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Armoured Canadian Fisheries cruiser *Vigilant,* 11707
or
Canadian Government 3rd Class Cruiser *Vigilant,* 117070

Built 1904 at Toronto, Ontario, by the Polson Iron Works as their hull no. 70; 396grt 243nrt 177.0 x 22.1 x 13.2ft ; T3cy 65nhp Poulson IW

She served the Ministry of Marine & Fisheries as a fishery protection cruiser on Great Lakes until 1921 when she was sold to M. Chew, Midland Ont.

In 1924 or 1932 (depending on source) she was sold to John Payette of Penetanguishene, Ontario, apparently with the intention of converting her to a (monstrous) fish tug.

In 1935 Ernest Glover of Port Stanley purchased her and had her converted to a barge by the Port Colborne Iron Works, Ltd.

Owned by R. E. Gibson of Simcoe, 1938-1944, the Hindman Transportation Co., Ltd., of Owen Sound purchased her and converted her to a crane-equipped pulpwood barge that year.

She retained that distinctive stem her entire career, which must have caused some consternation for Hindman's tug captains.

A photograph of her as such appears in the late John Greenwood's *Namesakes, 1956-1980,* p. 270. She was scrapped in 1956 by the Steel Company of Canada at Hamilton.

The building in the background is a grain elevator, and the location may be Owen Sound or possibly Midland, both on Georgian Bay, probably in the late 'teens.

With many thanks to William Lafferty, PhD and David Asprey.

Despite the fact that this vessel has the description "HMS Vigilant" written on it and that the negative was also thus described when it was sent to me, a number of things didn't quite add up:
  1. HMS Vigilant 1871 - 1886, Despatch vessel of 985 tons much larger and was paddle powered.
  2. I would have thought that HMS Vigilant 1900 - 1920 should have had a turtle back forecastle, which was confirmed by Bob Todd when I made enquiries about this vessel. In addition Bob Todd and John Stevenson also advise that HMS Vigilant had 3 funnels, so it obviously wasn't the HMS Vigilant for this period.
  3. The elevator in the background was nothing like anything one might find in the UK, which is confirmed by William Lafferty, who states it is a grain elevator.
  4. The electricity supply and rolling stock appear to be non-European.

My thanks to everyone for the information supplied to make this page possible.

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Armoured Canadian Fisheries cruiser *Vigilant*