Annual Convention Held At Collingwood.
Collingwood, Feb. 6th - The National Association of Marine Engineers has concluded its convention here, and will meet next February in Levis, Que. One of the most important matters which came up for discussion was that of the doing away with temporary certificates and bringing large tug boats under the same regulations as other vessels. The association has a bill now before parliament, and L.G. McCarthy, M.P., who has it in charge, was present and discussed it with the members.
It is claimed that in spite of alien labor law, American engineers come here and get employment on tugs to the exclusion of Canadians. It will be news to most people that anyone can be hired to run a tugboat engine, no certificate being required.
The new officers include F.S. Henning, Toronto, grand president; Neil J. Morrison, St. John, N.B., grand secretary (re-elected); Charles Robertson, Owen Sound, conductor; Therian, Levi, Que., doorkeeper; Gillie, Kingston, and Cronk, Windsor, auditors. At the banquet held on Thursday evening, Mr. McCarthy, J.S. Duff, M.P.P., and Captain Donnelly, Kingston, were guests.
It is estimated that the elevators at Duluth contain 17,000,000 bushels of grain, 7,000,000 bushels more than last year.
Capt. J.B. Symes, father of Captain George A. Symes, Detroit, died at Midland, Ont. Captain Symes was master of the steamer Sequin for a number of years.
Marine men are making strenuous efforts to improve conditions in the north branch of the Chicago river by the substitution of bascule bridges for the old centre pier structures now in use. Only the smaller boats can now use this branch of the river.
At the M.T. company shipyards about 75 men are employed making repairs to the fleet. The barge Hector is being rebuilt on the ways. The barges Montreal and Kildonan are receiving new decks. The barge Quebec's port bow is being replaced, it having been damaged in a collision with the wing wall of a lock in Welland canal on last trip down. The steamer Bothnia is receiving a new centre board box and repairs to after cabin. General repairs are being made to the balance of the fleet, including boiler and machine work.
Incidents of the Day - James Bowen, late steward of the Turbinia, Hamilton, has signed with the R. & O. steamship line for the coming season. It is probable he will run between Hamilton and Montreal.
MARINERS AT DINNER.
The local Masters' and Mates' Association held their annual dinner at their rooms, last night, and over fifty were present, including a number from district towns. The dinner was under the supervision of W.C. Macdonald, the efficient and popular steward of the steamer Toronto, Capt. E.A. Booth, Jr., commodore of the association presided. Among the speakers were George Hunter and Alderman Rigney
The speech of the evening was given by Capt. Thomas Donnelly, who stated that 1904 had been a most eventful one in marine circles. Canada had lost four of its most important marine men, viz. E.W. Rathbun (Deseronto); J.J. Long (Collingwood); John Bertram and John Foy (Toronto). The year was a disappointment as regards business, because of small grain shipments. Capt. Donnelly called attention to the fact that there had been less disasters on the lakes in 1904 than during any of the twenty-five years previous. This was due to freedom from fogs and to high water. Not one passenger had been drowned on the great lakes last year.
The speaker stated that while the United States government was formulating new rules for inspection, Canada's were in such good shape, that there was no cause for alarm. The Canadian government, Capt. Donnelly said, is doing a great deal for transportation, by improving the old routes, taking off the canal tolls, deepening the harbors on Georgian Bay and improving the St. Lawrence channels to a greater extent than ever before. In conclusion, the captain said that so long as the Masters' and Mates' Association existed for the improvement of its members, and not as a union, the steamboat owners of Canada could have no cause for complaint.