Table of Contents

Title Page
The Editor's Notebook
Marine News
You Asked Us
You Don't Say. . .
More Winter Lay-up Listings
Ship of the Month No. 73WESTMOUNT (I)
Additional Lay-up Listings
Table of Illustrations

It will be recalled that our Ship of the Month No. 70, appearing in the December issue, was EUGENE C. ROBERTS, that most elusive canaller which began life under the control of Hamilton entrepreneur A. B. Mackay but which soon wound up in the fleet of the Toronto Insurance and Vessel Agency Limited. There has been much speculation over the years as to the extent of Mackay's involvement with the ROBERTS and the manner in which she came under and later left his control. George Ayoub has come up with a few more news clippings from the Canadian Railway and Marine World which, while not clearing up the problem by any means, shed a bit more light on the early years of this steamer.

A June 1923 article indicates that EUGENE C. ROBERTS was being built for the A. B. Mackay Steamship Company, so it is evident that from the moment the contract was let for the construction of the ROBERTS, the intention was that she was to operate under Mackay's own colours and that Mackay had this company in mind as he was placing the order for the Eastern canallers. What is still not clear is whether he anticipated building the ROBERTS before he placed the Eastern order or whether the building of the ROBERTS was actually a side effect to the benefit of Mackay which resulted from the Eastern Steamship Company's order.

Later reports indicate that EUGENE C. ROBERTS was launched at Birkenhead on March 5, 1924 and that she left Swansea on April 3rd with a cargo of Welsh coal bound for Montreal. On April 20, she became trapped in the ice of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and she remained stuck for six days, sustaining some damage during her ordeal. She was in the drydock of Canadian Vickers Ltd. at Montreal for survey and repair from April 30 until May 3 and at this time, A.B. Mackay was still listed as her owner. In view of Mackay's delicate financial situation at the time, it is possible that Toronto Insurance and Vessel Agency Ltd., which may already have owned a share of the boat, might have put up the funds to cover the cost of repairing the ROBERTS and that T.I.V.A. subsequently took over complete control of the steamer.

(In the December issue, along with a photo of EUGENE C. ROBERTS, we printed

a photo of her equally-elusive sister NISBET GRAMMER. With the help of Al

Sagon-King and George Ayoub, we can pin down the GRAMMER photo as a Deno effort dated August 9th, 1925.)


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