It appears that our fears for the future of the Westdale Shipping Ltd. self-unloader LEADALE may have been well founded. She has not yet fitted out for the 1978 season and whereas the new 'D' stack insignia has recently been placed on NORDALE and FERNDALE which also wintered at Toronto, there is no sign of a similar change on LEADALE. We fear the worst.
The former Reoch self-unloader PINEDALE, which late last year was sold to Pitts Construction for use as a breakwater, was towed from Hamilton to Toronto late in March. She looks extremely rough, having been stripped of almost every piece of reusable equipment including the windows from the front of her pilothouse.
As we go to press, GLENEAGLES is fitting out at Port Colborne for yet another season of service. As usual, she does so amid the usual rumours that a sale to Westdale Shipping Ltd. is imminent. The rumours seem to be of a somewhat more substantial nature this year than in the past...
The Welland Canal opened for the 1978 season on March 30. The opening was delayed for two days by the heavy ice in western Lake Erie. Meanwhile, the St. Lawrence River section of the Seaway opened during the first week of April, the first boat passing up reportedly being the French salty HERMINE bound for Chicago.
A late report, as yet unconfirmed, indicates that Q & O may indeed rename three of the former Hindman steamers but that GEORGE HINDMAN and BLANCHE HINDMAN may retain their old names, at least for a few years.
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.