The Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) officially unveiled the newest vessel in its fleet of Halifax Harbour ferries on Wednesday — the Vincent Coleman.
The ferry is named after the heroic train operator who in 1917 refused to evacuate and stayed behind to warn an inbound train of the impending Halifax Explosion. Coleman died, but as a result of his actions approximately 300 people on board the train survived.
“Vincent Coleman epitomizes heroism, a man whose brave and selfless act lives on a century after our city’s greatest tragedy,” said Mayor Mike Savage in a statement.
“There may be no better place to honour his name than on a new vessel that safely transports people across the Halifax Harbour.”
The Vincent Coleman was one of two names selected by the HRM after the municipality held a ferry-naming contest in 2017.
Rita Joe, a famous Mi’kmaq poet, was the other name selected after nearly 11,000 people cast their votes.
Previous winners of similar naming competitions have been the Viola Desmond, Craig Blake and Christopher Stannix.
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According to the city, the Vincent Coleman is the first replacement vessel to receive federal funding from Infrastructure Canada.
The Government of Canada will contribute $6,035,000 toward the replacement of the final two ferries, with Halifax matching the funds.
The Vincent Coleman will be the fourth replacement vessel for the municipality’s aging ferry fleet. The Rita Joe is set to be unveiled later this year.