Gov­er­nor Gen­eral takes a sail aboard Bluenose II

South Shore Breaker - - LOCAL - JOSH HEALEY edi­tor@southshore­breaker.ca

As seen in

Dur­ing her first of­fi­cial visit to Nova Sco­tia on June 26 and 27, Gov. Gen. Julie Payette trav­elled to Lunen­burg to ex­plore the town’s sea­far­ing her­itage.

Payette’s tour in­cluded a sail aboard Bluenose II, which drew both fans and pro­test­ers.

For his part, Bluenose II cap­tain Phil Wat­son said he was happy to have Payette aboard.

“It’s a great way for us to show­case the ship on a na­tional level,” said Wat­son.

The visit also of­fered the ship’s deck­hands an op­por­tu­nity to meet Payette and Premier Stephen Mcneil, who was also in at­ten­dance.

“They’ve worked re­ally hard,” said Wat­son, not­ing how much it means for the crew to meet the dig­ni­taries.

“They did two months of prep to get the ship ready for the sum­mer sea­son and now they have a chance to show it off.”

Lunen­burg Mayor Rachel Bai­ley said she was also pleased by Payette’s visit.

“It’s very ex­cit­ing for some­one of her stature to come to Lunen­burg,” she said.

Prior to board­ing the ship, Bai­ley also had a chance to take Payette to the Fish­er­men’s Memo­rial along the wa­ter­front. Bai­ley said that Payette seemed very in­ter­ested in the his­tory of the com­mu­nity.

“It’s wonderful that she’s learn­ing about the dif­fer­ent cul­tures across the coun­try, and we’re very happy to share some of Lunen­burg and what makes Lunen­burg spe­cial with her,” said Bai­ley.

The event drew a crowd, with chil­dren and fans in­ter­act­ing with Payette, who is a for­mer as­tro­naut and a grad­u­ate of the Univer­sity of Toronto.

Chris Zhu, who is a re­cent engi­neer­ing grad­u­ate from the same school, had a mo­ment to speak with Payette and said they had a con­nec­tion.

“That was re­ally cool to see her. At school, they have a sort of hall of fame and she has a box there. I’ve walked past it so many times so it’s re­ally cool to meet her in per­son,” said Zhu.

But not all those in at­ten­dance were fans, as a small group of pro­test­ers from the Cam­paign to Pro­tect Off­shore Nova Sco­tia po­si­tioned them­selves near the ship.

One of the pro­test­ers, By­ron Rogers, said the group was present to let the premier know that they were con­cerned about the re­cent spill of syn­thetic drilling mud off of Nova Sco­tia’s coast. Rogers high­lighted that the group was con­cerned an­other spill may oc­cur.

“The fish­eries are at risk when oil is spilled,” he said.

Fol­low­ing the sail aboard Bluenose II, Mcneil and Payette vis­ited the Fish­eries Mu­seum of the At­lantic for a re­cep­tion.

Josh Healey

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette chats with a group of chil­dren from aboard Bluenose II dur­ing a trip to Nova Sco­tia.

Josh Healey

Premier Stephen Mcneil greets Gov. Gen. Julie Payette.

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