The Gazette from Montreal, Quebec, Canada on September 17, 2003 · 4
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The Gazette from Montreal, Quebec, Canada · 4

Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Issue Date:
Wednesday, September 17, 2003
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EARLY EDITION THE GAZETTE, MONTREAL, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2003 IN FOCUS The Jeanie Johnston sails into Montreal tomorrow. It's a re-creation of one of the ships that brought thousands of 'famine Irish' here, changing the face of Quebec and Canada L COUJ VOYAGE OF REMEMBRANCE CANADIAN PRESS Abby Cassidy, 2, reflects the mood of adults gathered in Belleville, Ont., to support the Cattle Drive to Parliament Hill. Farmers from western Canada stopped in Belleville to collect signatures in support of Canadian beef producers. Isabel sends 110,000 fleeing Long lines of cars, pickup trucks and SUVs flow inland in waves as authorities ordered 110,000 people to evacuate the North Carolina coast in preparation for Hurricane Isabel. PageA20 Dreamweaver For Alpha Blondy, reggae star from Ivory Coast, music is as much about politics as about partying, which invites more comparisons to Bob Marley Blondy is in Montreal to perform tonight. Page D5 Bankrupt Ivaco to restructure Montreal steelmaker Ivaco Inc. is restructuring under protection from its creditors and plans to streamline its Canadian business and shut down its U.S. operations. Page Bl Caffeine fights muscle pain Caffeine not only revs you up before exercise, it also helps improve performance by cutting muscle pain during vigorous workouts, according to new research. PagtAtt CAST YOUR VOTE Do you think authorities in Quebec City should have moved faster to remove a daycare worker under investigation for child pornography? Jbu can cast your vote in our daily poll all day long by logging onto canada.commontreal. Your answers will appear in tomorrow's Gazette and on Global TV's evening newscast. Yesterday's question was: Do you think students should be banned from speaking in school corridors? yes: 12 of votes; no: 88 For breaking news, 247, log on to: ' www.canada.cornmontreal A DEMAIN THE GAZETTE Moist vocalist David Usher's third solo album is the ethereal Hallucinations. Usher's lucid Hallucinations When David Usher released the first album under his own name in 1998, there was little indication his solo career would eventually eclipse his day job with anthemic rockers Moist. With the release of his third solo disc, Hallucinations, it's done just that. Arts & Ufa ALAN HUSTAK THE GAZETTE Standing at the stern of the Jeanie Johnston, Peter Shea couldn't help but think of his ancestors who came to Canada aboard an Irish famine ship. Shea, a former president of the St. Patrick's Society of Montreal, spent four days in August aboard the re-creation of the 19th-century immigrant ship, now on its maiden voyage to North America. Shea's ancestors hailed from Ireland's County Kerry, where the replica of the barque was built, and he'd like to imagine his forebears came to Canada aboard the Jeanie Johnston. "There is no proof, but if s nice to speculate. They did leave from Kenmare," a town in County Kerry, he said. Shea kept the 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. watch while he was aboard the Jeanie Johnston. Each dawn, he said, he couldn't help but reflect on what it must have been like to have endured a 47-day voyage aboard so small a ship. Because the 75,000 "famine Irish" who were shipped to Canada by boat between 1847 and 1853 were British subjects -whether they wanted to be or not - authorities in British North America did not keep immigration records as detailed as those of the United States. There is no way to know who sailed aboard what ship. The Jeanie Johnson, therefore, is symbolic of all the so-called "coffin ships" that brought Irish immigrants to North America. Today, an estimated 300,000 Quebecers, most of them francophones, are believed to have Irish roots. Three recent Quebec premiers with Irish roots are expected to welcome the replica when it sails into Montreal at noon tomorrow. Jean Charest, whose mother is of Irish descent, will be on hand. Former premiers Pierre Marc Johnson and his brother Daniel Johnson are honourary commodores of the vessel. The floating museum arrives in Montreal three years behind schedule, but it is still expected to make waves when it ties up at the Jacques Cartier Pier in Montreal harbour for the next four days. Escort ships will accompany the square-sterned, three-masted barque into harbour. The Montreal Pipes and Drums will play A who's who of Montreal's Irish community, including Quebec Environment Minister Thomas Mulcair, has been invited to take part in the ceremonies. Ireland's ambassador to Canada, Martin Burke, will also be on hand. The Jeanie Johnston has been working its way up the Atlantic coast since it arrived in Florida in April. The public will not be charged admission to board the vessel in Montreal, although donations to help defray the cost of the ship's stop will be solicited. The lower decks have been converted into an interpretive centre that illustrates the cramped conditions Irish immigrants fleeing the potato famine had to endure. "Today, you can come from Ireland in ' a plane in six hours," said Paul Loftus, vice-chairperson of the local Jeanie Johnson committee, the organization promoting the ship's visit to Montreal. "These people spent 47 days in horrendous conditions. This ship is a tribute to their courage" The appeal of the ship is not restricted to those of Irish descent Rosaire Rheaume, a retired Montreal contractor, has booked passage as a trainee for next week's trip between Montreal and Grosse tie, an island in the St. Lawrence River about 45 kilometres downstream from Quebec City. Grosse tie was the quarantine station where 8,000 Irish immigrants died of cholera they had contracted at sea. "I've always had a penchant for Quebec history, and since I was born in Riviere du Loup, I have a high interest in what happened at Grosse lie," Rheaume said. "I owned my own boat, and it has always been my dream to take the wheel of a tall ship." ABOUT THE SHIP Rig: Three-masted barque with four square sails and single topsails. Length: 37.5 metres Beam: 8 metres Draft: 4.2 metres Displacement: 510 tonnes. Crew: 40, 11 permanent, 29 trainees. The ship is propelled by two 280-horsepower Caterpillar engines. The original ship was sold to British interests in 1855 and sank in 1858. The Jeanie Johnston's Web site is p"44 " 'fz, ' s m:" 111 i - -' saas' -.-i-i TED PRITCHARD HALIFAX CHRONICLE HERALD The Jeanie Johnston, a replica of a 19th-century Irish emigrant barque, arrives in Halifax on Aug. 29 afte; stops in Florida and along the Atlantic seaboard after crossing from Ireland. It left Tralee, Ireland, in February. A museum to the diaspora Ship-building idea was to mark 150th anniversary of Great Famine The original Jeanie Johnston was built in Quebec to haul Canadian timber to Britain and to bring back immigrants from Ireland in the same cramped hold where the lumber had been stored. It wasn't the biggest immigrant ship, but because it was one of the few to have a medical doctor on board, it was the safest It crossed the Atlantic 16 . times between 1848 and 1856 without losing any passengers. Because of its stellar record, a replica was conceived as an ideal floating museum to remember the Irish diaspora. The idea of building the replica originated 10 years ago as a local initiative in County Kerry, Ireland, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Great Famine of 1847. That year marked the unprecedented flight from Ireland of an estimated two million people because of a potato crop failure. It is believed as many as 60,000 died in the so-called "coffin ships." . Initially, it was thought the new Jeanie Johnston could be built for $3 million, but by the time the project was finished, it was three years behind schedule and had cost $20 million. Crews from both Ireland and Northern Ireland worked together on the ship as a peace project. But as costs escalated, support for "It is an extraordinary vision." Brendan Dinneen the project soured . "It is an extraordinary vision which, because it had never been done before, had many unfortunate incidents along the way," said Brendan Dinneen, secretary of the Jeanie Johnston Co., the corporation responsible for operating the ship until the end of the year "The crowning difficulty came in May 2001, when she was about to make her sea trials and the entire electrical system had to be replaced," Dinneen said. "In addition to building the ship, it now costs $340,000 this year alone to underwrite the operation." To recpup expenses, the ship's promoters offer training courses and profit from the sale of books, T-shirts and related memorabilia. Blueprints for the original ship didn't exist There was, however, some basic information on file with the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England. Using that information, the ship was designed by Fred Walker, the museum's chief naval architect. "It's not a replica; it is a re-creation," explained Alan Ruffman, a Halifiix marine historian. "The deck house, for example, is much more elaborate than the original would have been. It has sewage disposal and, of course, it's air conditioned." The ship has four steel bulkheads, six watertight doors, five fire doors and a lower deck filled with machinery ALAN HUSTAK h CALENDAR OF EVENTS Tomorrow: The Jeanie Johnston sails into Montreal harbour at noon and drops anchor at the Jacques Cartier Pier. The Montreal Pipes and Drums will perform. Friday: The ship is open to the public between 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. There is no admission fee, but a contribution of $5 to $10 is requested. A free concert by La Bottine Souriante and Irish fiddler Gerry O'Neill starts at 8 p.m. at the Big Stage in the Old Port. Saturday: The ship is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. A free concert featuring Orealis and some of Montreal's best-known Celtic artists starts at 8 p.m. at the Big Stage. Sunday: The ship is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Celtic Grace Dancers and Les Pieds Legers perform at the Big Stage at 1:30 p.m. Monday: The Jeanie Johnston sets sail for Quebec City and Crosse lie. If you miss the ship in Montreal, it will be docked in Quebec City on S pt. 24 to 29. -t-

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