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Port of Québec awards Gold-Headed Cane to first ship of 2022

For the 187th consecutive year, the Québec Port Authority (QPA) awarded the prestigious Gold-Headed Cane on January 3 to the captain of the first ocean-going vessel from a foreign port to dock at the Port of Québec. Mario Girard, President and CEO of the QPA, was on hand to present the award to  Kandangama Deniyegedara, Captain of the vessel Federal Hunter (per photo).

“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 Simon Baillargeon, Vice-President, Business Development at Sollio Agriculture, Michel Laliberté, a pilot with the Corporation of Lower St. Lawrence Pilots, Nicole Trépanier, Fednav Senior Director of External Relations and Communications and Ean Patriquin, Director of Québec Operations for Fednav Limited, as well as 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. (Photo Port of Quebec)