The Top Hat Tradition

 

Every year, the Captain of the first ship of the season to arrive into the Goderich Port is honoured during the Top Hat Ceremoney at Town Hall. This tradition dates back to the 1930s, and has its roots in early Great Lakes shipping, when it was often a race to get into port first after the ice break up. 
 

During the Top Hat Ceremony, the Captain is presented with the antique top hat at Town Hall. Each Captain signs the hat, often while sitting in the Mayor's chair, and is treated to dinner by the Town. This year the first ship in the Harbour was the  Robert S. Pierson captained by Capt. Ted Brown. 

 

The Goderich Port isn't the only port with a ceremony celebrating the first ship of the season. Click here to read about the Port of Toronto's Beaver Hat Ceremony.

 

First Ship of the Season at Goderich Harbour (1932-2017)

Year Ship Name Captain Date of Arrival
2017  Robert S. Pierson Capt. Ted Brown April 5th
2016 Amstelborg Capt. Huib van der Mijle April 4th
2015 Cpt. Henry Jackman Capt. Neil Olsen April 6th
2014 Canadian Navigator Capt. Peter Carpenter  April 9th
2013 Algoma Navigator Capt. Wayne Penney April 2nd
2012 Peter R Cresswell Capt. Peter Schultz March 30th
2011 Canadian Progress Capt. Peter Carpenter March 17th
2010 Canadian Progress Capt. Mark Young March 19th
2009 Canadian Olympic Capt. Richard Hesketh March 15th
2008 CSL Niagara Capt. Jim Leaney March 15th
2007 Right Hounouralbe Paul J. Martin Capt. Andrew Ferris March 22nd
2006 CSL Niagara Jim Leaney March 16th
2005 Algosteel Les Comrie March 21st
2004 Nanticoke Gordon Hacquoil March 20th
2003 Frontenac John Bentum March 26th
2002 Algowood Douglas A. Taylor April 2nd
2001 Algobay James Wilhelm March 30th
2000 Markhannah John Nations March 24th
1999 Algoway Neil Olsen April 9th
1998 M.V. Canadian Olympic Capt. Austin Peckford March 23rd
1997 Algomarine Capt. Bond Sevor March 18th
1996 John B. Aird Capt. Almer Strong March 27th
1995 Algoway Capt. Craig Williams March 28th
1994 M.V. Agawa Canyon Capt. Rick Whyte March 27th
1993 M.V. Agawa Canyon Capt. Doug Purvis March 29th
1992 Algowood Capt. Maurice Richardson March 25th
1991 Algolake Capt. Charles Philips March 29th
1990 Algowood Capt. Maurice Richardson March 27th
1989 M.V. Agawa Canyon Capt. Doug Purvis March 27th
1988 M.V. Agawa Canyon Capt. Doug Purvis March 29th
1987 Algorail Capt. S. Koutsogiannis April 5th
1986 Algolake Capt. Charles Philips April 5th
1985 Algowood Capt. Maurice Richardson March 29th
1984 M.V. Agawa Canyon Capt. Claude Jeannotte March 30th
1983 Algoway Capt. Tonu Soovere March 20th
1982 Algobay Capt. Alexander Nazar April 16th
1981 Canadoc Capt. John McKenzie April 2nd
1980 M.V. Agawa Canyon Capt. Claude Jeannotte March 31st
1979 M.V. Agawa Canyon Capt. Claude Jeannotte April 12th
1978 M.V. Agawa Canyon Capt. Claude Jeannotte April 5th
1977 Quebecois Capt. Donat Perron April 6th
1976 E.B. Barber Capt. Jim M. Scott April 6th
1975 Algorail Capt. C.E. Belcher March 20th
1974 S.S. Goderich Capt. Roy Munday March 31st
1973 M.V. Agawa Canyon Capt. F.G. Wagg March 27th
1972 Sarniadoc Capt. Wm. Brownlea April 16th
1971 E.B. Barber Capt. Albert B. Purvis April 7th
1970 Lawrendoc Capt. Ray L. Chamber April 9th
1969 Kingdoc Capt. Walter Collins April 3rd
1968 Hamildoc Capt. Boubonais April 7th
1967 Joseph Medill Paterson Capt. Fred Bingham April 8th
1966 The Windsor (Imperial) Capt. James Irwin March 25th
1965 The Windsor (Imperial) Capt. James Irwin April 15th
1964 Kingdoc Capt. Walter Collins April 3rd
1963 Algocen Capt. Ben Sylvie April 29th
1962 Imperial Windsor Capt. J. Burns April 7th
1961 Imperial Cornwall Capt. Osterdahl March 22nd
1960 Imperial Cornwall Capt. J.G. Knight April 12th
1959 Imperial London Capt. James Burns April 9th
1958 Imperial Hamilton Capt. H.C. McLellon April 22nd
1957 Imperial London Capt. James Burns March 25th
1956 Imperial London Capt. James Burns April 6th
1955 Imperial Simcoe Capt. Davies March 29th
1954 Imperial London Capt. James Burns March 27th
1953 Saracen Capt. Rooul Mailette April 5th
1952 Imperial Cobourg Capt. C.G. Slone March 26th
1951 Imperial Cobourg Capt. C.G. Slone March 16th
1950 Imperial Windsor Capt. Osterdahl April 2nd
1949 Imperial Kingston Capt. Percy Butters March 24th
1948 Imperial Simcoe Capt. H.A. McLennon April 1st
1947 Imperial Windsor Capt. C.R. Dyon April 16th
1946 Imperoyal Capt. McClelland March 23rd
1945 Simcolite Capt. Milne March 28th
1944 Windsolite Capt. C.R. Dyon March 28th
1943 Iocolite Capt. D. Williamson April 10th
1942 Acadialite Capt. E. Jenkins March 21st
1941 Windsolite Capt. C.R. Dyon April 3rd
1940 Acadialite Capt. E. Jenkins April 20th
1939 Coalhaven Capt. Belcher April 20th
1938 Miseford   April 5th
1937 Iocolite Capt. Knight April 8th
1936 Superior Capt. Hudson April 29th
1935 Iocolite   April 11th
1934 Sarnian   April 27th
1933 Anna C. Minch (wrecked Lake Michigan-1940)   April. 23rd
1932 Acadialite Capt. Earl Jenkins April 5th