Marine historian and author Skip Gillham writes:
I grew up in Toronto and often made a weekend trip to the waterfront with my father who kept a record of the ships we saw in port.
After graduating from Victoria College, University of Toronto, in 1963, I got the opportunity to spend part of the summer as an “oiler” on the Great Lakes tanker LUBROLAKE. The St. Lawrence Seaway was now in its fifth season and the nature of Great Lakes shipping was changing. The old ships he remembered were disappearing and, as a history major, I began to research their fates.
I returned from sailing to attend McMaster University and obtain a Physical Education degree and then began a 33-year career as a high school teacher.
As my marine research progressed, I began writing articles for historical journals. In 1970, I succeeded the late Capt. Geoffrey Hawthorn as author of “Ships That Ply The Lakes” in the St. Catharines Standard and, combining the two pf us, the popular feature is now in its 56th year. The following year, I wrote “Ships Along the Seaway”, the first of my now more than 60 books.
I was honoureed to be named “Great Lakes Historian of the Year” by the Marine Historical Society of Detroit in 1994. I continue my research and writing and my articles have appeared in a variety of historical, corporate and newspaper publications over the years.