February 25, 2016 4:07 pm
Updated: February 26, 2016 1:45 pm

Newest Halifax ferry named after N.S. civil rights activist Viola Desmond


WATCH ABOVE: Halifax Transit’s newest ferry will be named after civil rights activist Viola Desmond, who was arrested in 1946 for sitting in the whites-only section of a New Glasgow N.S. theatre. Mayor Mike Savage made the announcement on Thursday at an event at the Black Cultural Centre celebrating African Nova Scotian communities. Rebecca Lau reports.

Halifax’s newest harbour ferry was officially named after civil rights activist Viola Desmond.

Several members of the African Nova Scotian community were at Thursday’s announcement and gave Mayor Mike Savage a standing ovation when he announced the ferry’s new name.

READ MORE: Viola Desmond, Nova Scotia civil rights pioneer, honoured in Heritage Minute

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Born and raised in Halifax, Desmond was well known for her commitment to civil rights, particularly after she was arrested in 1946 for sitting in the white section of a New Glasgow theatre.

More than 200 names were submitted to the city for consideration during the fall.

The list was then narrowed down to five names, which included Viola Desmond, Vincent Coleman, Private John Curwin, Major Gavin Rainnie and Ronald Wallace.

Viola Desmond was chosen by a small committee that included Mayor Savage and members of community councils.

The Viola Desmond is the latest of three new ferries the city has added to its fleet and will replace ageing ferries that are currently in use.

READ MORE: Sister of civil rights icon Viola Desmond cherishes her legacy

The Viola Desmond is expected to start carrying Halifax Transit passengers across the harbour this summer.

The Christopher Stannix and Craig Blake are the other two newest ferries to join the Halifax Transit fleet.

© 2016 Shaw Media

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