The new ferry for the Grand Passage service between Long Island and Brier Island, Digby County, was officially christened as Margaret’s Justice to honour a local heroine, Margaret Davis.
Participating in the ceremony today, Nov. 12, in Westport, Brier Island, were Alva McDormand, a long-time Brier Island resident, Premier Stephen McNeil, Clare-Digby MLA Gordon Wilson and descendants of Margaret Davis.
In the spring, the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal held a name-the-new-islands ferry campaign at the Islands Consolidated School, in Freeport. The successful submission was Margaret’s Justice from Grade 12 student Carter Thurber.
Margaret Davis, who lived on Brier Island from 1788-1858, was a mother to nine children, a healer, and a farmer. In 1828 the 63-year-old widow was threatened with losing her land to a neighbour. She walked to Halifax to fight for the right to her land and was successful.
“Margaret’s Justice tells a great story of a courageous woman whose actions were many years ahead of her time,” said Premier McNeil. “Margaret Davis’ fight for justice continues to be an inspirational story in the islands’ history. We are honoured to have Ms. Davis’ name on our provincial ferry.”
The $9.3-million ferry can carry 95 passengers and 18 vehicles. It was designed by EYE Marine Consultants of Dartmouth and built by A.F. Theriault and Son Boatyard of Meteghan, Digby County.
The Margaret’s Justice ferry will begin service in December. The present ferry, the Joe Casey, will continue to provide service between Long Island and Brier Island until December.