Old tugboat going to museum in Hay River

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The Radium Franklin is being donated to the Hay River Museum Society by the GNWT's Department of Infrastructure. Standing in front of the vessel at the Marine Transportation Services Shipyard in Hay River on March 22 are, left to right, John Vandenberg, the assistant deputy minister of Infrastructure; Pat Williams, the assistant director of Marine Transportation Services; and Infrastructure Minister Wally Schumann. Paul Bickford/NNSL photo
The Radium Franklin is being donated to the Hay River Museum Society by the GNWT’s Department of Infrastructure. Standing in front of the vessel at the Marine Transportation Services Shipyard in Hay River on March 22 are, left to right, John Vandenberg, the assistant deputy minister of Infrastructure; Pat Williams, the assistant director of Marine Transportation Services; and Infrastructure Minister Wally Schumann.
Paul Bickford/NNSL photo

The Hay River Heritage Centre is getting a new exhibit, one that will require a whole new piece of land to display.

The new exhibit is the Radium Franklin, one of the old tugs at the Marine Transportation Services Shipyard, which is undergoing a major clean-up.

Instead of being cut up for scrap like some of the other vessels in the shipyard, the Radium Franklin was selected to donate to the Hay River Museum Society.

“It’s moved out of the scrap line,” said John Vandenberg, the assistant deputy minister of Infrastructure, during a tour of the shipyard on March 22. “It’s ready for them, but they need to finish prepping their yard. We would have moved it all the way there, but they still have some more work to do.”

The museum will also be getting some new land to display the vessel.

“The territorial government is giving them the lot straight across from them,” said Infrastructure Minister Wally Schumann, explaining the land across the road is often used for parking.

The 21-metre-long Radium Franklin was built in 1951 in Vancouver for the uranium trade originating in Great Bear Lake.

It will become the second tugboat in the Radium Line of vessels once operated by the defunct Northern Transportation Company Ltd. to be displayed at a museum in the South Slave. The Radium King has been displayed for many years in the yard of Northern Life Museum in Fort Smith.

Pat Williams, the assistant director of Marine Transportation Services, noted the Hay River Heritage Centre will also be getting an old covered house barge.

“We try to help them out with whatever we can,” said Williams. “We’ve got lots of old pictures and stuff here that I think we’re going to give them, as well.”

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