April 23, 2016

Casting off by Lynn J Simpson


May 4, 1995, under a clear spring sky, the Edmonton Queen Riverboat navigated the North Saskatchewan River waters for the first time as  hundreds of spectators lined the banks. 

I wonder if Ray Collins was among those hundreds?

See, according to the stories told, Mr. Collins since a young lad  had been fascinated by the stories of steam boats that once sailed the river of Edmonton.  Delivering lumber to the North West Mounted Police in Fort Saskatchewan, the steamwheelers operated from 1874 until  1915 when the big flood halted the operation. But that flood is another story. 

Mr. Collins first approached the project of building a steam boat back in 1964, but it wasn't until 1992 that his dream began to float when the mayor of Edmonton said yes to the 3.4 million venture. Scheduled to launch a year later, the boat was docked in money battles until finally Mr. Collins drifted into bankruptcy and Carrington Properties cruised in to save the Queen. 

Now, I don't know Mr. Collins and have no idea what his mind state may have been that day his dream sailed when he was no longer anchored to the project.

May he have considered himself a failure?

Or maybe, just maybe, Mr. Collins took on a mind state that he had done his due diligence in piloting a dream, a project that did voyage? Just most likely not sailed the direction expected, possibly due to hasty decisions along the way. 

Why the boat story when it comes to writing about our theme this month of apprenticeship? 

One word: tenacity.

Remember it was May 4th, 1995, twenty-nine years after his first launch attempt that the Edmonton Queen floated the North Saskatchewan River, and Mr. Collin's dream got under way. 

Twenty-nine years.

There are many, many stories of dreams started and finished, with a boat-load of time in between.

May we always be encouraged that time is our friend, and that diligence does pay-off.  And even though our dream may look different between launch and sailing, we've got our great Captain whose purpose prevails. 

Proverbs 21:5 The plans of the diligent lead only to plenty, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.

Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans of a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails. 

You can find more tenacious musings by Lynn J Simpson on her Website


  1. What an inspiring story!

  2. Thanks for reminding me that time IS my friend and that diligence DOES pay off. Such a great story, Friend.

  3. I loved your story, historical and inspiring all at once. I relate to the 'boat load of time' line and your line of "even though our dream may look different between launch and sailing, we've got our great Captain whose purpose prevails." So often we want to be in charge and when things don't go as planned, quit. Great blog.


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