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A streamer has last been constructed of sufficient strength to cope with the ice difficulties prevalent during the winter season in the Gulf. The service from Port aux Basques to North Sydney is difficult to keep opening during the winter on account of the heavy ice. The distance across is about 100 miles and the work of getting a streamer to keep the service open was a task that could not easily be overcome. After the wreck of the Bruce is behoved the Reid Co. to get another one built as quickly as possible. The firm therefore placed orders for the construction of a steamer on which no expense was to be spared.

The ice difficulties of the Gulf Stream were to well known and the firm realized that the steamer to go on this service must be of the strongest that could possibly be built. The last Bruce had done faithful work but there was certain little weaknesses about her that could be remedied and working on past experience the Reid Co. submitted their order to Messrs. Napier and Miller Limited of Old Kilpatrick, Scotland. The contractors were given to understand that the steamer would be required for the coming year (1912) and the work therefore was to be done as quickly as possible.

The builders had plans of a ship that was to be second to none in the world as far as strength and durability were concerned and nothing was to be left undone that would in anyway make her inferior as an ice fighter. The Company’s orders have been faithfully carried out and the steamer that entered port this morning is the one that is expected to achieve victories over the ice elements in the Gulf.

At 8 a.m. the Bruce arrived and as she lay at the dock pier was the centre of attraction and hundreds viewed her. To the casual observer she presented the picture of a modern and up-to-date steamer. The exterior of her construction fully indicated what she was built for; from stem to stern could be seen the massive steel plates which incased a veritable palatial residence. Expressions of admiration [sic] could be heard from everyone, but still more was the admiration expressed when those who had the pleasure of going through her and saw the up-to-date style, finish and set of her interior.

Immediately on her arrival a HERALD reporter boarded her and was kindly shown through the ship. To give an adequate description of this steamer calls for more space than we can afford to devote her, for the visitor is almost bewildered by her splendid appointments.


Throughout yesterday there was much comment as to the Bruce, for word of her was expected at any minute. She had left Grennock at 3 p.m. Monday and six days was considered sufficient for her to reach the coast. A wireless was anxiously awaited for and at five o’clock the first message was received which was as follows:

“S.S. Bruce 130 miles off Cape Race.”

On receipt of this Mr. R.G. Reid wired to Capt. Spracklin to give location. At 6:20 the following answer was received:

“S.S. Bruce 120 miles E.S.E of Cape Spear. Heavy gale of W.N.W.wind. Slob ice. All well.


Within another hour the captain wired to say that he expected to dock at 10 this morning, but his expectations were realized earlier by two hours, as at 8 she drew into the Reid Co.’s premises, and particulars of her trip were soon known. She left Glasgow at 3 Monday afternoon and made a record run of 6 days and 17 hours. The old Bruce covered the same distance in 6 days and 9 hours, but the conditions and season were different. She having come here in October. The captain and crew of the new steamer speak in highest terms of her. Almost after leaving hard weather was encountered but she proved an excellent sea boat. At times she averaged 15 knots an hour, but owing to the engine being new she was obliged to slow down occasionally. On nearing the coast the ice was encountered and for over 100 miles she steamed at a good speed through it. On Saturday night a heavy gale of wind was met and being in open seas she was much washed and her appearance this morning of being ice covered showed evidence of her trail in the storm. The following passengers CAME BY HER:- Hon. M.P. Cashin, Dr. Paterson and W.S. Monroe…

The Evening Herald

February 12, 1912