Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Scanner, v. 29, no. 6 (March 1997), p. 10

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Ship of the Month - cont'd. 10. sues during a time when your Editor was sorely in need of assistance. We would like to hear from any member who has further information concerning OCEAN. In particular, we would like to solve the mystery concerning the location where the photographs of PERSIA and OCEAN (see this month's photo­ page) were taken; one thing is certain - they were not taken at the Port Dalhousie piers! * * * * * WILLIAM JAMES LUKE It is with sadness that we report the passing, on Thursday, February 13, 1997, of William J. Luke, latterly of St. Clair, Michigan. The funeral service was held at St. Clair on February 15th, and officiating was Rev. Richard W. Ingalls, of the Mariners' Church, Detroit. Interment was at Mt. Hope Cemetery at Port Huron, Michigan. Born December 28, 1927, Bill was a native Detroiter. After graduating from high school in Bloomfield Hills in June of 1946, Bill was able to secure a position as deckhand/deckwatch aboard the Pittsburgh Steamship Company's "super" LEON FRASER for the 1946 season, and he always consi­ dered himself privileged to have been able to experience that summer on a vessel such as the FRASER. The majority of Bill's working years were spent in the field of banking, but he always enjoyed watching Great Lakes shipping, particularly from the family's summer home at Gratiot Beach on the Lake Huron shore. He also travelled the lakes extensively aboard NORTH AMERICAN, SOUTH AMERI­ CAN and ASSINIBOIA, as well as various freighters. Two highlights for Bill were being aboard SOUTH AMERICAN on her last trip in October of 1967 (he delivered one of the keynote addresses on the wharf before the ship cleared Detroit), and also being on the Hanna bulk carrier PAUL H. CARNAHAN for her scrap delivery trip down the lakes in August of 1986. Bill had been active in the Marine Historical Society of Detroit since 1948, serving at various times as Treasurer, Vice-President and, for two separate terms, as President, and he edited "The Log", a feature of the Society's "Detroit Marine Historian", for over fifteen years. Latterly, he was an Honourary Member of the Advisory Council and, in 1990, he was named Great Lakes Historian of the Year by the Society. Bill Luke held membership number 54 in the Toronto Marine Historical So­ ciety, having joined our group very shortly after its formation, and he was responsible for securing a large number of Detroit-area members for T. M. H. S. in its early years. Bill freely shared his collection of marine photos with us and he always enjoyed meeting fellow ship-watchers on his visits to the Soo, the Welland Canal, and other observation points around the lakes. Your Editor and his late father enjoyed the hospitality of the Lukes on many occasions at their Birmingham and Gratiot Beach homes and those were pleasant times indeed. But the years pass by so quickly, and Bill has now joined the ranks of the many prominent marine historians of the lakes who have passed on in recent years. We shall miss him. We extend our deepest sympathy to Bill's wife, Phyllis, and to their son, Jim, and daughter, Julie. * * Ed. Note: Our thanks for the collaboration of Wayne Garrett in the prepara­ tion of this notice.

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