The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 12 Feb 1894

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Gifts For The Men Who Saved The Glenora.

One of the most memorable events in the history of Canadian seamanship occurred in the council chamber on Saturday evening, when Capt. Fleming and mate Steve Tyo, of the schooner Glenora, were presented with gold-filled purses for valiant conduct on Lake Superior in a very disastrous storm. They saved the cargo and schooner. The room was uncomfortably filled with spectators, and ladies occupied seats in the horsehoe.

Mayor Herald presided and in a very able address referred to the bravery of Capt. Fleming and mate Tyo in saving the schooner Glenora and cargo during a big storm. On account of their gallant conduct the owners of the boat and insurance company which had risks on the boat and cargo, were not called upon to pay anything for damages. It was particularly gratifying that both of these seamen are natives of this city. They have lived a long time in Kingston and learned their trade here. It is also gratifying to remember that the vessel which these two sailors so ably managed is a Kingston boat in every sense of the word, and it reflects considerable credit upon the company that it was able, notwithstanding the prophecies of mariners, to withstand the gale of November, 1892. When the Glenora was launched the members of the council were entertained on board, and this accounts in a measure for her good luck. He had asked the wife of Capt. Gaskin to make the presentation to the seamen, believing that they would value the presents more highly than they would in receiving them from the civic head, whom they did not know well. He then read the address:

"To James Fleming, master mariner, and Stephen Tyo, mate. - On behalf of the British American assurance company of Toronto and C.A. Macdonald, assurance agent of Chicago, it affords me the greatest of pleasure to present you with these well filled purses, one containing $100 in gold for Capt. Fleming and the other containing $50 in gold for mate S. Tyo.

"This presentation is made by the British American assurance company and C.A. Macdonald as a recognition displayed by you two gentlemen as captain and mate of the lake barge Glenora, when separated from her steam consort in a disabled condition, in one of the worst and most disastrous storms that has ever been known to sweep Lake Superior. It was in the cold month of November, with the thermometer below zero, hence it was all the more creditable to you that your efforts to save the boat were successful.

"On the other hand, gentlemen, it must be gratifying to you to learn that the hardships you endured in the performance of your duty and navigating the Glenora into a port of safety is appreciated by the insurance companies, and that they have seen fit to make this material acknowledgement in your behalf. I trust that this recognition of your services will prove an inducement to you and other mariners in charge of vessels and cargoes to stick to the ship while there is the slightest possible chance of bringing her into a port of safety, as you did the Glenora."

Mrs. Gaskin handed the seamen the purses. Capt. Fleming received $100 in gold and Mate Stephen Tyo received $50 in gold. Capt. Fleming said he was not used to public speaking and called upon E.H. Smythe, Q.C., to read the reply on behalf of both recipients.

Mr. Smythe rose and said the occasion was one which must be inspiring and gratifying to every one of the citizens of Kingston. It was due to the magnificent seamanship and intrepid bravery which these men displayed that the Glenora and her cargo were saved during a big storm on Lake Superior. When the word came that the Glenora was in this storm there was great anxiety among the citizens as to her safety. Capt. Fleming was always known as a competent seaman and in early years he was marked out as a mariner deserving of special merit. Many years ago he was elected president of the seamen's union. They also knew when they heard Steve Tyo was on board the vessel he was equal to the occasion. The present event is almost without a precedent and the insurance company have recognized that the saving of the Glenora was worthy of special recognition. He then read the reply of the seamen which is:

"Little did we (James Fleming and Stephen Tyo) think that our services on the terrible occasion in question would receive such a handsome recognition from the British American Assurance company, Toronto, and C.A. Macdonald, Chicago.

"Your statement that we did our duty is a sufficient reward for us, but when such magnificent tributes are added, we feel deeply indebted for the extreme kindness shown us. To say that we are thankful falls far short of a fair expression of the state of our feelings.

"The action of the assurance company and Mr. Macdonald indicates how closely the careers of mariners are watched, what a keen interest in the carrying trade by capitalists, and that care, attention and zeal on the part of employees will, sooner or later, be fully appreciated. In our opinion, if there is one class of the community that is true to the interests of their employers more than another, it is those 'who follow the water' as a means of livelihood. No danger is too great for them to face, no risk is too great for them to run. Their own safety is always made secondary to the safety of the ship. Had we thought of ourselves during the storm of November, the Glenora might not have outlived the gale and all concerned might have met with serious loss. Duty done, then, may be said to have saved boat and crew and obtained a result that, we hope, will strengthen the hearts and hands of comrades who may be unfortunate enough to be placed in a position similar to that experienced by us.

"We wish again to return our most sincere thanks for the most magnificent treatment we have received and to hope that should ever another occasion arise to test our courage and capacity as mariners we may be found as capable and successful as, it is conceded, we were during the November tempest on board the Glenora."

Addresses were made by Alds. McKelvey, Martin, Meek, J.B. Walkem and Gaskin and Capt. T. Donnelly and J. McIntyre. The meeting dispersed at nine o'clock after cheers were given for the famous mariners.

p.2 Who Will Be Manager? - discussion of internal affairs at R. & O. Navigation Co.; C.F. Gildersleeve rumored to be appointed. [Montreal Herald]

p.4 His Business In The West - Tomorrow Capt. T. Donnelly will leave for North Bay, where he will hold an investigation in connection with the steamer Camilla, charging the captain with having carried passengers without a certificate. He was convicted on the same charge last year. From North Bay Capt. Donnelly will go to Sault Ste. Marie, and prosecute the captain of the str. Grace Darling for carrying passengers without a certificate.

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12 Feb 1894
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
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Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 12 Feb 1894