St. Lawrence II, built in 1953 is a Canadian story of diversity.
The boat was photographed in Port Dalhousie during Canada Day 2022.
Alistair Beverley, Chief Mate SL2 in an interview with Mosaic Edition said the boat symbolizes the diversity of Canada.
His message for Canada Day was inspiring. He said, “To be truly Canadian is to be accepting of everybody.”
St Lawrence II, based in Kitchener – Ontario, was built in 1953 to train youth. She was built as a training ship so the youth can acquire leadership skills, learn all sorts of skills including knot tying and sailing.
Since 69 years of launch, the St. Lawrence II has not missed a season.
At the time of the report the boat had 15 trainees aged between 14 and 18.
The youth are first accepted as trainee.
“If they show a good outcome after training, they can return to be crew member,” said Alistair Beverley.
They can then learn more skills including navigation. If they show a lot of promise they can be assisted with getting licenses.
The Chief Mate SL2 as well as the captain came through the program. The training can lead to obtaining commercial licenses, which could set the youth for a great career.
St. Lawrence II is special because it is a traditionally rigged boat. The 72-foot long boat is highly complicatedly rigged that nothing on the boat can be done alone, said Alistair Beverley.
“We need team work to do everything,” he noted. This builds character because none of the crew can do it alone.
The boat has diverse crew. St Lawrence II flies the Canada flag, the Pride flag, the Nunavut Territory flag and the Tall Ships Challenge 2022 flag.
St. Lawrence II benefits from the generosity of the Ayalik Fund – According to its website, “The Ayalik Fund aims to give Inuit youth a boost as they navigate modern adolescence in the challenging environment of the North.”
The Ayalik Fund sponsors “Youth programs centered on self-examination and confidence building – such as on-the-land experiential programs, canoe trips, backpacking treks, sailing adventures, cultural immersions, special needs camps, international programs and others.”
Alistair Beverley said some of the crew is brought on board from Nunavut.
Often, it is the first time some of the youth are out of the territory.
The youth program is also supported by Tall Ship Expeditions Canada – It states on its website, “Tall Ship Expeditions Canada is a youth-focused charitable organization that provides people from varying backgrounds and communities with an opportunity to explore their own capabilities and learn transferable life skills through a hands on outdoor adventure program while sailing aboard Canada’s original tall ship St. Lawrence II.”