Parts of MV Holiday Island to be preserved on P.E.I.

The fire on board the MV Holiday Island in July forced the evacuation of around 200 people. (John Morris/REUTERS - image credit)
The fire on board the MV Holiday Island in July forced the evacuation of around 200 people. (John Morris/REUTERS - image credit)

Some items from the MV Holiday Island, which will no longer be sailing following a fire in July, may soon make their way to museums.

"We at Northumberland Ferries Limited are working with … the P.E.I. Museum and Heritage Foundation and other, you know, historians of provincial and national interest to, you know, offer up and preserve different artifacts and bits of the history of the ship," said Mark Wilson, senior vice-president of Northumberland Ferries.

The MV Holiday Island was in service for 50 years beginning with the federal government, and then for Northumberland Ferries from 1997 until this past summer when a fire put an end to its trips from Wood Islands, P.E.I. to Caribou, N.S.

Members of the P.E.I. Museum and Heritage Foundation boarded the ship last week to analyze some items, Wilson said.

Items with 'a literacy trend'

An old phone was removed from the ship as well as the muster list — a list of functions each member of the crew is supposed to do if there is an emergency, Wilson said.

"The general arrangement of the vessel, basically it's the ship layout by deck level and it's got the lifesaving and fire locations on it," he said.

"They were very interested in stuff that had … a literacy trend. You know, like an old engine room logbook."

Julien Lecacheur/Radio-Canada
Julien Lecacheur/Radio-Canada

Matthew McRae is the executive director of  the P.E.I. Museum and Heritage Foundation. He said a collection team selected several items it would like to preserve for Islanders.

"We have a number of items that we now have gift agreements for," he said.

"We have the 1971 ship registry, which is when it was registered with Transport Canada."

Items from the ship will be part of future in-person exhibitions, and photographed to be put on the foundation's website, McRae said.

'An integral part of their life'

People have attachments to ships, especially ferries, Wilson said.

"What I think about is how many people from the Maritimes and elsewhere, but you know more specifically from Prince Edward Island ... before the bridge and after the bridge, how much of an integral part of their life," Wilson said.

"Our own internal employees at  Northumberland Ferries Limited, this is their workplace, they have spent hundreds and hundreds if not thousands of hours on the Holiday Island. So it's very important to preserve some of these pieces of history."