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Catherine Ann Gillis-MacInnis Day being celebrated today

This image shows a ship that was believed to look like The Arran, a ship which a number of boys who were stowaways were put off onto the ice in St. George’s Bay back in May of 1868.
This image shows a ship that was believed to look like The Arran, a ship which a number of boys who were stowaways were put off onto the ice in St. George’s Bay back in May of 1868. - Contributed

Bay St. George South will be celebrating Catherine Ann Gillis-MacInnis Day today (Saturday).

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This day represents the 150th anniversary of her sighting and rescue of four Scottish boys who had been stowaways on a bulk carrier out of Greenock, Scotland, headed for Quebec with a load of coal and oakum, according to a prepared release.

The ship had become stuck in slob ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, off the coast of the Highlands and it was seen by the captain and first mate as an opportunity to rid the ship of the boys’ presence.

Poorly clad, two without footwear and in a state of near starvation six boys were put over the side with little hope of survival.

By noon, one of the boys had slipped through the ice never to be seen again, and by 3 p.m. another succumbed to the cold and had to be left by the others who in their weakened state were not able to help.

Interpretative kiosks have been erected at the Highlands in their memory and to the miraculous rescue effected as a result of Gillis-MacInnis’ sighting.

The public is invited to the unveiling of the kiosks taking place at 2:30 p.m. near the site where Catherine Ann stood 150 years ago.

Following a reception will be held at the Lions Club in McKay’s where there will be Scottish music and hot food and refreshments will be served.

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