Queen Elizabeth II Christened Playfair, 1973

Playfair’s naming ceremony was conducted in Kingston on Wednesday, June 27th, 1973 during the Royal visit.   Her majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip attended the ceremony, with the Queen making Playfair the first Canadian vessel ever to be named by a reigning monarch.
Here is a picture from one of the Toronto Brigantine brochures. It shows Queen Elizabeth II christening Playfair at her launching  in Kingston on Jun 27, 1973, with Pathfinder docked just astern.


[Photo provided by Jurgen Braunohler from Toronto Brigintine brochure in

After Playfair’s christening she was then sailed to Toronto in a half finished condition, to be  completed there by a hand-full of professional shipwrights at Pier 5, assisted by many teenaged volunteers including Jurgen Braunohler, TBI alumnus 1973-1975, that provided this picture.

For more information about Toronto Brigantine’s youth sail training program, check out our website at www.torontobrigantine.org

One response

  1. Paul Clarke here. This was a very exciting day for all who were there! Capt. McConnell (with cap on head) at the top of the gangway; Heather Sampson right aft, Richard Birchall next to her, and I think Mike Rice just forward; my brother, Ian Clarke, was aboard Pathfinder, and got to man the yards aloft; Tony Case is ashore directly in front of the Queen; Greig Cooke, who had the honour of revealing the name boards by removing the Canadian flag, is just visible in the extreme right side of this picture. I don’t even recall where I was (other than on board somewhere).

    One thing I do remember is being down below less than an hour before the Queen and Prince Phillip were due to arrive when there was a commotion of uncommon urgency. Due to the new shoreline’s boulders in Kingston that year, the ship had to be held offshore a few metres to stay afloat. Honoured guests were coming aboard, and the way the story was told to me Mike Leigh’s mother was accidentally dunked in the Lake, fancy dress and all!

    Shortly after the day Playfair was named, we motored (with lowers only in) down the lake to Toronto, and I still recall coming off watch that first evening and lying down in what would become the wardroom, laying my sleeping bag right on the vibrating plates of the hull, glad for the angle irons which prevented us from slipping and sliding down the slanted hull plates. I was Capt. McConnell’s Executive Officer, and am proud to have sailed with him and our first wardroom officers in that exciting summer of 1973.

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