It is with deep regret that we report the passing, on Saturday, August 20th, 1983, at Toronto General Hospital, of Capt. Horace Louden Beaton, a long-time member of the Toronto Marine Historical Society. Services, attended by many friends from the shipping industry, were held at Port Elgin United Church (Port Elgin, Ontario) and interment was at Hill-crest Cemetery.
Capt. Beaton was born on March 1, 1903, at Tara, Ontario, but left his hometown in April 1919 to begin a sailing career that would span 46 years. He spent his first two seasons on the lakes aboard the Canadian government tender LAMBTON and then he went to Manitoba for two years, thus avoiding the disappearance of LAMBTON on Lake Superior in April 1922. He returned to the lakes in 1923 and began his long association with Canada Steamship Lines. Capt. Beaton was appointed master of HURONIC in 1940, and he moved up to take command of HAMONIC in 1942.
The most noteworthy event in Capt. Beaton's life occurred on the morning of Tuesday, July 17, 1945. when fire destroyed the C.S.L. freight sheds at Point Edward. The flames spread to HAMONIC, which was moored nearby, but the heroic efforts of Capt. Beaton in moving his burning steamer away from the dock and running her ashore in a spot where her passengers and crew could be removed, saved the lives of all on board.
Capt. Beaton retired from the C.S.L. fleet at the end of the 1967 season and, with the assistance of his son, he worked to record the details of his life afloat. The result of his efforts was his book, From The Wheelhouse, which was published in 1979 and which remains one of the most interesting books of its type ever to appear.
Those who knew Capt. Beaton were indeed privileged to do so, and will miss him greatly. Our Society has lost a faithful supporter with his passing. We extend our deepest sympathy to his wife, Marjorie, to his son, the Rev. Charles Beaton, to his daughter, Mrs. Joan Sweeney, and to his grandchildren.
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.