I grew up in Staten Island, NY and so, of course, the Staten Island Ferry is near and dear to my heart. Most of the ferries are named after famous Staten Island people or towns, or those who served political office such as Alice Austen (a photographer who also introduced tennis to the United States.), John F. Kennedy and Samuel I. Newhouse (the Staten Island Advance’s [S.I.’s daily newspaper] publisher from 1922 to 1979). But other vessels around the world are sometimes named a different way.
Boaty McBoatface was the most popular crowdsourced suggestion in the “Name Our Ship” poll in 2016 when a U.K. ship needed to be named (as you may recall, the people in charge decided to not use the suggestion and the Minister for Universities and Science announced that the Boaty McBoatface name would be used for the submersibles aboard Sir David Attenborough – the name they wound up using for the vessel in question – instead).
Those wacky Australians, not to be outdone, have just finished their own “Name Our Ferry” poll and, what a surprise, Ferry McFerryface is the winner! Unlike the Brits, since the citizens of Sydney have spoken (and since Boaty McBoatface was actually the Aussies’ first choice, but was already taken by the submersibles in the U.K.), the name will stick.
The country’s Maritime Union, whose members staff the ferry fleet, are said to be frustrated with what has been described as a “silly” name that’s a “joke,” as ferries have traditionally been named after Syndney’s beaches, medal-winning Olympians and other famous Aussies. However the decision-makers are not changing the name. “We asked Sydney to name their new ferries, and we have listened,” said Andrew Constance, Minister for Transport and Infrastructure in a statement. “Ferry McFerryface will be the harbour’s newest icon, and I hope it brings a smile to the faces of visitors and locals alike.”
The new fleet will have capacity for about 400 customers, improved accessibility for people with disabilities, wi-fi access, luggage and bicycle storage areas and charging stations for electronic devices.
It’s a bucket list thing for me to be in Syndney Harbour for New Year’s, to see their incredible fireworks. You can bet that if we ever make it there, I will make SURE to look for Ferry McFerryface!
A tip of a hat and a HUGE thank-you to Michelle B. for the heads up on this topic!
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