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Memorial hosts Governor General

Governor General Michaëlle Jean was on Memorial's St. John’s campus last month, hosting a youth dialogue in the Inco Innovation Centre. Greeting her was President Gary Kachanoski, Premier Danny Williams and Dr. Rob Shea, dean of Student Affairs. On Tuesday, the Governor General and her family also visited the Marine Institute's Centre for Marine Simulation.

By Darcy MacRae

Governor General Michäelle Jean visited the Fisheries and Marine Institute (MI) and the St. John’s campus last month as part of her week-long tour of the province.

Together with her husband Jean-Daniel Lafond and daughter Marie-Éden Lafond, Gov. Gen. Jean visited the Centre for Marine Simulation (CMS). Capt. Christopher Hearn, director, CMS, escorted the Governor General and her family onto the Marine Institute’s full-motion, full-mission ship bridge simulator where they enjoyed a virtual tour of St. John’s Harbour.

“Our full-motion, full-mission bridge simulator is one of only two of its kind in the world and is a key tool in a number of important and ground breaking research projects currently underway at MI. It was rewarding to see the Governor General take such an interest in a significant piece of Marine Institute infrastructure,” said Glenn Blackwood, executive director of the Marine Institute.
Gov. Gen. Jean, her husband and daughter also took time to sign the formal Memorial University Visitor’s Book in the CMS briefing room.

“We were very happy to have Gov. Gen. Jean visit the Marine Institute during her visit to Newfoundland and Labrador and we want to thank her and her family for choosing MI as one of their early destinations,” said Mr. Blackwood.
The Governor General also enjoyed a brief greeting from the officers of the Canadian Forces Naval Engineering School – St. John’s detachment, located at the Marine Institute.

“It was a pleasure to give her a tour of MI and an overview of the Institute’s capabilities. It was only fitting she had the opportunity to meet the Navy officers of the Marine Institute detachment since Gov. Gen. Jean is the Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Forces.”

While the Governor General later moved on to her agenda in the capital city, her husband and daughter continued their tour, visiting the Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Resources’ Flume Tank, the largest flume tank on the planet. The pair were treated to a demonstration of a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) in the flume tank before then having the opportunity to pilot the ROV themselves.
“We wanted to provide the Governor General and her family with a good display of the research and education potential that exists at the Marine Institute,” Mr. Blackwood said. “We were greatly impressed with her knowledge of the ocean and marine sector and would welcome another visit from her and her family in the future.”

The following day, Gov. Gen. Jean hosted a youth dialogue at Memorial’s Inco Innovation Lecture Theatre.

While in the province, she took part in the unveiling of a sculpture dedicated to the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and visited Labrador where she travelled to Red Bay, Battle Harbour, Mary's Harbour, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, North West River and Sheshatshiu.