This Great Lakes self unloading bulk carrier was constructed as a joint effort between two ship yards. The 610’ stern section was built as hull #224 at Collingwood Shipyards, Collingwood, ON. The keel was laid for this section on April 29, 1982 and launched in a formal ceremony on October 21, 1982. On board for the launching was the vessel’s namesake Mr. John Black Aird, Lieutenant Governor of the province of Ontario at that time; Mr. William Davis, the Premier of Ontario at that time; and other dignitaries. Mr. Aird was born May 5, 1923 at Toronto, ON; trained as a lawyer being appointed to the Queen’s Counsel on January 1, 1960 and was a former Chairman of the Board of Algoma Central Railway. The stern section cleared Collingwood under tow of tugs Wilfred M. Cohen and John McLean on April 15, 1983 bound for Port Arthur Shipyards, Thunder Bay, ON to be mated up with her 120’ bow section. The new vessel was christened John B. Aird in a quiet ceremony on June 3, 1983 at Thunder Bay for Algoma Central Railway, Marine Division, Sault Ste. Marie, ON. The christening followed the electrocution of 2 shipyard workers June 1, 1983 who were in the process of cleaning up the vessel for its christening.
John B. Aird