Fred Morris and the Elizabeth

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Fred Morris’s yacht the Elizabeth on its cradle at the Charlottetown Yacht Club in the early 1950s. In the water is the Wink, owned at one time by Ian Rankin.

One of the Charlottetown Yacht’s Club’s longest-serving commodores was Frederick E. Morris. Morris was a successful businessman who was involved with the company which built the Montreal Street Railway and he was described in his obituary as “something of an electrical genius.”    Descended from a Charlottetown family, he was grandson of “John Brick” Morris who was reputed to have built the first brick house in Charlottetown.  Fred Morris lived most of his adult life in Montreal and later in Vancouver where he taught music.

It was for his music that he was best known on P.E.I. and across Canada.  He had studied under the great Polish pianist Jan Paderewski and was famous for his interpretations of the music of Chopin. Morris summered on Prince Edward Island and for a time had a house at Number 10,  the Esplanade, a street overlooking the harbour near where the Culinary Institute now stands. His summer visits were usually accompanied by a piano recital.

Fred Morris owned the sailing yacht Zenith early in the 1930s although the first mention of Morris in relation to boats was note of his purchase of a large gasoline-driven houseboat in Halifax in 1930.

When the Charlottetown Yacht Club was re-organized in 1936 Morris took a leading role and served as Commodore into the 1940s.  He was involved in the development of sea scouting in Charlottetown and was also one of the founders and served as Commodore of the Yacht Racing Association of the Northumberland Strait.  Although he does not appear to have raced himself at this time his large motor cruiser the Elizabeth was a presence at many regattas.

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The Mic moored to the stern of Fred Morris yacht Elizabeth

Fred Morris was Commodore of the Charlottetown Yacht Club for several years before the Second World War. His large motor yacht the Elizabeth, was the largest power boat in the fleet. He was also instrumental in the formation of the Northumberland Straits Yacht Racing Association and served as head of that organization  as well. At the time of his death he was Honorary Commodore of the C.Y.C.

In 1950 and 1951 there was competition for the Commodore Morris Cup either presented  by, or in honour of Fred Morris. This is another of the many another yachting trophies which seems to have disappeared over time.

Morris died late in 1950 at age eighty. He was survived by two children; Harry and Marian.

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6 thoughts on “Fred Morris and the Elizabeth

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