HAMILTON, ON – Theodore Tugboat today announced details for his arrival at his new home in the Port of Hamilton slated for July 18 which will include a special greeting and Indigenous blessing by Chief R Stacey Laforme, Chief of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (MNCFN) and Chief Kevin Deer of Kahnawake Mohawk and a flotilla.
Theodore TOO set sail from Halifax June 10, 2021, launching his ambassadorship with Swim Drink Fish to promote sustainability along with a goal to generate awareness of exciting opportunities and the need for skilled labour to support Canada’s vital marine industry, spanning industry and defence.
Theodore’s celebratory arrival into the Port of Hamilton will see him from Toronto’s Harbourfront towards Mississauga, Ontario, and Port Credit where he will be joined by a convoy of tugs and vessels including Toronto, Peel, Halton and Hamilton Regional Police Marine vessels. A birch bark canoe symbolic of Theodore’s reverence for Canada’s waterways and Indigenous leaders who are integrally involved in the mission and stewardship of water education and conservation efforts advanced by Swim Drink Fish is also planned as part of a public water show slated for 1:00PM EST.
« I believe Theodore and the new owner can help connect the Young and the Young at heart to the spirit of water. I am happy to be a part of the arrival in Hamilton upon the territory and treaty lands of the Mississaugas of the Anishnaabe, » Chief R Stacey Laforme stated.
« The outpouring of support for Theodore TOO across ports from Halifax to Ontario on Great Lakes and waterways has been remarkable and has affirmed his role as an ambassador for efforts focused on protecting our waterways and help people connect to them, “ said Theodore TOO owner Blair McKeil, former President of McKeil Marine. “Theodore TOO‘s story came to life not only in books and TV but in the lives and homes of Canadians, many who have greeted him and gone to great lengths to welcome him and be a part of this historic journey and new chapter. Our collaboration with Swim Drink Fish and the invitation to Canadians to share their watermarks and stories along with Indigenous leaders who stories are the foundation of our connection to the water is indeed an incredible honour.”
« Many Canadians hold our lands and waterways as sacred. Many more still are embracing practices to help protect the water as they find moments of joy at the water’s edge. We have great hope that Theodore’s beloved story and the fans who clearly have a deep connection to him will join us through one of the very many resources we offer from information on water quality, to sharing their stories, » said Mark Mattson, President, Swim Drink Fish.
« Water is one of the essentials that our Mother the Earth provides to sustain us, » states Rick Hill, Tuscarora Nation, and Indigenous Innovation Specialist at Mohawk College. « Our ancestors anticipated a time when the people of the ship and the people of the canoe will need to put their minds together to ensure safe drinking water for all, abundant fish life and the refreshing pleasure of swimming in clean water. »
(Photo shows Theodore TOO docked alongside the Marine Museum at the Great Lakes in Kingston ON. July 12, 2021)