McKeil Marine’s MV Florence Spirit receives Top Hat at the Port of Hamilton, HOPA Ports

The first vessels of the 2024 shipping season have arrived at the Port of Hamilton!

The Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority (HOPA Ports) celebrates the start of each shipping season with the ceremonial presentation of a Top Hat to the Captain of the first vessels, a tradition that began in 1947.

“As we mark the 77th year of our Top Hat Ceremony, we’re not just celebrating a tradition – we’re honouring the heart of maritime commerce,” said Vicki Gruber, HOPA Ports Harbour Master and Director of Safety & Security. “As Harbour Master, presenting the Top Hat to the vessel’s Captain isn’t just an honour, it’s a symbol of the alliance we share with our port community and those who navigate its waters. Together, as we begin a new season, we’re dedicated to seamless trade and mutual respect.”

McKeil Marine’s MV Florence Spirit arrived from Detroit for delivery to Pier 21, ArcelorMittal Dofasco.

Captain Michael Rodaway and his crew onboard the vessel, arrived in Hamilton on March 23rd. Captain Rodaway has been with McKeil Marine since 2016 and has often found himself at the helm of the Florence Spirit.

“We are very honoured and pleased to be this year’s Top Hat recipient for the second year in a row,” said Captain Rodaway. “Hamilton is our home port as well as the location of many of our