The name is a fitting nod to the water that she will travel, andto her sister ship. The Department of Transportation and Public Works has chosen thename Petit Princess for the new car ferry that will sail PetitPassage between Digby Neck and Long Island, Digby Co. Her sistership in New Brunswick is also regally named — the Deer IslandPrincess II. Grade 7 student Felicia Frost proposed Petit Princess in a namingcontest for the new $4-million ferry. Transportation and PublicWorks Minister Ron Russell selected her entry from 66 namessubmitted by students at Islands Consolidated School in Freeport. “Our goal was to find the best name for the new ferry with thehelp of students who will sail aboard her for years to come,”said Mr Russell. “With so many well thought-out names submitted,students clearly benefitted from their research in this contest.” Mr. Russell and Felicia revealed the name at a ceremony at theHalifax Shipyard today, Nov. 18. The minister presented Feliciawith $500 for winning the contest. Transportation and PublicWorks also gave Islands Consolidated School $1,000 to fund aschool project. “The contest made students think about the uniqueness of wherethey live, and the importance of the ferry system as atransportation link to the mainland,” said Loretta Crocker,principal of Islands Consolidated School. “The studentsresearched the history of the islands and we all learnedsomething new.” The ferry is being built at the Halifax Shipyard and will becommissioned early in 2004. The Petit Princess is a 42-metrevessel with a capacity of 24 cars, 95 passengers and four crew.It is wheelchair accessible and is replacing the Joshua Slocum,which was built in 1974. In 1974, the Slocum carried 38,000 vehicles a year; that numberhas now skyrocketed to 96,000 a year, mainly as a result ofincreased tourism.
Sydney: Australians enjoying a sunny winter morning were surprised by the sight of three Chinese warships steaming into to Sydney Harbour Monday, forcing the prime minister to reassure jittery residents. Amid heightened concern about Beijing’s growing clout and military muscle flexing, the appearance of a Chinese flagged task group and around 700 sailors came as a surprise. “It may have been a surprise to others, but it certainly wasn’t a surprise to the government,” said Prime Minister Scott Morrison, trying to dampen concerns. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests'”We have known about that for some time,” he said of the visit during a trip to the Solomon Islands. Morrison described it as a “reciprocal visit because Australian naval vessels have visited China.” “They were returning after a counter drug trafficking operation in the Middle East.” The vessels appeared to be the Kunlun Shan, a Yuzhao class landing ship; the Luoma Lake replenishment ship and Xuchang, a modern frigate that is believed to be fitted with surface-to-air and anti-submarine missile systems. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in ChinaThe timing of their visit has also been questioned. It comes on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the violent suppression of Tiananmen protests. Then, the regime gunned down hundreds of its own citizens and jailed thousands for demanding political change and an end to state corruption. The sailing also comes just days after it was revealed that a Chinese warship had recently confronted an Australian vessel in the South China Sea and Aussie helicopter pilots had been targeted with lasers. “I think any reading into timing could be subject to a bit of overanalysis,” said Morrison. Since coming to power, President Xi Jinping has invested heavily in the People’s Liberation Army Navy — in a bid to project Chinese influence across the Pacific and beyond. “Chinese naval visits to Australia have more typically been a lone frigate, not a task group with an amphibious assault ship and 700 personnel,” Rory Medcalf, head of the National Security College at Australian National University, tweeted. “Sydney is hardly a convenient stopover on their way home from the Gulf of Aden. What’s the story here?”