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VIDEO: Hear ye! Hear ye! Launch Day in Maitland


Maitland celebrates the launch of the William D. Lawrence with costume parade and town crier competition.

Dozens of people dressed up in Victorian costumes and braved heavy rain for a historical parade followed later by a noisy town crier competition on Maitland, East Hants on Saturday.

Town criers came from Windsor-West Hants, New Glasgow, Cape Breton, Yarmouth, Lunenburg, Annapolis Royal, Sackville, Spryfield and Bridgewater for the Sept. 22 competition. The criers spoke about women in the age of sail.

Local residents also celebrated the launching of the William D. Lawrence,  the biggest square-rigged wooden vessel ever built in Canada. However, a low tide meant that people were unable to launch the small model on that day, although the little replica drew quite a crowd.

When the vessel was launched in 1874, many thought the ship would capsize, but it floated fine and ended up having a long and successful sailing career. However, the little scale models launched in later years have not always been so lucky.

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