Jeunes Citoyens / Young Citizens

Leah Saint John, New Brunswick

Fair address: Anglophone South Regional Heritage Fair (Saint John)

Project: History of Saint John Shipbuilding

This project explores when shipbuilding started in Saint John and covers how it changed over the years. If also gives a glimpse of the Port of Saint John and how shipbuilding helped mold the city we see today. A few notable ships like the Marco Polo and the HMCS Sackville have been discussed.

What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

An interesting fact that I learned while researching my project is that my great grandfather, Charlie Coakley, served on the HMCS Sackville as a stoker first class working in the engine rooms for the Navy. The Sackville was a warship constructed in Saint John during WWII. The Sackville is now a museum on the Halifax Waterfront which I look forward to visiting soon. I also found it interesting to learn that 143 ships were constructed at the at the Saint John Drydock during its 85 years in service including warships, ferries, tug boats, ice breakers and cargo ships.

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

Shipbuilding played an important role in the development and growth of Saint John. The prosperity of the shipbuilding industry helped invest in the creation of railways which also had a major impact on the growth of Canada east of the Maritimes. Shipbuilding is tied with the logging and manufacturing industries through construction, imports and exports helping bring the strengths of New Brunswick to the world. Although shipbuilding is not done in Saint John anymore, the Port is very vibrant with ships carrying diverse cargo and cruise ship passengers. The Port of Saint John is Eastern Canada's largest port by volume and is the 3rd largest in Canada.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

Today the Saint John Drydock sits vacant and the buildings are used by J.D. Irving as a Wallboard Manufacturing Plant. The Drydock closed in 2003. Shipbuilding was a prosperous time and employed many people. After the Drydock closed many skilled labourers moved away to find work elsewhere. The port of Saint John is still busy today with cargo and cruise ship traffic which continues to help the Saint John economy. When shipbuilding was prominent, many people traveled by boats. Today this is less so with people choosing to travel by airplane across the Atlantic.

  • Coleen

    Great job!
    29/06/2018 9:49:31 PM

  • roger jay carnahan

    Great job Leah!!
    24/06/2018 10:55:52 AM

  • Naomi Bourque

    Good job Leah! Good luck!!
    21/06/2018 3:05:41 PM

  • Anna Lorberer

    Great presentation Leah. Congratulations!
    21/06/2018 10:26:15 AM

  • Greg Murdock

    Very well done Leah. Ill share this video with as many as I can, in order for you to get the votes.
    21/06/2018 9:22:24 AM

  • Jim Davis

    Very interesting film Leah. Well done!
    21/06/2018 5:41:44 AM

  • Ross Whitcomb

    Awesome video Leah! Wish you good luck!
    21/06/2018 5:08:07 AM

  • Tanya Davis

    Great job Leah! Very informative and a super presentation.
    20/06/2018 12:17:01 PM

  • Beatrice Fox

    Great Job..!!!
    19/06/2018 10:01:36 PM

  • Frances Brownell

    Wonderful Job Leah! Your project was presented well. I know much thought was put into your project and your presentation. As the coordinator for the Regional Heritage Fair I am very proud of you and I wish you all the luck in being chosen to represent Saint John in Ottawa in the fall. Of course I give you full marks.
    19/06/2018 8:04:06 AM

+ Add Comment

Comments are moderated and will be reviewed before they are posted to the website.


Project partially funded by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage.
  • Canadian Heritage / Patrimoine Canadien
  • Government of Canada
  • HBC: Hudson's Bay Company
  • ecentricarts inc.