urgence Marine Inc. for its contribution to the smooth functioning of port operations.
By Jason Zuidema
Representatives of the Port and supporting communities gathered on November 23 for a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially re-open Mariners’ House, the seafarers centre in the port of Montreal.
Robert Zeagman, President of Seagulf Marine Industries and the Mariners’ House Board of Directors welcomed all gathered and expressed how happy he was to see such a warm and welcoming location for seafarers. Sylvie Vachon, President and CEO of Montreal Port Authority, was the guest of honour and cut the ribbon. Fr. Andrew Thuraisingam and Chaplain Michelle DePooter blessed the new facility, asking that it continue to be a place of hospitality and service for seafarers.
The new centre is the latest development in the rich history of seafarers’ welfare in Montreal. The Montreal Sailors’ Institute (founded 1862) and the Catholic Sailors’ Club (founded 1869) combined in the 1960s to become Mariners’ House of Montreal. A third group, the Montreal Ministry to Seafarers (founded 1965), became an official associate in 2001. Mariners’ House is a wonderful example of the successful input of the local maritime community and aid organizations for the benefit of seafarers. These collaborations continue today, driving the comprehensive facilities that seafarers can find when calling at Montreal.
Carolyn Osborne, general manager of Mariner’s House, said “We are very happy with our improved surroundings. Seafarers look forward to relaxing after a long watch, using the high-speed Wi-Fi connection or enjoying a friendly conversation with a volunteer or staff member. We are grateful to Port of Montreal and all our patrons for their support of our centre.”