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The Vincent Coleman officially joins Halifax Transit's ferry fleet

Haligonians picked the name Vincent Coleman in a ferry-naming contest held last year
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The Vincent Coleman officially joins Halifax Transit's fleet of ferries (Chris Halef/

Halifax Transit's newest ferry has officially joined the fleet.

Haligonians picked the name Vincent Coleman in a ferry-naming contest held last year.

The train dispatcher stayed at his post to send a message to an incoming train on the morning of December 6, 1917, warning them that a munitions ship was on fire in Halifax Harbour.

According to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Passenger Train No. 10 was carrying around 300 people and scheduled to pass along the approach tracks right in front of the blazing Mont-Blanc.

At 9:05 am, Mont-Blanc exploded. Coleman was one of approximately 2,000 people who died in the Halifax Explosion.

Coleman's granddaughters were at the dedication ceremony held at Alderney Ferry Terminal Wednesday morning.

Ann Finlayson and Janette Snooks said their grandmother would have been thrilled that so many still remember her husband's sacrifice.

"We were all very proud of his actions, and the family was, but we never in our wildest dreams ever thought that the whole city would take upon this wonderful honour to him," said Finlayson, who lives in Ottawa.

Snooks lives in the Halifax and hopes she'll be able to take the Vincent Coleman next time she crosses the harbour on a ferry.

"It's an honour for us as a family to have something that's going to be used by the people," said Snooks.

"Vincent Coleman epitomizes heroism, a man whose brave and selfless act lives on a century after our city's greatest tragedy," said Mayor Mike Savage. "There may be no better place to honour his name than on a new vessel that safely transports people across the Halifax Harbour."

This is the fourth new addition to the ferry fleet, previous vessels have been named for Christopher Stannix, Craig Blake and Viola Desmond.

A fifth ferry, the Rita Joe, will be unveiled later this year.

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