We thought that the weather was bad for our March meeting, but March had nothing on April in the Toronto area! Friday, April 4th, found Toronto caught in the grip of a three-day blizzard and icestorm and as a result several of our out-of-town members found it absolutely impossible to get transportation to Toronto. Ask Peter Worden how he and his family got here from Northville, Michigan ...
But considering the weather, the meeting was very well attended (all the tickets were sold) and all present enjoyed pleasant refreshment and an excellent meal in the Ship Inn. We then adjourned to our usual meeting room and were treated to a most interesting address by Mr. John O. Greenwood who brought his charming wife Jane with him from Cleveland for the occasion.
Mr. Greenwood's address was entitled "Great Lakes Shipping - Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" and he started by showing the Cleveland-Cliffs Steamship Company's film on the reconstruction and bringing to the lakes of CLIFFS VICTORY in 1951. This event was used as the beginning of the modern era of lake shipping and from there our speaker went on to describe the present health of the shipping industry and what we may expect to see over the next half-century. It was noted that over the last few years the number of lake carriers in operation has dropped drastically and yet the carrying capacity per ship has increased. Through to the end of this century a continuation of the same trend is seen, but on a much-accelerated basis. Then, much to our surprise, Mr. Greenwood suggested that the first few years of the new century will actually see a considerable increase in the number of vessels operating, together with the distinct possibility that ships will be built to sizes unthought of at present. It is strange to think that today's maximum Seaway size carriers may be the "canallers" of the future.
Our speaker concluded his remarks by suggesting that we had better appreciate the old traditional steamers with which we are now familiar and get lots of photos while we can, because the "transitional momentum to the modern diesel or turbine-powered high capacity vessel is accelerating at a pace not even dreamed of ten years ago" and our old favourites won't be with us long.
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.