The CCGS Alexander Henry was named in honor of the fur trader, who from about 1803 lead summer expeditions to the Thunder Bay area. Originally the ship was to be named Griffon but was changed to Alexander Henry just prior to launching

Alexander Henry was built by the Port Arthur Ship Building Company in 1959 for the Federal Department of Transport at a cost of $2,259,750.001959 as a replacement for the CGS St.Heliers.

The ship was designed by the Montreal Firm of Milne Gilmore & German as Design #865 in the early 1950s and was assigned builders #119. Construction started July 25th, 1957 and the vessel was Launched July 18, 1958. Alexander Henry was delivered to its owners on July 30th, 1959.

Alexander Henry
Alexander Henry


Alexander Henry entered service in 1959 with Captain Basil Dube and Chief Engineer Karl Zvejnicks on board. Mr. Zvejnicks served on the ship for 19 years until he joined the regional engineering staff in Toronto. The Henry worked the Parry Sound District for most of its career. In the 1980s Henry ventured to the Maritime Region as well as Newfoundland for the summer Buoy Program before returning to the Upper Great Lakes.

The Alexander Henry was replaced by the Icebreaker Samuel Risley in 1985 and was then given to the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston. In June of 2017, the ship was purchased by the Lakehead Transportation Museum Society of Thunder Bay and returned to its home port.


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