Thunder Bay·Video

Alexander Henry re-christened after 60 years in Thunder Bay, Ont.

Residents in Thunder Bay, Ont., now have a new attraction at the waterfront that highlights the local maritime history in the Lakehead.

The vessel is now opened to the public on a daily basis

The Alexander Henry was re-christened on Wednesday afternoon, 60 years to the day the vessel was first christened at the Port Arthur shipyard in Thunder Bay, Ont. (Jeff Walters / CBC)
A ship was re-dedicated today along Thunder Bay's waterfront, the same day it was christened 60 years ago. We hear why the Alexander Henry is making waves in the Lakehead. 6:10

Residents in Thunder Bay, Ont., now have a new attraction at the waterfront that highlights the local maritime history in the Lakehead.

Officials at the Lakehead Transportation Museum Society held a dedication ceremony on Wednesday afternoon — 60 years to the day the Alexander Henry ship was first christened at the Port Arthur shipyard.

The ship, which was built in 1958 at the Port Arthur Shipbuilding Company, served as a Canadian Coast Guard buoy tender and icebreaker on the Great Lakes until it was replaced in 1985.

"On this day ... I rededicate the vessel, the Alexander Henry," Annie Kolisnyk — a crew member of the vessel —announced on Wednesday at the Pool Six docking site in Marina Park.

Alexander Henry opens to public 0:21

"I have the memories of sailing from all the way to the coast, seeing part of the country and going through Lake Superior. And it's a vicious lake ... but I enjoyed it."

Cooking for approximately 30 people for nine years, Kolisnyk said the most important part of her job was to make sure she cooked a delicious meal for all the staff on the vessel.

'It was a dream'

President of the Lakehead Transportation Society, Charlie Brown, said there were a lot of hurdles they needed to get through in order to have the boat ready for the public.

"It's been challenging over the winter because we weren't at this spot until late November... so during the cold weather we had a lot of problems just putting the paint inside," Brown explained.

Lakehead Transportation Museum Society president, Charlie Brown, said while some people thought bringing the Alexander Henry back to the Lakehead is a pipe dream, on Wednesday, that dream has become a reality. (Jeff Walters / CBC)

He said final inspections took longer than expected as inspectors from southern Ontario were called away for other emergencies' which further delayed the opening of the Alexander Henry.

"We just took it one day at a time and every obstacle we just looked at it in a very calm, collected way ... and then eventually we got her here," Brown said.

He said the boat is now open for the public to enjoy on a daily basis.