GOLD-HEADED CANE 2022: THE PORT OF QUÉBEC MARKS THE ARRIVAL OF THE FIRST SHIP OF THE YEAR
Québec City, January 3, 2022 — For the 187th consecutive year, the Québec Port Authority (QPA) awarded the prestigious Gold-Headed Cane today to the captain of the first ocean-going vessel from a foreign port to dock at the Port of Québec. Mr. Mario Girard, President and CEO of the QPA, was on hand to present the award to Mr. Kandangama Deniyegedara, Captain of the vessel Federal Hunter.
"The awarding of the Gold-Headed Cane is one of the oldest traditions in the history of Québec’s maritime and commercial industry. It began in 1835 and it was shipbuilder John Munn who brought the idea back from England. He was the first to cross the Atlantic in a steamboat built in Québec City. When he arrived at his destination, he was honoured with a gold snuffbox. Upon his return, he instituted this practice to reward the captain of the first ship of the year to successfully navigate the St. Lawrence River and reach Québec City. Over time, the snuffbox was replaced by the Gold-Headed Cane, but this custom continues today, and it is always with great pride and excitement that we present the precious trophy," said Mario Girard.
The Federal Hunter arrived at the Port of Québec from Russia on January 2, 2022, at 3:30 p.m. This bulk carrier docked at Section 107 of the Sollio Agriculture facility to deliver a cargo of fertilizer. The vessel will later head towards the Port of Summerside, Prince Edward Island. Built in 2000, the Federal Hunter is operated by Fednav International Ltd.
In the presence of several guests, including Mr. Simon Baillargeon, Vice-President, Business Development at Sollio Agriculture, Mr. Michel Laliberté, a pilot with the Corporation of Lower St. Lawrence Pilots, Ms. Nicole Trépanier, Senior Director of External Relations and Communications and Mr. Ean Patriquin, Director of Québec Operations for Fednav Limited, as well as Ms. Brittany Schooley, Maritime Agent at Lola, Mr. Girard presented Captain Kandangama Deniyegedara with the Cane. The latter warmly thanked the Port of Québec for this distinction: "I am very honoured to receive the 2022 Gold-Headed Cane. This is a very special moment for me as it is my first time in Québec City and my first trip as captain," he said.
The St. Lawrence River is one of the most difficult rivers in the world to navigate, especially at this time of the year when weather conditions can be extreme. The vessel was able to reach the Port of Québec and dock safely thanks to the extensive teamwork of numerous players in the maritime community.
About the Québec Port Authority
The Québec Port Authority is an autonomous shared governance organization constituted under the Canada Marine Act. The ships that pass through the Port are central to a supply chain that carries approximately $20 billion in goods each year. The Port of Québec is a maritime hub that generates and supports over 13,000 direct and indirect jobs, according to the latest KPMG/SECOR study.
Mr. Mario Girard, President and CEO, Québec Port Authority, Mr. Kandangama Deniyegedara, Captain of the Federal Hunter.
Back row, left to right:
Mr. Ean Patriquin, Director of Québec Operations, Fednav Limited, Ms. Brittany Schooley, Maritime Agent, Lola, Mr. Simon Baillargeon, Vice-President, Business Development, Sollio Agriculture, Ms. Nicole Trepanier, Senior Director, External Relations and Communications, Fednav Limited.
Front row, from left to right:
Mr. Mario Girard, President and CEO, Québec Port Authority, Mr. Kandangama Deniyegedara, Captain of the Federal Hunter, Mr. Michel Laliberté, Pilot, Corporation of Lower St. Lawrence Pilots.
Available upon request.
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Frédéric Lagacé, Assistant Director
Public affairs and Social responsibility
Québec Port Authority