We still continue to receive renewals for the 1982-83 T.M.H.S. season. We are highly gratified by the very kind notes (many concerning our STUART H. DUNN feature) which have accompanied your renewals and we are pleased to hear in such a concrete way that you appreciate our efforts with "Scanner" . We thank you all for your continued support of our Society.
Lay-Up Lists: With our lakers now heading for winter quarters, it will soon be time for us to present our annual report on the ships wintering at the various lake ports. You can assist us in this endeavour by visiting your local ports, and then sending to us your listings of the boats wintering there for inclusion in these pages. The more complete and accurate your reports, the more valuable will be this information for the historical record. Please let us hear from you as soon as possible.
In the New Member Department, a hearty welcome goes out to Capt. John D. Williamson of Sarnia, to Fred W. Barrett of Toronto, to John R. McCreery of Guelph, and to Richard A. Mohr of Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
At this time last year, we remarked upon the fact that the 1981 navigation season on the Great Lakes had been a most unusual one in many ways. We also commented that the old French saying, "plus ca [c cedil] change, plus c'est la meme [sic=accent] chose", is quite correct when applied to the shipping business. The more things change, the more they remain the same. And once again, as if to prove the point, the 1982 season on the lakes has been every bit as peculiar as was its predecessor. Business conditions have remained uncertain, to say the least, and it has been virtually impossible to keep track, on a day-to-day basis, of which boats were running and which were laid up. The active roster of both the Canadian and U.S. lake fleets has been constantly changing but, no matter how one looks at the situation, the view has not been pleasant. An atmosphere of gloom has invaded the shipping industry and has spread to us, its observers. The gloom has deepened with each new economic forecast, each one less optimistic than prior outlooks.
And not only have observers and photographers been disappointed with the vessel passages at the familiar boatwatching spots around the lakes, but the weather seems to have kept pace with the adverse business conditions. To say that the weather has been disappointing around the lakes would be the understatement of the year. In fact, in the lower lakes area it has been abysmal.
A few new vessels have appeared from lake shipyards during 1982, but their numbers are decreasing and shipbuilders are now looking at almost empty orderbooks. On the other hand, the depressed market for scrap metal has meant that very few of our familiar lake steamers have made that last voyage to the scrapyard during 1982. But the economic adversity has made things extremely difficult for shipowners, and two familiar Canadian fleets have disappeared from the lakes during the season, the victims of bankruptcy.
One of the few happy points about the 1982 season is that it has been relatively free from major accidents, a feature upon which shipowners, crews and observer enthusiasts alike can reflect with a distinct sense of gratitude. We sincerely hope that all of our members and friends who sail the lakes or who are engaged in vessel management achieved a pleasant and safe navigation season this year, and we wish them the same (together with better financial results) for 1983. Indeed, we extend the very same wish to all of our members and to the Toronto Marine Historical Society itself.
But now, as the skies and the waters of the Great Lakes take on the familiar grey tint of winter, as the snows obscure the horizons, and as the haze rises from the cold waters, the ships scurry about for their last cargoes of the year before heading for the calm and safety of winter quarters. We wish them safe passage.
And to all of the many members of our growing family, the Toronto Marine Historical Society, we extend our very best wishes for a Merry Christmas as well as for all possible Happiness in the New Year. Take care, friends, and may 1983 bring to you all a full measure of love, warmth and success.
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.