What Oscars are to Leonardo DiCaprio, ferry naming contests are to Vince Coleman.
Once again, the municipality is inviting residents to vote on the name of the newest Halifax Harbour ferry. This will be the third and final harbour vessel to be titled by the general public, and one last chance for heartbreak for all the Vincent Colefans out there. The train dispatcher has always been a bridesmaid, never a bride in the two previous naming competitions.
This year’s nominees are...
Private John Curwin: A Mount Uniacke native and armed forces member who was killed in 2008 when his vehicle struck an IED in Afghanistan.
Viola Desmond: The black businesswoman who in 1946 unknowingly sat in the “whites only” section of a New Glasgow movie theatre and spent the night in jail for it. Her story highlighted segregation in Canada and she became an important civil rights figure that we honoured with that one day last year.
Major Gavin Rainnie: Born in Dartmouth, the Royal Canadian Artillery member was killed on D-Day, 1944 at Juno Beach.
Ron Wallace: A former optometrist turned provincial MLA and later Halifax’s longest serving mayor—from 1980 to 1991. Wallace passed away in 2008.
...and also Vincent Coleman: From that Heritage Minute.
A press release from HRM says over 200 names were submitted last fall, which were reviewed and narrowed down “based on appropriateness, originality, cultural significance and diversity.”
Mayor Mike Savage and representatives from HRM’s three community councils chose the final five entries.
This is the last new ferry naming contest for the foreseeable future. The three new vessels are being commissioned to replace aging infrastructure in Halifax Transit’s current fleet of five ferries.
The previous two ferries were named after Christopher Stannix (the Cole Harbour soldier killed in 2007 in Afghanistan), and Craig Blake (the first Canadian sailor killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan). Which means John Curwin is probably the front-runner here.
Online voting and more information on the finalists is available at www.halifax.ca/surveys. Voting will last until end of day Monday, February 15. The submitter of the winning name will receive a one-year transit pass from Halifax Transit. The new replacement ferry should be hitting the water this summer.