The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), March 26, 1889

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A short time ago the Kingston board of trade passed a resolution memorializing the government to place range lights in the harbor for the benefit of mariners. The matter having been duly considered by the minister of marine, he forwarded a communication to Ald. Fenwick, chairman of the wharves and harbor committee, asking him if it would be necessary to do away with the lights in the city clock provided range lights were furnished. Ald. Fenwick called his committee together yesterday afternoon to consider the communication. He also invited the vessel owners and masters of the city to be present. There were in attendance when business began, Alds. Fenwick, McLeod, Carson, Shannon, and C. Robinson; Captains Taylor, Trowell, Saunders, Dix, T. Donnelly, J. Donnelly, sr., Beaupre, and Messrs. Richardson, J. Stewart and Campbell.

The chairman read the letter from the minister of marine, and asked those present to give their views upon the subject.

Captain Gaskin explained that two range lights were needed. One should be located at the gate house near the military college grounds, and the other in the vicinity of St. Mark's church, Barriefield. These would enable mariners to bring their vessels safely into the harbour at night. The lights in the city clock were indispensible.

Capt. T. Donnelly said he wanted range lights, colored, in the harbor, but he did not think if they were located where Capt. Gaskin had mentioned they would be of any use. They needed three lights instead of two, and they should be erected along the harbor front. The lights in the city clock were indispensible at night.

Capt. Gaskin contended that two lights, located where he had stated, would furnish sufficient light for a mariner to direct the course of his vessel into the harbor at night. The channel in the harbor had been sounded and studied by Capt. Murray, who was present. He was satisfied that two lights located where he (Gaskin) had stated would answer the purposes of mariners. Capt. Murray was the best navigator of the river St. Lawrence in the room, and when he gave his opinion on marine matters it could be safely relied upon.

Capt. T. Donnelly warmed up and objected in forcible language to Capt. Gaskin belittling the other mariners around the board. He contended that he and other men present were just as good navigators as Capts. Gaskin or Murray, and were just as capable of handling a boat. It would seem as if the committee should have barred out all other mariners and admitted only Capts. Gaskin and Murray.

Then Capt. Gaskin proceeded to explain that Capt. Murray was the only man present who had piloted boats drawing fourteen feet of water into the harbor.

Capt. J. Donnelly, sr., jumped to his feet and declared that he had piloted boats drawing fourteen feet of water into the harbor when Capt. Gaskin was a boy. The mariners left the council chamber, arguing as they went, as to who was the best man in the marine business.

Capts. Taylor and Trowell were satisfied that the lights in the city clock were needed at night.

The committee decided to recommend the government to place range lights in the harbor and to acquaint the minister of marine with the fact that the lights in the city clock were indispensible.

p.8 Incidents Of The Day - The str. Scotia is being thoroughly recaulked. Her seams are being emptied and filled with new oakum, and her decks will be repaired.

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March 26, 1889
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Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), March 26, 1889